The year I discovered Sagmeister


Richard Huntington

There is always something to learn.

In the last 6 months or so I have come across the ‘Real Famous’ podcast – which is an amazing insight into the world of planning and strategy.

One of the most surprising things having been listening to this podcast, and subsequently talking to people is how we frame ‘new’ thinking. So much of my reading in the last few years has been around UX, Lean, etc. – which I think has tried to create its position in the start-up world with repackaged insight and strategy. What has become apparent (I think) is that the UX/Lean world use existing methodologies to describe this ‘brave new world’.

Same can be said for the digital marketing and brand purpose thinking – one look at the jargon filled thought-leadership pieces is just more self-indulgent wank to add into the public domain. What has been great is finding an alternative view of this narrative by listening and reading to the output from Paul Feldwick, Bob Hoffman, Russell Davies, Chris Riley, Dave Trott…(there are more…)

In short ad agencies and planning teams have been doing customer insight, qual research and brand strategies for a huge amount of years (although approach varies)  I think from what I can gather it all started with Chiat/Day (or perhaps that they were a key part of the planning history).

Anyhow back to Richard… He is Chief Strategy Officer at Saachi’s (ex HHCL and AMV BBDO). On the role of planning and strategy…

…the ability to reimagine a brand and therefore doing so imagine new roles, new sources of revenue…in a world of uncertainty where most businesses now face one challenge or another opens up a huge opportunity for strategists because we are being asked really big existential questions about brands and businesses…

… [his] best example is the re-imagining Direct Line insurance from an ‘insurance company’ to ‘an organisation that fixes problems for people’…

Here is a talk that he delivered in 2017 to planners…

In 20 minutes you get so much – anyone in the creative, marketing industry should be listening to this… dealing with the nonsense is something that most teams come across, deal with or have to navigate however we should be in a position to know more, have a greater understanding of the problem and look to solve the real problem in a way that makes sense for us to communicate with integrity.

From the first few minutes…

Its those half baked truths, nonsense that circulates around and around until we literally think its gospel, you know whether its fucking ‘Start With Why’, little concentric circles, or its ‘Always On’, or engagement, or loyalty… we just spout it out. And I am fed up with planners quoting planners…

We have got to start quoting real people, building our approaches, build your own approach the way you go about strategy – not from stuff that Mark Earls has said or I have said or anyone else – but from your own evidence and experience and your own observations about the real world, as close to real human beings as is humanly possible…


Filed under: Advertising, branding, ,

Real Famous – Plein Air

I can’t remember how I stumbled across the Real Famous podcast delivered by the guys at Plein Air. But I am so glad I have. There is something quite amazing how you can know of Rory Sutherland but not know of Paul Feldwick, Richard Huntington, Russell Davies, Martin Weigel or Chris Riley.

So inspiring, so much to take away and a huge amount of time needs to be invested here…

Awesome stuff…

Filed under: Advertising, branding, Podcast / Seminars

Solid Steel Radio

Simple way of using a lead image for promotion/branding on Twitter and on their website by Solid Steel Radio. (Website however is really tricky to navigate around on a laptop – presume it is designed for touch screens?) – For those wanting to hear the sounds of Avalon Emerson check out her Soundcloud page.

Solid Steel Radio site Solid Steel Radio twitter ads

Filed under: Advertising, Design, Graphic, Social Media, ,

Rough Trade vs Solid Steel Radio

A few twitter ads for @RoughTrade and @SolidSteelRadio twitter promotion posts over the last bit of time – a little bit of transparent colour overlay – simple, styled…

Billie Marten Traams Bill Ryder Jones Solid Steel Series 59 Solid Steel Series 60

Filed under: Advertising, Design, Social Media, , , , ,

The Trews – Russell Brand

Russell Brand’s YouTube channel – the Trews – is all about Revolution! Have been aware of this channel via links on twitter for a while but I have never actually checked it out…definitely worth a look. Really interesting ideas, concepts, projects, commentary on the media that are contained within the (current) 220 episodes.

Episode 214 ‘The Trews vs the Sainsbury’s xmas advert’  goes to the crux of Sagmeister’s comment in his book, now paraphrasing as I don’t have it to hand – can design really touch people? And this advert does, although as Russell Brand questions – to what end?

Ad created by AMVBBDO.

Filed under: Advertising, Design, Film, Reference, , , ,

Dave Dye

As much as the endless blogs with ‘stuff’ – read nice images of new designs (this site included) – are great to source and view – blogs that offer insight and knowledge into the design arena are really a cut above. Johnson Banks and Love are fantastic (off the top of my head) and now adding Dave Dye to that. Having never really got into the advertising scene I have to admit I have not heard of him before –  found via @davetrott feed – this is a fantastic blog of a great creative ideas and features concepts, ideas, executions that he has produced over his career…

Stuff from the loft – Dave Dye – ‘Assorted ephemera from solving problems, creating stuff & making things.’

Filed under: Advertising, Blogs, Design, Reference, , , , , ,

Nike Training Club

Nike Training Club promo and app (which is free) seem to be all over my twitter feed – created by AKQA.

‘Your own personal trainer anytime, anywhere. Inspired by elite athletes and Nike expertise, the Nike Training Club app is an entirely new way to get fit. Customised workouts. Professional guidance and support. Your own music. Exclusive rewards. All in the palm of your hand.’

Nike Training Club 1 Nike Training Club 2

Filed under: Advertising, Design, Graphic, UX design, , , , , ,

Spartan vs Tough Mudder

New year, new fitness campaigns…

A couple of examples of ads for Spartan Races and Tough Mudder events (seen via twitter – @SpartanRace, @ToughMudder) the leading extreme obstacle course events – worldwide. Work those caps…no excuses!

Spartan Race 1 Spartan Race 2 Tough Mudder 2 Tough Mudder 1

Filed under: Advertising, Design, Graphic, , , , ,

Dave Trott

Dave Trott (talks to Al Young)…new talk from the Typographic Circle.

Not too sure how I have not come across him or his work – but looking at the brief bio… ‘The legendary creative Dave Trott; the man responsible for some of the most memorable ads of the last 30 years is back by popular demand.’

Thursday 30 Jan – 7pm

Worth checking out his rather nicely worded blog posts that appear on the Campaign magazine website.


Filed under: Advertising, Blogs, Design, Reference, Talks, Visit, , ,

Johnnie Walker Black Label ‘Symphony’ – Love

Second of the night of Love’s work for Johnnie Walker (Black Label). This creative – print ad and films are ‘being launched this month (Dec 2013) in China’. Ditto the 1st post. Work is featured on Whisky Intelligence – full press release from what I can gather – and Love’s own blog.

‘Filmed in Bangkok [by Jake Scott], the advert sets out to capture the big bold flavours…and features a “symphony” of exploding fruits, spices, flower petals and billowing smoke. The iconic Striding Man – introduced by LOVE as a contemporary character last year – is at the heart of the narrative once again.’


Filed under: Advertising, Design, Film, Graphic, , , ,