Archive for the ‘Musings on the marketing industry’ Category

The world’s best band work like a New Model Agency?

October 25, 2007


I’m the only person I know who uses the BBC iPlayer (but then I’m the only person I know who commutes from Manchester to London every week). It’s an absolute pain to use, but it is useful to catch up on programmes I miss when I’m on the train.

Anyway, so I was just watching last week’s episode of the Culture Show, which featured Sigur Ros. And it struck me that the way they work is quite similar to some of the working practices we’ve evolved at Albion. Here are some nice quotes:


  • “Especially these days, if you’re not doing something, you’re nobody. Wow, you’re not writing a book?!”


  • “Iceland is the happiest nation is the world. Sigur Ros certainly seem happy together. Their music is always a collaboration between all four members.”

No big ideas; lots of little ideas:

  • “You have a little idea, and you take it a very long way.”

No grand visions:

  • “It’s more like just natural or something. It just goes where it should go. You don’t try to force something out.

Let the work speak for itself:

  • “Possibly until now they haven’t wanted to be that well known. Basically they want to sit in a room all day and play music.”

Can’t wait to see their film Heime. It looks and sounds absolutely beautiful. I hope Albion can make something so thoughtful and perfect one day. Not a bad ambition…


Blurred lines? What lines?

July 13, 2006

Part of the debate about the emerging Marketing 2.0 focuses on how we need to change how people in agencies work to enable us to get beyond image marketing and into cultural ideas. And the most quoted of those new practices seems to be ‘blurring the lines between planners and creatives’. But that’s what I’ve always done, or at least tried to.

Now, I’m not for a second claiming to be ahead of the curve here. I just think that I had a couple of advantages early on:

  1. I didn’t grow up in the advertising world, and so never had the ‘seperatist’ approach imposed on me.
  2. I trained as an Industrial Designer.


When I did my degree the course was proudly generalist, lurching from Fluid Dynamics to Art History via TIG Welding. And being good at Industrial Design means combining an understanding of what people want, how stuff works, and how to make it attractive. I wasn’t very good at Industrial Design, but hopefully I’ve at least managed to transfer some of that hybrid thinking to brand communications. I’ve certainly always annoyed creatives by making them get involved in my strategy stuff and sticking my nose into their pictures and words.

Also the formative years of my career were spent at Interbrand. Chatting to Patrick last night over a beer, he commented that the designers there were much more open to collaboration than agency creatives he’s worked with. Interesting,

I wonder why that should be?