The Met are mad. They're now threatening criminals with Smart Water. I'm not 100% sure what it is (the site doesn't make it very clear) but I presume it's some advanced technology like the bad guy in Terminator II. Or the creatures from The Abyss. I've got to admit that would scare me if i was dipping for a wallet. But do I believe the Met have developed this mind of technology? I'm not sure I do...
...especially since this is what they seem to think criminals look like these days. I hope there's method in their madness.
Since various people have described this as a blog about planning I thought I'd better mention some planning stuff occasionally.
And I've got a presentation in my head called 'Ten Things I Hate About Planning' so I thought I'd try some of them out here.
THING ONE - THE WAY WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT HOW BRANDS ARE LIKE PEOPLE AND THEN TRY AND SUM THEM UP IN THREE WORDS
This one of those have-your-cake-and-eat-it planning habits. We're using conflicting models to talk about brands and they don't add up.
So, on the one hand, we say brands are like people. We say they have personalities. (And we do research where we get people to personify the brand.) We present them as complex and multidimensional entities.
And then, often within the same presentation, we talk about how the brand can be summed up in one word, or three words, or with a really simplistic diagram.
These two ways of thinking are clearly opposed. You can't sum people up in just a few words. Or you can't without losing some of what's essential or useful about the person metaphor.
And I tend to think both of them are too extreme anyway. Brands aren't as complex as real people (and their 'personalities' aren't that stable) but they're also way more complex than most brand diagrams pretend.
A better metaphor is that of a succesful fictional character. Someone like Harry Potter or James Bond or Bridget Jones. There's some complexity and nuance there, there's a backstory and there's a sense of coherent personality. We can imagine what Bridget or James would do in a given scenario. But, at the same time, these characters can be painted with fairly broad strokes, they're a bit cartoony. You can use shorthand. (And in the case of JB it's done very well with other brands.)
Does that make sense? That's about where I run out for THING ONE.
The Border's thing has reminded me of a list I wanted to write. Things That Are Better Than They Used To Be. In order to counteract all the whining about the state of the world that always goes on.
Here's a beginning:
Tissues/Kleenex with aloe vera or balsam - really kind to your nose
Paying in Multi-Story Car Parks - the paying on foot before returning to your vehicle thing is way better than all previous systems
Chip and Pin - much better than all that signing, especially if you're left-handed.
Jet lag got me up early this morning. So I was walking past Border's at 7.30am, on the way to work. And I was momentarily annoyed that they weren't open yet. 'Jesus - how am I supposed to get my newspaper?'
Then I realised what a spoiled consumer I am. (Or is it spoilt?)
The fact that they're open from 8am until something like 11pm is remarkable enough. When I grew up most shops were stil doing half-day closing. We must sometimes remember to be grateful - especially to the people who have to get there in time to open up for us.
This is another music experiment from the late 90s featuring lots of people from my old work - especially John, Trish and Becca. Warning - if you didn't work at Wieden and Kennedy you'll probably find it unutterably tedious. Or even if you did.
We've been having loads of meetings. Lots of interesting stuff, but the two stand-out bits have been kind of surprising.
Yesterday we had a quick but great session with On Your Feet (Improv For Business). I've always been really skeptical about the idea (doesn't Improv For Business sound like a terrible idea? Like the worst kind of business/creativity nonsense) But they were actually really good. Funny. Thoughtful. Quick. Worth checking out.
And then today we had a speechy thing from Biz Stone. He was really good. Funny. Modest. Insightful. Said clever and true things about blogging. Made me think I should maybe abandon typepad and reactivate my blogger account. And I was surprised, because I read his blogging book and I didn't get the same sense of affability and brains as I did in person. Also made me think I shoud read the other one.