Category Archives: Society

Non-Obvious Trends 2019/20

It’s that time again, when I lose my friends…I’ve got the bends from pressure.

Not really – although Christmas can indeed cause the bends from pressure. But James quotes aside, it’s the time of year when Non-Obvious Trends from Rohit Bhargava comes out and this year I am again privelleged to be reading a pre-release copy. However, this time there’s a difference. This year Rohit is releasing Non-Obvious Mega Trends.

Mega trends are close to my heart. We produce a yearly mega trend review drawn from mulitple sources and our own research which lets us track the broader societal movements and attitudes that influence us more subtly than, say, brands hitting TikTok hard or Vine (what? exactly, Vine is no more, the mega trend that produced it is still around).

I’ll be reading and reviewing and will obviously share thoughts and conclusions with you. But I’m sure that it will be as insightful and valuable as always and a useful addition to any strategists’ arsenal.

Non-Obvious Teaser Image

What blogs should I follow?


blog icon information internet
Photo by Pixabay on

I have just purged the blogs I follow and I find myself looking for some new perspectives.

Do you have any recommendations? I would love to hear them! Send me your comments below or on twitter.

Looking forward to your suggestions!

Things, films and going live in social – Part 2 Killa Kela

As you know, t’s been all go for social media at work recently. Not least because in around 2 weeks flat we filmed edited and launched a film with the sounds of Killa Kela,the beatboxer, and the Focus ST.

Why a beatboxer with an ST?  Well, cars lend themselves so well to videos of “hooning” beauty shots and the engine revving. But this car has a special “sound symposer” that has been developed from Mustang technology so you can see why we’d want to make a feature out of that. And then of course there is the target audience magic that has to be applied which makes Killa Kela’s vocal stylings a perfect match to demonstrate precision and power.

Enough of the strategy stuff already. It’s a great film! Hope you enjoy it. And of course, if you do please don’t feel backward about coming forward to share it!

Things, films and going live in social – Part 1

It’s been all go for social media at work recently. What with social media week last week and the Paris autoshow starting immediately after that finished I could be described as pooped. In a nice way…

So I thought I would give a little run down in chronological order backwards of the stuff we’ve been up to starting with FordLIVE.

Yes, Zoe and the team are back and they are reporting from the Ford stand at the Paris autoshow. It’s important to us that the stand experience reaches further than the stand itself. Socialising Ford’s content in this way allows people who might never otherwise attend and enjoy a stand to get a flavour of the experience. Hope you enjoy the latest installment!

Apparently every social media manager should be under 25

I just read this article “Why every social media manager should be under 25“. It’s well written but I’d have to disagree with it on a number of points.

1) the writer asserts that because people of her generation have grown up with social they instinctively understand it’s honest, upfront and energetic nature.

 “We were around long enough to see how life worked without it but had it thrown upon us at an age where the ways to make the best/correct use of it came most naturally to us. “

Arguably this applies to anyone over the age 25 too.

2) Understanding the inherently sociable nature of social media platforms doesn’t fit you for running a business social programme. Understanding the needs and demands and pitfalls of business communications combined with that understanding of social media platforms fits you for running a business social programme. That’s why businesses are asking for people with 5-10 years of direct experience.

3) We all know stories of young social media “experts” who have caused embarrassment on a business level because they weren’t savvy enough to know when to argue and when to stop, what to say and how to say it and what not to play around with. The case of Tom Watson MP’s intern is just one recent example. An internt too unprofessional to know what kind of mistakes can easily be made and what not to play around with. See here

The term Manager implies a level of responsibility that requires experience. It’s true that there are some precocious, intelligent under 25s out there who would make good social media managers but this is the world of business. And business feels safer with someone experienced. It’s always been that way. I spent a year trying to get a job after graduating from Oxford because I hadn’t got enough experience, while people who had been on more business focused, experiential degrees sailed past me into graduate traineeships and interesting jobs. They had experience, I didn’t, end of discussion.

If you are an aspiring social media manager under 25 the best bet is to volunteer, to build that experience and to approach younger more daring companies or charities that are more open minded and prepared to invest time. But don’t assume at 25 that anyone older than that only uses it for business, doens’t understand it and can’t possibly be as instinctively engaged as you are. It’s about a mindset and the willingness to learn and experience and 15 years out from 25 I can tell you that doesn’t change.

Baby busters

Just responding to a zeitgeist thing really in this post – it’s not about brand or marketing or social media or tech or feminism (my usual hobby horses)  but more about a societal attitude bubbling under. To whit – that our parents’ generation are a bunch of selfish, greedy, ineffective, ignorant and irresponsible citizens who are about to suck us dry of money as we increasingly have to support them into their infirm old age while they take cruises and lord it up in mansions.

Here’s a post that outlines the argument It’s even been put into book form by Neil Boorman and Francis Beckett.

It’s certainly true that the generation above us has had it good and has done some pretty selfish things with regards to for instance free university education, school meals, national debt etc. But other arguments for blame that have been laid at their door are just plain ignorant. To blame them, for instance, for the mess the environment is in when a) they were ignorant for a large majority of their life that they were even doing anything and b) we are all still running around charging our computers, flying overseas twice a year and getting plums flown in from Chile is to be playing a blinkered blame game. To blame them for being rich is just futile, they were born into a perfect storm. And it’s not like we in the West aren’t rich anyway. Can I borrow your my iPhone?

Boorman starts his Explainer with the following text



Hmmm, anyone here aged 38 – 33? Did you walk straight out of university into a job? Or did you like me have to spend a year on the dole making application after application along with all your mates? Did you hop skip and jump into your first house?  Or did you have to save up and wonder whether you would ever have enough for a 25% deposit.

By Boorman’s reckoning my problems on graduation shouldn’t be blamed on the boomers but on the generation above them – which makes the boomers not one of a kind ogres of ignorance but potentially part of a pattern.

And you would have to be simpleton to believe that it’s the boomers alone who have caused the environmental crisis – we’re still causing it now, it’s global, “boomers” in this country are not the same as that generation is in China for instance.

The Boomer generation broke through many of the social barriers and restrictions that we take for granted – how’s your sex life by the way? Take the pill much? Female – want a management job? Are you one of two or three children? Do you appreciate that by focusing on having less offspring that generation were able to spoil you more?

The new criticism ignores the positive in favour of the negative – tempting to do since the Boomers are undoubtedly guilty of lionisng their own iconoclasm. But it’s small-minded and dangerous. The blame game is easy, it absolves us of all responsibility and it explains why things are the way they are in nice easy-to-understand terms which is particularly tempting for the generation coming up behind who have seen nothing but bounty and joy emanating from the systems that the boomers put in place and believed it would go on forever. Until now.

Maybe the boomers are only reaping what they sowed – they really believe that money makes the world go round even if you have to borrow it. And having absorbed that at the breast we are now seeing the other side of the coin – money doesn’t come for free, someone has to pay. No wonder the vitriol – money is our everything and we are having to give it away.

But money doesn’t make the world go round, it just oils some wheels. If we succumb to blaming and victimising them then we’re as bad as they are. We need to find new ways to nurture a positive society that’s more balanced. That’s our chance to change the UK, we shouldn’t let it die in a bath of acid.

Something new and interesting for Friday

I received a rather interesting comment post, transcript below. They seem genuine and actually if they aren’t I don’t care – I’d rather be a wide-eyed sucker than a cynical and hard bitten old bag (I may be the latter already -discuss)

Here is the post!

“We are Robin of Shoreditch, an anonymous group of creative outlaws looking to take from the rich and give to the poor. In this particular instance, the people of Haiti.

How? Well, we’re not rescue workers. And we’d be no good on a celebrity single. But what we can do is provide creative ideas that can add value to businesses and brands. So we’re providing every one of Brand Z’s Top 100 brands with just such a creative idea. In return, all we’re asking for is 1/10,000,000 (that’s one ten-millionth) of the value of those brands as a fee. Not for us. 100% of that fee will be going to the continued relief efforts in Haiti.

So why should you care? Well, we’d like to ask a little favour. You see, the more people who know about this project, the more pressure will build on the brands to pay their ‘invoices’ and the more money will be sent to Haiti. So we’d really appreciate it if you could put the word out on your blog and send people along to Hopefully that way news of the project will spread so that the brands in question see that it’s in their best interests to pay up.”

They asked me to post a link and I have. I watch with interest.