Two eyes are better than one.

The art in art direction has always been to catch our attention.

Then artfully communicate the idea in a way that is both pleasing and intuitive.

The very best have an ‘eye’.

Directing all the elements together seamlessly to create a masterpiece.

And the very very best even get the nickname in the department such as the great John ‘The Eye’ Horton.


Or Dave ‘the eye’ Dye.


I think great media thinkers also have an ‘eye’.

Able to make the medium itself attractive to our mind’s eye too.

I love the Ritzy in Brixton.

Especially when they turn their what’s on board into a personal column too.

I look at it each day as I pass on the Number 3 bus.

Hoping to catch a personal quip or a comedic declaration of marriage above the latest releases.

And by doing so, I am made aware of the films that are on too…


The Ritzy folk understand that a media idea will encourage us to keep looking and when we do we’ll be rewarded with more than just information.

We’ll be entertained before we go and get entertained by their films.

I then noticed how some visionary folks have turned a tunnel into an art gallery as I got off the bus near Morley College and walked in this morning. (Thanks to funding from the Lotto.)


I love the way the strip light becomes a picture light.

Again an ambient media idea married with a beautifully curated space filled with art that delights and surprises pedestrians in London who are brave enough to cut down this dark tunnel.

It made me think we should do more brainstorming with media folk and vice versa.

Time to refresh Refresh?

refresh blog

Great article by Helen Lewis in today’s Guardian.

She writes about how great creative-thinkers-and-doers are wasting their time and talent creating scalable-tech-ideas that solve cash-rich-time-poor-folks’ pressing issues.

Such as delivering a Starbucks coffee to your door every morning for $3!

She wishes they would think about solving more important issues.

This dilemma has always been a problem for me.

Do I focus on the briefs that pay the bills but just sell more sugar?

Or do I work for nothing doing Pro Bono ideas that have purpose and soul?

Ideally I like to do both.

And I think that the brands that combine their CSR and Marketing budgets always Win Win.

The Pepsi Refresh Project was a great idea.

A Kickstarter for charities.

Years ahead of its time.

If it was resurrected now, I’m sure it would work brilliantly.

Maybe partnering with Kickstarter? As ‘Bonostarter’?

Now everyone is swiping and pressing to get stuff done and funded.

It’d be right on the Smartphone money.

Sadly the numbers weren’t perfect first time for Pepsi bosses, so no doubt the client changed and an old school one came back with just big TV as a focus.

I always hope clients and their boards find the courage to back ideas like Refresh over time.

Allowing them to gradually take off and fly.

Look at how Mad Men, The Office and Breaking Bad weren’t big hits first time.

The Long Tail prevailed and they are as we know now huge ‘BOX SET BINGE’ successes. As well as hitting the Holy Grail of repeat series commissions.

I hope more clients find the courage and belief to be more like this.

To keep nurturing the great, brave ideas from the nest of their Innovation departments to the blue skies of world-wide markets.

Where the public can admire in their down time and binge on them.

Consuming stuff they actually love and want to spend time with.

I’m sure fortune favours the brave and the breaking bad.

It always had with the brave clients  I’ve had the pleasure to think and do with.

Right, back to making Crystal Meth in an ad agency to put sourdough bread on the table.

White, (RED) or Green Friday anyone?

black friday riot blog

ASDA have stopped the offer-led-consumer-riot that is BLACK FRIDAY!


It has always appeared a bit desperate to me and hopefully less OAPs will have to wrestle for 42″Plasmas down those aisles.

Making Granny Riot the new Pussy Riot.

Surely any retailer worth their onions would not still default to such desperation?

They all seem to have got lazy and jumped on the band wagon, rather than inventing their own bright, marketing initiatives.

I’ve always loved brands who don’t follow.

Who invent something new.

American Express’s Small Business Saturday is a brilliant, simple and scalable piece of purpose lead marketing genius done by the ever great Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

It’s really hard to make a new ‘Day’ idea.

Ever since Christmas, the bar’s been high.

But they did it so well.

Helping the little guys win.

With downloadable collateral and hitting the zeitgeist of backing local craft years before it became fashionable.

Again, I think if we back a movement with a purpose, that has a genuine and transparent connection to the brand behind it, they tend to fly.

Whilst in Canada recently, I worked for The&Partnership, evolving the brilliant TELUS Day Of Giving for our genuinely giving clients who have been on a mission for years helping Canadians thrive.

Their thousands of employees do grass route activities with communities every year. With the purpose of using technology backed by their own money, to connect communities that need the help.

We also did a sprint on a Love Project for MOVEMEBER which went down really well when we proactively pitched it.

Those guys are doing amazing things for physical and mental health and now own a month! Respect.

I was thinking, wouldn’t it be great to set up alternative ideas that clash directly with BLACK FRIDAY?

How about ‘Green Friday’ that only sell Green brands?

Google could just direct your search results to Green companies.

By commissioning folks like Paul J. de Ridder and  Yme Gorter that had this brilliant idea for D&AD.

Or ‘Red Friday’ for the ever brilliant (RED) AIDS campaign.

Right, I’m off to get my elderflower-infused-moustache-wax from a local craftsmen and rent some DVDs from the library, so I can bunker down on BLACK Friday and avoid those Granny riots.

Brands that act fast, get governments to act too.

Refugee amazon shop blog

Just read in today’s Guardian that Amazon have enabled good folks to buy off refugees’ Wish Lists.

So a refugee in Calais can get a sleeping bag delivered from a tea maker in Sutton overnight.

Other people have set up their own personal Wish Lists too.

How great is that.

I once worked on TESCO, and the planner told me they were more effective at implementing change and running the country than the government.

In a time where the big brands have more power and money than most Governments, it falls on the brands to act.

I love it when they do.

After all the brands that combine a service with a charitable act will always Win Win.

Again it reiterates what David Hieatt penned in his great Do book: Purpose driven brands win these days.

Whilst recently working at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Mel Exon kicked off an all staff brief to help the refugee crisis within hours of it emerging.

Nearly 200 people gathered to take it in the flesh…with hundreds of other bright sparks joining remotely.

One of the great ideas already thought up and shared during the briefing, was to build a platform that married the refugees’ skills with real jobs in other countries.

Helping connect people on the run with talent, to run jobs in other countries with that talent.

Removing the middle ground and need to temporarily house and/or send folks back.

It was and brilliant idea and I hope it is happening.

(Be perfect to partner up with MONSTER)

I left before finding out how the other thinking is going. But knowing the BBH energy, I bet stuff is happening fast with their great clients, including the rapidly more innovative and super smart TESCO ones.

I also hope that the more brands do initiatives like this, the quicker governments will react and respond too.

Right, off to buy a sleeping bag or three.

Unfollow fashion to be fashionable. Then upcycle battleships to stay there.

Just popped into The Fashion and Textile Museum.

Liberty blog

The Liberty In Fashion Exhibit is on till 28.2.16.

Celebrating 140 years of LIBERTY.

I’ve always loved their patterns and Mr Arthur Lasenby Liberty’s mission made me love them even more.

He was obsessed with creating the new.

And made sure he grew a company and manufacturing process that would enable him to keep doing it.

When I discovered that their Regent Street shop was made out of the wood from two battleships, it was further proof that he wanted to build a legacy that defended great craft from the quick and cheap fashions of the time.


If you look at the top of Liberty’s flagship store there’s my fave all time wind dial too:


A golden ship on top of their flagship no less.

Long may Liberty’s sail against the tide of drab fashion and poorly crafted throwaway fashion.

I hope the shareholders stand true to his mission for the next 140 years to come.

To be Frank.


I never worked with Frank Budgen.

Or met him.

(I don’t think my scripts were ever great enough.)

As most of you know, his work as a creative was legendary.

And as a director revolutionary.

He was one of those rare craft masters, who managed the transition from great creative to great director, with ease and pure class.

I heard he’d only do a script if it pushed him technically into doing something new.

What a great filter.

He’d also insist the idea had to be great too.

What great standards.

(As Nick Worthington always says: “If you can’t WIN for idea, WIN for craft.”)

However, in Frank’s case it was always WIN WIN.

Most of the best have working methods to their genius.

Never compromising their artistic integrity for money.

He’s a great role model for us all.

He’ll be greatly missed.

But I’m sure the ever brilliant Gorgeous will keep his spirit alive.

United Stream of Communication. Designers wanted.

Untitled presentation

Just got back from a great two-week holiday off the grid and have been catching up on emails, Facebook messages, Tweets, letters, phone calls, texts…you get the picture.

It got me thinking… wouldn’t it be great if all companies united and combined all our social streams and channels into one stream.

If Facebook United with G+ with IM with Gmail with TEXTs with letters with phone messages etc.

Maybe this already exists somewhere?

Old money was dog eat dog and ring fencing strategies.

New is definitely about open source and one for all UX that changes society.

I then watched this Design Disruptors trailer and thought how cool it would be if we could design a platform that united all forms of communication.

Into one place.

Where data and UX combines brilliantly for the people who use it?

One stream of communication and discovery.


Eye Test Prescription + iBookeyetracker – the need to scroll up – reading glasses= Happy reading for everyone for ever..

sponge eye test

Been reading Peter Mead‘s brilliant book When in doubt be nice on my iPhone, and the experience got me thinking. (Alongside his brilliant prose.)

Wouldn’t it be great if you could read without reading glasses?

(As I keep forgetting my new glasses when I read on the move, resulting in me squinting and hunching over.)

Could we input our eyetest prescriptions into our phones so that the tech could work out what size to make the text\/

As it combines this data with the motion and geolocation of the phone?

Better still if it tracked your eyes movement through eye recognition tech, so that the text would be the right point size and also automatically scroll up as you read.

Eliminating the need for reading glasses and manual scrolling:))

Kind of like a robotic focus puller come bot scroller;)

Be great for disabled people who can’t scroll too 🙂

Saving all our backs from hunching:)

And for the vainer ones out there, our skin from squint wrinkling:)

Don’t know if it’s possible, but sure the Silicon Roundabouts and Valleys the world over are probably doing it as I squint and write this…

A peace plan for the UBER WARS…

uber riot (3)

Whilst at the Cannes Festival of Creativity, UBER caused local taxi drivers to riot in the streets.

(It was like Les Miserables with burning Renault and Peugeot barricades. Where Gauloises smoking taxi drivers were brandishing windscreen wipers instead of pistols, whilst cutting off the top Adland brass from getting to their yacht-round-table-inspiration-sessions on time.)

Months before I had seen Black Cabs clog up LONDON in a more peaceful protest.

Now lots of copycat business models and their consequent inferior Apps have sprung up.

Causing more confusion and hassle for people in need of a lift.

UBER are still smashing everyone else with their genius UX and UI. Not to mention baking into Google Maps. (An absolute master stroke of simple user centric sweetness.)

It got me thinking about how to solve this conflict.

Then I finally caught a Black Cab in Kings Cross home one night, after seeing the brilliant Florence + The Machine at Ali Pali.

The Cabbie got chatting to me as my kids passed out with Florence sing along sungout.

He told me about all the gigs he’d seen in his 48 years of driving around LONDON.

He then went on to tell me all about his life.His love of boxing and his boxing memorabilia collection.

After 45 minutes he dropped us all home and for more money than UBER I had a Master Class in music, Elvis, Rod Stewart, Boxing and a top up of my knowledge of London.

I tipped him and he gave me a flyer for his boxing sale.

Then it struck me.

You get the Knowledge from Black Cab(bie)s.

Obviously via their computer beating street knowledge, but also from their life stories.

And I think that’s worth paying a premium for.

Then I thought, wouldn’t it be great if UBER merged with them to create one killer place for all your lift needs.

All they would need to do is simply add UBER KNOWLEDGE to their standard menu of  UBER, UBER X, UBER BLACK.

Then the people can select what they want through ONE App.

LONDON Cabbies would be preserved.

And we’d all avoid riots and congestion.

Whilst learning a thing or three about the wonderful world we live and travel in.