Tag Archives: Insightful

Dear Nationwide

nationwide-logoDear Nationwide,

Thank you for brilliant new campaign Voices Nationwide – and for reminding me that poets and poetry, like stand-up comics and observational comedy, are, when good, brilliantly insightful. #voicesnationwide

Thank you for doing “authentic” without trying too hard.

Thank you for doing “real”, without doing “gritty”.

Thank you for creating something that has the potential to run and run and run.

And thank you for helping me remember the positive impact on me of listening to poetry.

I’ve never really got on with poetry when I’m reading it on my own.

I don’t know why.

But when I listen to poetry it’s a totally different experience for me.

And the good news is that there’s an App for that. Probably.


And finally, thank you for reminding me of BBC Radio4’s The Listening Project…in addition to the project itself, I just love simplicity and purity of the line: It’s surprising what you hear when you listen.

Thanks again



Dear Thomson

thomson holidays logo

Dear Thomson,

Thank you for Simon the Ogre…he’s fascinating to watch and so easy to empathise with (I pity him as much as a feel his pain), and as such he’s a highly insightful departure from the norm.

Thank you turning the usual Department of Tourism style Experience the mystery of Cyprus cliché that tends to appear at this time of year on its head.


What I really admire is how whilst breaking from the norm and standing out, you’ve also managed to keep so many of the traditional holiday codes, that are reflected (expected?) in advertising.

The pool, the beach, the clear blue sea, the happy kids, the delicious food and the inevitable attractive-wife-in-bikini* that The Sunday Times Travel section is so fond of – she features more weeks than not I reckon…

Sunday Times Travel

…Although unlike the editors over at The Sunday Times, you’ve been good enough to give her a face and the chance not to wear a white bikini.

And thank you to whoever did the music. Somehow, to my ear anyway, you / they have managed to combine Adele’s Someone like you with Keane’s (or should I say Lily Allen’s / John Lewis’) Somewhere only we know.

Good effort that.

Thanks again.


*Also see Virgin’s Holidays Tanuary Sale. Although to be fair to them, they put the hunks in their trunks too:

Virgin Tanuary Hunk


Virgin Tanuary Sale

Dear Rainforest Alliance


Dear Rainforest Alliance,

Thank you for the game-changing Follow the Frog – the concept and execution are pure unadulterated genius:








Follow the Frog

I sincerely hope that Follow the Frog has the impact that it so richly deserves and world’s rainforests so desperately need.

Thanks again


Dear Halifax

Dear Halifax,

Thank you for the latest addition to your “People who give you extra” proposition – the Home Finder App…And thanks for your  highly insightful ad telling us about it:

I just love the way you’ve unlocked and brought to life insights around the property viewing process. All the highs, the optimism & hopes contrasted with the lows, the hazards, the disappointments & depression.

And I love the way you’ve managed to represent different estate agent typologies: The “knows it’s awful but shows it to you anyway”; The “pushy creep”; The “badly organised” (i.e. let’s you show yourself around without checking whether the current occupier is in the shower).

The App looks like it’s really clever, but I suspect it won’t be long before the likes of Primelocation and Rightmove get in on the augmented reality act (if indeed they haven’t already).

But I bet they’re green with envy that you have managed to find such a powerful insight (finding a new home is awful until it’s brilliant) around which to build your communication.

And thank you for keeping on the Halifax choir – you’ve invested so much in building it as an element of your brand equity, creating the memory structure, over recent years, that it would have been a shame to throw it away.

Howard & friends was insightful in a different (more intrusive, more in your face and 100 times more annoying) but brilliant (distinctiveness, employee engagement – everyone’s got potential as a singer like on Pop-Idol / X-Factor) kind of way.

But I think this new direction works so much better.



PS – And thank you for reminding me that (hopefully) it’s going to a looooong while before I have to start looking for a new home – especially if the planning regs carry on in the direction they’re heading

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 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,