This date was published in a press release under the name of Cliff
Arnall, at the time a tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, a
Further Education centre attached to Cardiff University. The Guardianreported that the press release was delivered substantially pre-written to a number of academics by PR agency Porter Novelli, who offered them money to put their names to it.The Guardian later printed a statement from Cardiff University
distancing themselves from Arnall, whom they described as a 'corporate whore'.
Dr Arnall says the date was calculated by using many factors,
including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt
accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since
failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling
of a need to take action. Writing about the calculation, The Guardian
stated: ... the fact is that Cliff Arnall's equations ... fail even to make mathematical sense on their own terms.
So it would seem that the whole thing is a fabrication of mendacious marketing. And as such we can dismiss it and be as positive as we like here at Welcome to Optimism.
Despite this revelation, at Wieden + Kennedy's palatial East End offices, there has been concern about the whole 'blue monday' thing. David Stevens suggested that if anyone had the ‘Now That’s What I Call Music: Volume 1’ 25th anniversary album we should put it on the in-house radio now. This seemed to many like the perfect soundtrack for a miserable day. None more so, perhaps, than Kevin Chesters, who said:
From memory NTWICM 1 contained "Clouds across the moon"
by the Rah Band. This was playing on the school bus at the exact when
Tracy Davis dumped me aged 11. I was pretty miserable as I recall.
Crying into my Um Bongo.
We had our first agency meeting of the year the other day at which we discussed the planned objectives for Wieden + Kennedy London in 2009.
In the spirit of open source management and at the risk of being made to look very stupid by the end of the year, here they are. Obviously, W+K employees will be printing these out to blu-tack to their bedroom walls as a source of guidance and inspiration in the months ahead, while banks burn and gangs of feral children roam the streets.
Our core ideology, values, purpose and long term goal remain unchanged. We're still here to do the best work of our lives and to create strong, provocative realtionships between good companies and their cutomers. There may be a recession going on, but this is still wieden + kennedy, goddammit!
We recognise that in order to achieve these things in a turbulent environment we may need to change our structure, our skills and the kind of work we do. Adaptability and agility will be important.
Some, er, draft goals for 09, then.
1. Continue to try to do the best work of our lives, across all clients
Still job number one. Partly because great ideas are what businesses need in tough times. Partly because to build our own business we to be seen to do work that is talked about in our industry and in the wider culture. Partly because it what we choose to do.
2. Make ourselves indispensable to our current clients.
We have a roster of fantastic clients. Some of the most admired companies and brands in the world. We shouldn't forget that we're lucky to have them. That means we need to focus on retaining all of them, deepening our relationships with them where possible, understanding their business issues and helping them to succeed in this extraordinarily tough climate.
3. Attract and develop the world's best talent
That means finding some new stars, motivating and training our own people. It means training people from just thinking to 'thinking and doing'. Also means providing diversity and fluidity of work to people - making sure they are't consumed by one client. Though money will be tight this year, we are committed to investing in our people to help them become more useful and more valuable to us and to our clients.
4. Win high quality new business on our own terms
New biz criteria and goals to include:
Good companies, with which we are proud to be associated
People who are passionate about what they do
People we admire and want to spend time with
Opportunities to learn
Opportunities to do things we’ve never done before
Things that our people will love to work on
Business on which we can make a fair return.
5. Innovate in what we do and how we do it
We have some specific plans in this area to be announced later. And beyond this we want / need to continue to push to be at the cutting edge of what an agency can create and become. Partly because that will differentiate us vs our competitors, partly because it will benefit our clients and partly because we find the edge a more interesting place to be than the middle of the road.
6. Maintain a healthy profit margin at 20%
Profitability isn't our primary goal. But without it, it becomes very hard to have the freedom and independence that we enjoy. (And profit helps when it comes to discussing pay reviews.)
7. Do more good in our community
Continue to do stuff like Broadway, Spitalfields Music, working with Old Spitalfields Market, TIE, etc.
8. Re-invigorate the office environment to provide a stimulating and inspirational work place
Our new space across the road will be part of that. But for all our space, we mustn't forget that the culture and environment of this place is what makes it (according to Campaign) the best agency in town to work at.
That's the plan. Now we just have to get on and do it.
I don't blog about Jenny Owen for weeks and then she pops up twice in 24 hours. Our yoof guru is involved with an upcoming event, Good Ideas Salon London.
On the 30th January 2009, PSFK is curating a collection of
forward-focused innovators and thought leaders to discuss ideas in the
fields of arts & culture, collaboration, design, digital,
marketing, mobile and stuff.
This will include the Good Ideas & Youth
panel discussion. Moderated by Piers Fawkes (PSFK), Paul Graham
(Anomaly UK), Terry Guy (Monorex/Secret Wars), and Jenny Owen (Ruby
Pseudo) will discuss important trends in youth culture and how
companies and organizations can create authentic, respectful
relationships with young people.
Simon Pestridge of Nike says of Jenny:
has always been important to put the consumer at the forefront of your
thinking. In today's ever changing world, it is more important than
ever. What Ruby and her network offer is an unfiltered, honest and real
view of how kids are interacting with your brand - real time. If you
are of a weak disposition, don't like the truth or can't cope without
one way mirror focus groups then stay away from Ruby. If you want it
told like it is, with some very real and usable strategy
recommendations, then you have found the right person...'
So, obviously, you don't want to miss her in action.
For tickets or more information on the event, please visit www.goodideassalon.com <
Crisis, what crisis? Minister apologises for green shoots of recovery forecast
Vadera's optimism sparks row amid job losses
"In hindsight, it wasn't the smartest thing a minister could have said. Yesterday, as thousands of job losses were announced, the business secretary was trying to sell a rescue package for small businesses and the prime minister was fending off charges of incompetence over the economy, the business minister, Lady Vadera, was telling a TV news bulletin she had spotted "a few green shoots" of recovery. Within hours she was forced to apologise."
Here is our new 40" TV spot for Visit Wales - part of a new integrated campaign we've created with Partners Andrews Aldridge. The campaign has been designed to start a new holiday movement, which Visit Wales have coined 'Holidays Unpackaged'.
Created by Daz and Nicholla and creatively directed by Kim, the TV spot is a trailer for four web films that are hosted in a new dedicated section at www.visitwales.co.uk
Welcome to Optimism's blogger outreach programme brought together in The Golden Heart last night George Parker of Adscam and W+K's Jenny Owen aka Ruby Pseudo. (Plus a rather noisy crowd watching Cheslea vs Southend.) Beer drunk, tales told, world saved.
It seems like Facebook has pulled the previously mentioned 'sacrifice your friends for a whopper' campaign from its site for 'privacy reasons' because the application 'facilitated activity that ran counter to user privacy by notifying people when a user removes a friend'.
233,906 friends were removed by 82,771 people in less than a week.
Could be a start of Facebook tightening up their rules for marketing within their site, especially if there is any app or widget that pulls in info from your friends.
Seen in off-licence. I'm not sure what the lesson is from this. - Price is more important than brand in this economic climate? - Brand names should be simple and replicable? - The bloke who runs this shop is too lazy even to copy the correct spelling from the can? Or maybe he's dyslexic. In which case, maybe he should get someone to check his signs for him.