Monthly Archives: August 2012

Dear Tumi

Dear Tumi,

Thank you for 10 or so years of impeccable service – the practical durability of your Alpha attache-style briefcase continues to serve me dutifully, day-in-day-out.


But now – and with a heavy heart – the time has come to switch my allegiances to a different design of bag.

It’s not you, it’s me.

Or more specifically, my back.

Which selfishly fails to appreciate the Tumi Difference – your Tumi FXT Ballistic Nylon, your TUMI-patented articulating shoulder strap, your Rib-Tech padding, your TUMI Tracer feature. I could go on.

All it feels is the pain induced by my insistence of only ever carrying you over the same shoulder.

So a back-pack style laptop bag it is.

I know you do lots of fantastically designed, back-pack style laptop bags, that are replete with all the features and Reasons to Believe that add up to that Tumi Difference.

But at £445 you’re hard to justify.

You came close. Very close. But sadly, it cannot be done.


Like the recently retired England cricket captain, Andrew Strauss, it’s time to let someone else have their turn, bowing out whilst you’re pretty much at the top of your game –  with your head held high, safe in the knowledge that as you have travelled the world, you have performed pretty much faultlessly throughout. (Although there was that time when I had to take you down to Timpson to be stitched up).

So it is, that those folks at an Amazon fulfilment centre are busy getting ready to ship a considerably less costly (by a factor of more than 10) alternative brand to me.

And it was that brand’s simple 2 minute demonstration video that swung it for them against all the other candidates.

I hope that – within the week – I’ll be thanking that brand, rather than regretting that I didn’t just take the financial hit and stick with what I knew.

We shall see.

Thanks again Tumi – we’ve been through a lot together…


PS – I must also thank Paul Walton – the king of luggage (and all other gadgetry) – who generously loaned you to me in the first place.


Dear Google nexus7

Dear Google nexus7,

Thank you for giving me a quandary – not knowing whether to hate, Hate, HATE your “Dad & son camping trip” ad, or love, Love, LOVE you for it, is keeping me on my toes.

The ad is particularly relevant to me as, this weekend, my 4-year-old daughter and I (with a couple of other Dads and daughters) are embarking on a camping trip of our own.

Utter folly.

Especially given the meteorological outlook.

It’s easier to start with why I hate your ad:

  • A camping trip should be about escaping technology, long-lasting human interaction and getting back to nature – jus’ like the good ol’ days. Not playing Angry Birds or watching cartoons (or whatever)
  • It’s bogus. Bedtime story on an iPad (sorry nexus7)? Bogus. Dinosaur in the sights of the binos? Bogus. So bogus in fact that I was half expecting to see the adventurous pair frying an egg on their iPad (sorry nexus7)
  • Any self-respecting Dad – especially one techy enough to own an iPad (sorry nexus7) – would not have such a crap tent
  • That optimistic music. Again! Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh!. I suggest that you and Apple just join forces, buy the same tunes and both save yourselves some cash
  • You’re advertising the tablet category, not the brand. OK, I get the “Playground is open”, but what makes your playground better than Apple’s?
  • There will be no WiFi / 3G where we’re going

Reasons why I love your ad:

  • I now want an iPad (sorry nexus7)

Thanks again


Dear Cussons

Dear Cussons,

Thank you for fully committing to the opportunity that you’ve spotted…the launch of Cussons mum & me demonstrates that you genuinely have the courage of your convictions – which is an affirming thought for those of us working in innovation:

It would have been easy for you to hedge your bets and go with a half-baked masterbrand-led proposition, waiting to see whether or not there was space for a range of products to take on Johnson Baby and the like.


But if you had gone that way, you probably would never have known, as the Cussons brand – although well-known and regarded – would not, I suspect, have been strong enough to take on the might of the incumbent category big boys.

However, the endorsed-brand architecture model that you have selected (and are supporting) stands a much better chance of success, being a far more powerful, although admittedly seriously more expensive, tool with which to disrupt the category.

Now I don’t always argue the case for a House of Brands over a Branded House, but in this instance, I think you called it right.

I do like the insightful premise of your launch ad, but personally find it to be somewhat cliched…and way overdone on the soft focus front.

But as a Dad, I guess it’s irrelevant what I think as I’m outside the target market and will end up doing what I’m told anyway (i.e. using the products that Mum chooses).

Mum knows best.

In fact, understanding that what Dad thinks is irrelevant when it comes to “looking after baby” (what an awful, dreadful expression clearly missing either the definite or indefinite article!) is itself a nice piece of insightful thinking.

Thanks again


PS – Thinking about new babies reminds me of a comparison that I once heard that still makes me smile:

New baby = attention seeking (and receiving) super-diva film star who is adored and gets exactly what they want, when they want it, regardless of behaviour that would be completely unacceptable from anyone else

Mother = baby’s personal assistant / fluffer / chief-make-up artist with non-negotiable 24/7 “always-on” contract

Father = Runner / general dog’s body whose main job is not to think (except when consulted and only then under the premise that all advice – however good – is highly likely to be summarily ignored), but to do what everyone else tells him to…a role that most Dad’s are happy to fulfil incidentally!

Dear YouTube

Dear YouTube,

Thanks for knowing that I tend to watch ads – and for knowing that I like funny ads.

Without you knowing my habits and recommending other clips to me, my early start to the day would not have been brightened in the way it has been by this:

I wasn’t expecting to laugh out loud until later on today.

Thanks again YouTube.


Dear Cathedral City

Dear Cathedral City,

Thank you for your latest beautifully insightful ad – it’s a cracker:

I love all of it.

But I particularly love the bit where the little girl is so keen to get to the table that she throws open the door without even a thought of closing it behind her.




Thanks again,