And straight in at number two. China Sewage pipe baby.


I’m sure this image caught your eye as much as it caught mine, as it did my friend, David Reid, who wrote on Twitter that the headline “China sewage pipe baby” would make for a great band name. I agree.

It compelled me to write the following post on my new business’s blog. (Planet Blog).

Back in the day I was a massive indie music fan.  Still am, as a matter of fact.

I loved the fact that it was possible for outlandishly named bands to have big “indie” hits and stay in the charts for months at a time.

Some of the names they came up were majestic.   Echo and the Bunnymen broke through, despite a fairly ridiculous moniker. So too did pop radicals, Chumbawumba, with their memorable performance at The Brits during which John ‘Two Jabs’ Prescott got a bucketful of water thrown over him.

Polyphonic Spree had a few moments of limelight.  And Lynyrd Skynyrd proved that vowels were no essential constituent of success.  The Disposable Heroes of Hiphopracy  also had a season in the sun.  (A very good one actually with their rather excellent “Television.  The drug of the nation.”)

But it’s amid the failed that the real gems emerge.

Would Simple Minds really have made it if they’d held onto their initial name; Johnny and the Self Abusers?

Is it any surprise that little known Atletico Spizz Energy were so little known.

Impotent Sea Snakes?  They hardly flourished.  Lacking perhaps in the vital fecundity that fertilises the imagination of music journalists.  Or maybe they were just rubbish.

I do like Cindy Brady’s Lisp, even if poor old Cindy was the butt of all her school’s jokes.  (Was she?)

Another bunch of losers (apart from in the nomenclature stakes) was Congratulations on Your Decision to Become a Pilot.  That’s ace that is.

How about Nectarine number 9?  Or Crispy Ambulance?  Or Osric Tentacles? (I own albums by all three.)

But the kings of it all were The Fall, not in itself such an outre name, but check out these album and song titles:

  • Hex Enduction Hour
  • I am Kurious Oranj (note spelling)
  • To Nkroachment: Yarbles
  • Hexen Definitive/ Strife Knot
  • Mexico Wax Solvent
  • Gross Chape l – British Grenadiers
  • Van Plague?
  • Senior Twilight Stock Replacer
  • Open the Boxoctosis #2
  • Last commands of Xylalothep Via M.E.S.  (How Mark E Smith ever got that out I know not.  Ever heard him interviewed?)


My point of mentioning all this is that ill-considered verbiage and smart arsed writing (which is essentially what a lot of the above represents) are no recipe for success.

To prove my point The Fall’s biggest hit was “There’s a Ghost in my House” a Holland/Dozier/Holland penned R Dean Taylor cover that peaked at number 30 in the UK singles chart.

Even on the indy charts, their biggest success was a number 2 with “Totally Wired.”

So, remember this.  If you find it hard to turn your complex business or technical messaging into compelling, easy to read blog writing, why not give Planet Blog a try?

We can be your Fall guys. (Without the tortuous language.)

Outstanding new TV ads from VW.

The new VW Golf GTi ad made everyone in our house applaud the other night.

Quite simply it is the best ad I’ve seen in months, maybe years, and so true to VW’s personality.  Deeply confident but with a willingness and ability to be so without ever being cocky or arrogant.  Unlike with the door closing commercial a few years ago which made direct comparisons about build qulaity this sets VW up as the gold standard by choosing an amusing metaphor.  But so awesomely resolved, not just filmically but in the audio too.

This is Gold Award at Cannes standard in my book.

And so, you’re sitting around waiting for a half decent ad to come along and two come from the same advertiser in a week.

The New VW Up! commercial draws on classic VW style.  Great (and perfectly relevant) old song, brilliant casting and a fabulous punchline, lovingly telling a great wee story but avoiding the danger of slapstick or exaggeration.  It treats its audience with respect and allows them to work it all out.

The reveal carries a genuinely good product benefit (a good small car for tall people – nothing more, but that’s enough).

And as if all that wasn’t enough, you can see how they made the VW Golf GTi ad too.