Thursday, 11 October 2018


Earlier this year I went to Bucharest to attend the tech conference icee.fest. I saw some fairly breathtaking presentations from production companies Happy Finish and Hammerhead, on the capabilities of VR, AR and AI. If you want to see how this tech is impacting creativity (as opposed to just hear these buzzwords being thrown around the ad industry…) I’d recommend you go next year.
I was asked to speak about ‘how to get your message across in a world with a lot of noise’. Sir Nigel Bogle referred to BBH as a Fame Factory some time before Marketing In The Era of Accountability showed us that this was the most profitable objective for comms, and it is still what we, and our clients, aim for today. So I spoke (for 20mins) about how I think you make famous advertising, using case studies from Nike, PlayStation, Absolut, Ikea, KFC and Justice4Grenfell.
I also used the talk to trail a new product that we are launching called >next-to-no-moneyfame – a low risk, high return way to access BBH’s fame making creativity. Stay tuned for more on that soon.
Thanks, Lucian.

Monday, 29 January 2018


I’ve got a few problems with brand ‘manifesto’ ads. With a couple of notable exceptions, they are just strategy set to a mood film. They over explain something that didn’t need explaining. They veer into topics unrelated to the product. They try too hard to be liked. Most off all, I hate that they are all long.

If simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and you have a finite media budget, and human attention is a rare commodity, then why not say it fast? Because you need 90s to say what your brand wants to say!? Bollocks.

Muhammad Ali, Hanz Zimmer and Banksy are proof that you can distil complex ideas, and that they are more powerful when refined.

The world’s shortest poem, a BBH favourite. In Jim Carroll’s words, ‘I particularly like Ali’s poem because it suggests two fundamental questions: who am I?; who are we? Sometimes I suspect that these may be the two most important questions of all.’

Hanz Zimmer explored the sound of the Joker, the sound of anarchy by writing more than 9000 bars of music. This was refined into 2 notes ‘that clash beautifully with each other. That get tighter and tighter but never break… You can hear a second of this thing and you know the Joker is lurking somewhere.’

A Banksy in Bethlem commenting on the region’s geopolitical conflict.
Short is fast.
Short is memorable.
Short is a competitive edge.
Nuff said.
(this article was originally posted on BBH Labs)