Category Archives: Entertainment

Dear Amazon Kindle

amazon kindle

Dear Amazon Kindle,

Thank you for giving me a right laugh with the recommendations you give me on my Kindle – a hilarious glitch in your otherwise pretty amazing algorthymic matrix.

When I flicked on last night, I actually laughed out loud, when confronted with this:

Yours Completely - Krista Lakes

Intrigued, I clicked to find out more:

Maids don’t ever get to go to the ball… do they?

Jace Connors:
Stretched thin from running a business and organizing a wedding, the last thing Jace needs is the world’s most eligible bachelorettes trying to sneak their way into his bed. When he meets Ella grooming the inn’s horses, though, she leaves him breathless. Jace knows that he can’t let her get away…

Ella McDaniels:
What starts as an almost-kiss in the barn ends up captivating Ella, even though she knows that the richly dressed Jace is out of her league. However, when he keeps showing up wherever she is, her attraction to him grows. And if she can outwit her wicked stepmother, she just might be able to dance with him at the wedding reception ball. There’s only one problem…

What if Jace is actually the groom?

Krista Lakes, if you’re reading, please don’t think that I’m laughing at you. No doubt there is strong market for the books that you write. And they are enjoyed by a great many people.

But Amazon, you made me laugh. Perhaps out of relief that even an organisation as slick as you can get it wrong sometimes. Phew.

You have done such a great job in the past with recommendations “inspired by my browsing history”, that when the first novel in Krista Lakes’ new series Billionaires and Brides pops up, my reaction is to wonder what the hell it is that I’ve been browsing for, and what books I have bought on my Kindle (perhaps unknown to me) to make you want to recommend her work to me.

Bill Bryson - The Road to Little Dribbling

All the books I buy are either about Innovation. Or are by Bill Bryson. Pretty much.

But the truth is that you’ve conditioned me to expect that you’re going make accurate recommendations. It goes with out say. It’s ingrained deeply into my expectation of you as a brand. So when you don’t quite manage it, it’s kind of funny.

Thanks again Amazon Kindle. For giving me a laugh, but also for helping me read more and read faster.



Dear Scrabble

Scrabble LogoDear Scrabble,

Thank you for Anagram Lovers – an absolute triumph of beautiful cinematography of which Wes Anderson would have been proud.

Thank you for resisting the tempatation of advertising cliches – i.e. the good-looking-mum-and-dad-playing-scrable-with-their-good-looking-children shot.

Thank you for believing in the construct of anagrams as a representation of your brand – without that belief, you would never have been able to tell a story like this.

And thank you for being wonderfully random (crab diving Spaniard in Japan?!), just like the game itself.

And thanks for Anagram Christmas.

A good effort, but the kitsch kookiness that makes Anagram Lovers so charming gets lost in Christmas tweeness – in my view. Still made me smile though.

Thanks again


Dear Three

Dear Three,

Thank you for Please Spam Responsibly #holidayspam…despite not being a sophisticated, or even engaged, social media user (especially on holiday), it makes me smile every time I see it.

The combination of Social Proof (one of Robert Cialdini’s 6 key principles of influence), and the satirising of both social media behaviour and language (tanningfails and #livelikealocal) brilliantly bring to life what could have been a fairly functional claim.

Three - use your phone abroadNow I don’t know whether or not that’s a genuine point of difference, representing a truly innovative aspect of your overall service package and pricing plan (vs. EE, Vodafone, O2 etc)…but because you’re claiming it in such a differentiated way, it might as well be. It’s what people will remember you for.

And thank you for casting Michael Buerk to do the voice over. What a perfect choice, given his newscaster and 999 history. He delivers his lines brilliantly.

As he did in this wonderful, much written, complained and probably tweeted about ad from Marmite:

Thanks again






Dear Amazon

Dear Amazon,

Thank you for changing the way we watch TV. The re-invention of any category for the benefit of the consumer is always highly pleasing to see.

Not only do we get to watch what we want, when we want, but we also now get to choose what gets made? Wow.

More prison-escape stuff please. Fewer vampires. If you don’t mind.

In fact hang-on.

Your taking this “tailored-for-me” thing to a whole new level. I can get my very own show made too?


Also, thanks for reminding me of the principle that brand architecture should help your consumers and hinder your competitors.

I get it that the natural tendency when innovating and creating new categories is to create new brands – or sub-brands in your case – to show that you’ve got something new.

For sure, you need a signpost to the shiny new toy. But right now, I’m just a little bit confused.

Whereas over on the other channel – who I should also be thanking in the same way I’m thanking you – I pretty much know what’s what.

Thanks again.



Dear The Guardian


Dear The Guardian,

Thank you for appealing to my weekends-are-for-doing-stuff aspiration and for giving me a right laugh with your latest advert.

Insightful editorial theme for January too.

Of course it’s nice to have nothing planned and to do nothing from time to time, but doesn’t life feel so much better when things are being done, ticks are being added to mental do-list and new challenges are being tackled?

Even if badly. And especially in January

I think so.

And thank you for helping yourself to the emerging cultural code brought to us by Breaking Bad (middle-aged-man-in-white-underpants-with-shoes-still-on) to convey Ian’s chaotic unravelling.

Walter White Underpants

Walter would be proud.

Thanks again


Dear VW

VW Logo

Dear VW,

Thank you for embracing a perfect slice of 80s kitsch with your recent ad from the States, inspired by A-ha. As a child of the 80s, the visual reminder (I’ve heard the song countless times on the radio since the 80s, but not seen the video) makes me smile:

In general, “commentators” seem to be be a bit down on retro stuff, with the latest wave of 80s nostalgia getting it in the neck from many quarters…

But I never understand why…

People – i.e. real people out there in the real world, not those that sit at laptops dreaming up articles and news “features” – love a bit of nostalgia.

It makes us feel good to reflect on the past and reignite those positive feelings and memories.

So why knock it?

I suppose that it could be argued that nostalgia and all things retro lack dynamism, modernity and a sense of progression.

But there’s loads of that going on. All around us. All the time.

Why not just enjoy both?


Anyway, thanks to you VW, and thanks also to The Why Factor, my current favourite podcast from BBC World Service – the edition on Nostalgia┬áis well worth a listen…

Thanks again





Thank you for combining both “consumer truths” and “creativity” into the same, utterly brilliant, communications idea.

I challenge readers not to watch through to the very end of this YouTube compilation of your “Get rid of cable and upgrade to DIRECTV” campaign:

Thank you for starting with a consumer truth – “When you pay too much for cable…” – but then immediately switching into creative mode – “…you start to throw things”.

The majority of people would probably be slightly peeved, rather than actually throw things, at a high cable bill, however they can empathise with the possibility that they might throw something. It’s a very clever conceit, especially as it builds and crescendos towards disaster.

And thank you for continuing in this vein throughout each of the ads – the flip-flopping between the truths and consequential leaps of logic is not only arresting (what’s going to happen next?) but also highly amusing.

I’ve no idea how effective this campaign has been for you (awards don’t count by the way – you’ve actually got to shift more units for it to have been properly effective) but thanks for giving me a right laugh over here in Blighty.

Thank you again