10 Mar 2015

The New World Order: One Vast and Ecumenical Holding Company

The movie 'Network' (1976) is an experience not unlike applying a defibrillator to side of one's head.

Out of the many epic scenes in an epic movie with epic talent on full display, the scene below stands out, at least for me, as particularly prescient... It is very intellectual. Very lucid. Very convincing. Very scary.

Besides all that, I also like it for protraying how, quite contrary to what many believe (as did I, at one point), the New World Order will overwhelm the current (seemingly) disorderly world not with suddenness and chaos -- but much like hypothermia: Pain and helplessness slowly, fuzzily transforming into the warm embrace of death.

Now watch -- and be forewarned...

8 Dec 2014

Are you a mason? Or an architect?

In virtually every industry, there is a clear differentiation in the type of work expectation and cost implication between high-value strategic thinkers and the volume-dependent execution specialists.

Let’s consider the differences between an architect and a mason.

The architect and the mason come with their own knowledge & skill sets. The mason is expected to follow the rules – but the architect is expected to experiment within the bounds of safety and function. And clients are usually smart enough to understand and appreciate that while the mason makes a building, the architect aims to create a landmark!

An architect is brought in when appropriate time and resources are available – and the potential returns (tangible and intangible) are proportionately significant. Like the design of a large and prestigious public building.

Or an architect may be brought in when the assignment has complex limitations – and only a clever architect could actually maximise the impact by working around the shortcomings. Like a millionaire’s pad in Manhattan where floor space is a stubborn constraint.

Most structures need a mason to build it – but not all structures need Frank Gehry to design it.

Here’s my postulation… In Advertising, there are genuine creative thinkers and really good execution specialists. Judging based on designation would be terribly misleading – but judging by the result of individual work should reveal who’s writing, desiging or servicing - and who’s building brands.

You will find that while the execution specialist is busy churning out prodigious quantities of ads, brochures, posters, flyers, rollups, backdrops and PowerPoint slides… the creative thinker is quietly working on an idea to make the brand stand out like a dramatic landmark against an otherwise dreary advertising skyline.

One keeps the agency bean-counters happy. The other gets frantic calls about a client’s looming travel plan.

4 Nov 2014

Can You Imagine Ad Agencies Without Creatives?

Well, the ad agency without creatives just might be the future... Even Sir Martin Sorrell says he thinks the industry needs "Math men not Mad Men".

For an ad agency, profits on retainer fees and media commissions are wafer thin. Bigger budgets and fatter profit margins are on production work (print, digital or activation) that are typically done externally by 'specialists'.

Naturally, agency bean-counters will increasingly focus on pushing for expensive external productions, rather than internal creatives. And it'll be the slick salesmen (the "suits") who'll become the 'profit-centres', rather than the creative teams. This will have a knock-on effect on recruitment, incentives, promotions, and retention.

Agencies may end up with a rump creative dept. (a glorified studio set-up) that churns out the relatively 'low value' stuff that keeps retainer-paying clients "happy" -- while increasingly relying on freelancers for big ideas on pitches and big campaigns.

Eventually, ad agencies will turn to Plug 'n' Play Creative specialists. (I'd touched on this possibility in a post in March 2010.)

Ultimately, we must remember that 'creatives' is NOT the ad agency's raison d'etre... Ad agencies began as boring media commission agents -- the enterprising ones merely threw in good copywriting and impactful visualising as a 'value add' or differentiator. The crest of this 'creative is king' wave was Bill Bernbach and the 'Mad Men' era.

Like it or not, that wave is ebbing... simply, because it is no longer the most profitable business model.

10 Dec 2013

Is the Nestlé Group Chairman a fascist or a fool?

I think the individual in the video below is a prime representative of just about all that is wrong with the mindset in the upper echelons of the corporate world today!

He is Peter Brabeck, the Chairman and former CEO of Nestlé Group... And poor Peter snugly ensconced in his ivory tower cannot comprehend a worldview beyond the techno-panacea which he is part of.

In the Nestlé corporate video (below) condescendingly titled: 'We feed the world', he is telling us quite candidly -- with not a tinge of irony in his voice -- that the time has come for mankind to subjugate nature... That GMO foods are good - and organic food is actually not good... That workers must work much harder to ensure that more people can get employment (only to later beam with admiration for a robotised factory with "almost no people")... And that "water is just a raw material" which must be given a "market value".

On the surface, it might seem he is merely suggesting the world's food and freshwater supply (the raw material) be "sold" by the public (via governemtn representatives) to corporate giants like Nestlé who will process / package / bottle it and sell it (the finished product) back to the public for a nice multi million-dollar profit margin.

By awarding exclusive charters for owning and trading food and water, the ruling class is, in effect, forcing the public into near total dependence on and submission to the oligarchs. In essence, this legal-corporate union is called Fascism!

So Peter Brabeck is either knowingly advocating Fascism - or is too naive and dumb to realise the import of what he is saying...

Leave aside for one minute the downstream choke-hold on seeds and farming by the likes of Monsanto, Bayer and Dow. Or the monopolistic hold on supply chains by entities like Cargill. Or the upstream control by retail cartels like Walmart - and take a look at the chart below...


I believe it was that shining paradigm of humanitarian compassion, Henry Kissinger, who once said: "Control oil, and you control nations... Control food, and you control the people." Consider yourself warned!

18 Nov 2013

Jean-Claude van Damme, a tightrope-walker, a hamster, and a presidential stunt

There are the usual boring product feature demos... And there are truly EPIC product feature demos!

Here Jean-Claude van Damme demonstrates the Dynamic Steering on the new Volvo FH truck.

Here a tightrope-walker demonstrates the precision and control of the Volvo FH series.

Here, a hamster demonstrates how to steer a 15-tonne using nothing but a fresh carrot!

And finally, the President of Volvo Trucks shows us how to make a successful Youtube video.

Well done, Volvo!

28 Oct 2013

Does Ryanair's CEO actually insult his customers?

Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair recently went on-air for a live Q&A chat on Twitter. Irate Ryanair fliers made known their dissatisfaction - and true to form, Mr O'Leary offended and insulted a large number of them!

So how does he manage to run an airline without having any respect or consideration for air-passengers?

You may have a point if you think that people are psychologically prepared to endure hardship and insults as long as they can fly cheap. But I think the real answer is simpler still. After reading the many smart and well meaning comments on a related Linkedin article gives me the feeling that people misunderstand the meaning of "customer" in this case.


Allow me to explain... The Ryanair business model is almost entirely based on financial engineering.

According to this unoffical September 2013 analysis, "Ryanair flies on (government) subsidies and tax discounts." The brand's belligerant stance hides a highly complex financial structure that is designed to handle legal battles and maximise tax benefits.

In fact Ryanair, based in Ireland, paid zero net tax in 2009.

Ryanair's real revenue, and the multi-millions that Michael O'Leary rakes-in annually, come from Europe's political and bureaucratic setup. The air tickets, in-flight sales and on-ground charges paid by fliers are simply a means to reduce operating costs.

Now it's easy to see why O'Leary can insult passengers (end user) with impunity, isn't it? The passenger is not the real "customer" - and he does not matter in the grand scheme of profit-making. Ryanair's real benefactors are the ones that make the civil aviation laws and the giant tax-funded loopholes that O'Leary and his accountants fly their airplanes through.

This is the exact same thing with people who think they are "customers" of social networking sites. Sorry, you are only the end user. And in a way, you are the product being sold to actual paying customers - the advertisers.

23 Oct 2013

The Biggest Scam In The History of Mankind

"Currency" or what we term "money" is a fake construct.


Our financial system is actually a giant mechanism that is designed to channellise the wealth created by human effort to the ruling class and their cronies.

This 30-minute video explains the truth (and lies) behind the scam of currency creation in any nation with a central bank.

See it. Share it.