Category Archives: Media

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 Snapchat



Dear Snapchat,

Thank you for helping me ponder the difference between price and value – and more specifically, how the Price someone is willing to pay for a company is not the same as its Valuation. 

Much has been made of Snapchat’s $3bn “valuation”, on account of the buyout approach made by Facebook.

People left, right and centre have been throwing their hands in the air, chuntering about how seeing as you’re yet to turn a profit, you cannot possibly be worth $3bn.

Evan Spiegel

And of course they’re right. You’re not technically worth $3bn. Not in the sense of a traditional, objective, valuation (some kind of multiple of turnover or profit) anyway.

But $3bn is the price that Facebook were apparently willing to pay for you. You were clearly worth $3bn to Mark Zuckerberg and his shareholders. So “value” it seems is in the eye of the purchaser…which is then reflected in the price they are willing to pay in exchange for the value they perceive, a somewhat more subjective matter altogether.


The “value” Facebook saw was in your potential. Or perhaps the danger of not having you. Or maybe in someone else getting you instead of them.

I know it’s only semantics really, but when the likes of the big auction houses or even estate agents value a painting or a house, what they’re actually doing is providing a guide price and then hoping that someone values the item enough to match or exceed that price*.

The Scream

Which clearly was the case with the individual who was willing to pay $120m for one of Edvard Munch’s hideous messes. I’m guessing they saw value in its potential, scarcity and what others seemed willing to pay for it, as well as artistic value – the first three I get, the last, well, not so much.

Perhaps this confused and cyclical relationship between value and price goes someway to explain why Vince Cable and Goldman Sachs are getting it in the neck to such an extent at the moment.


They valued Royal Mail using objective criteria for the basis of the listing price. But as soon as shares became available, people were willing to pay a significantly higher price for them than the listing price. Which leads people to conclude that the valuation was wrong in the first place. But has Royal Mail actually become more valuable because its shares have a higher price now? Does it turn more profit, create more jobs and deliver economic growth now that people are willing to pay a higher price for its share?

My suspicion is that once the furore has died down – and a few years performance have passed under the bridge –  the share price will stabilise and the original valuation will be proved to be about right.

But what do I know?

Not a lot to be honest.

But it’s diverting to think about it.

Thanks again

PS – I would have taken the $3bn. You crazy?

*In fact I suspect it’s the hoopla-makers in the Media that bandy the valuation word around, not the auctioneers, but anyway




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 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 Ikea

Dear Ikea,

Thank you for showing us the glorious simplicity of insight based problem-solution innovation.

You see a problem, you solve a problem.

This time with Uppleva – an IKEA TV.

Simple. Practical. Functional.

I want it.

I know I’ll never get it.

The creative director of my household prefers stuff that’s old, impractical, totally unfit for purpose, but that looks like it’s got a story or two to tell…as do I, if truth be told.

But I want Uppleva all the same.

All that simplicity, practicality and functionality is beguiling.

Head says yes. Heart says no.

Please can you do a version that looks like it’s been rescued from a skip in Bradford-upon-Avon or Cheltenham or somewhere like that?

And thanks for re-running your glorious Kitchen spot, here in the full 3 minute version.


Thanks again.


Dear Cesar

Dear Cesar,

Thank you for making me look twice with your Films on 4 “ident” which accompanied the trailer for The Last Exorcism.

I was only half watching and for a second, I thought I was watching one of your ads…your bold and shiny logo caught my eye, you see.

And boy was I momentarily impressed with the bravery of the Marketing Director that I believed had overseen such a radical repositioning. Not quite such a sweet doggy-woggy after all.

But then I realised what was actually going on and had a good chuckle to myself.

Overall, I think that your series of idents are OK:

But it does all feel a little bit “forced”. Especially as every member of the “crew” appears to be the doting owner of the same on-brand (but with a different name) Westie…

Now I’m all for idents, but only when they’re a good fit or strategically sound.

Seven Seas sponsorship of iTV weather is a great example of getting it right.

People watch the weather daily, people take supplements daily (well actually they don’t, but they should, and Seven Seas want them to).

People get run down in the winter, people take supplements to keep themselves feeling fit and healthy.

People feel energetic and sprightly in the summer, Seven Seas Health Oils help people feel energetic and sprightly.

A great fit.

And with the current ident borrowing from the traditional 30-sec ad campaign of late last year, the brand memory structures created at that point are reinforced and reinvigorated too.

So thanks Cesar, not only for giving me a laugh, but also making me think about the various pros and cons of idents / program sponsorship.



Dear The Guardian

Dear The Guardian,

Thank you for reassuring me that (ad-land) “creativity” is not dead with your interpretation of the 3 Little Pigs:


And pretty disturbing too.

Is the UK in 2012 really so disturbed, dark and aggressive?

I don’t believe it is, so thank you The Guardian, for choosing a fairytale rather than real news to dramatise your offering.

Thanks again