I had the not inconsiderable pleasure of spending Thursday evening meeting, introducing and then listening to Dave Trott present at Robbie Smith’s studio in Leith in my role as Head of Client Services at STV.  Thereafter we had a beer or three in the Cafe Royal.

Since then I have been inundated with messages of thanks proclaiming him the best speaker people have ever heard.


Because although ostensibly this was a talk to creatives about creativity it was, in actual fact, a potted guide to strategy development (which is, of course, at the heart of all creativity).

In his speech he poo pooed the notion that creativity starts with impact.  Because vacuous impact creates no effect other than fueling the egos of lesser art directors.  No; creativity starts with persuasion, by identifying what he often referred to as the, usually disregarded these days, USP, then working through communication (ie the content of the message) before gilding the idea with impact.

Created in this order ads of any kind (and any medium – digital or otherwise) have the ability to “go viral”.

It was all done with a deep and committed single mindedness and lightness of touch that was jaw dropping in its simplicity, but eye opening in its possibility.

Dave Trott. You are a genius  Just like Cloughie!

And then to top it all off Doug Cook sent me this astounding picture.

Me and Trotty. David and Goliath.

Look what Bill gates has gone and done.

This is a minor classic. It’s an ‘infomercial’ for a Microsoft product called ‘Songsmith’. It helps you write songs. But how does one bring it to life?


You sing the commercial and make it a product demonstration.

So, open on an advertising ‘executive’ struggling to write a jingle for a glow in the dark towel in his kitchen. The guy is a dweeb and wearing a matching maroon shirt and tie. When did you EVER see an advertising jingle writer (which don’t actually exist any more) in a shirt and tie? His daughter meanwhile is playing on a laptop (that looks alarmingly like a Mac airbook – surely not) and sings to him, demonstrating how easy it is to write songs with ‘Songsmith”

Grabbing the machine off her in a Eureka moment he goes to his local Starbucks and cracks the problem, overlooked by stunned bystanders, one of whom has, wait for it – a band! He too is stunned and says “By Microsoft, it must be real easy to use then.” He immediately writes a number one hit in Starbucks (Did the silly basket case not know he had Songsmith already? He could be Stevie  Wonder by now if he’d just used it before instead of being a struggling auteur.)

Anyway, enough of the sub-plot, Dad now goes to his workplace and plays his despicable jingle to two men who look like they are being tortured as they listen. (Hint. They are being tortured) However, this is just a plot twist and on conclusion they both burst into applause for his Herculean efforts and award him the Victoria Cross, a promotion and a year’s supply of Glow in The Dark towels.

He goes home and is ravished by his wife because he is such a ‘man’.

Of course the casting is multi-ethnic as you’d expect. They’re all there. although the heroes are WASPS.

I bet you don’t believe a word of that do you. It’s just too, waaaaaay too, ridiculous.

OK. look here.

This gay parody is outstanding.

Wassup 2008.

Thanks to Will Atkinson for providing me with this gem.

Not only is this very funny and a genius pastiche but it is a very true take on our current zeitgeist (yeah I know but it’s the right word.)

For those of you who don’t remember the vernacular hogging original it was truly the talk of the water cooler in 2000.


I told you this was a great event.  Particularly because Alfredo Marcantonio showed us a reel of commercials that were all low budget but brilliant.  Here are a few of them.

I’d never seen this VW Karmann Ghia ad before but it really is a classic.



He showed this too.  Which made us all laugh.

And this cracker for Carling Black label.

He showed a different ad from this one for the x show.  But this is a pretty good alternative…

Sometimes working in advertising can be such a burdon, like when people ask you if you’ve seen a new ad…

I’ve seen (and heard on the radio) this ad far too often.

In the trade we call it “A pile of shit that’s beautifully lit.”

I know that selling cars must be hard.

Hard to differentiate and hard to be as good as Honda. Oh how the Ford boys must hate the Honda jibes.

But this is toe curlingly, truly awful. Actually, no, it’s worse, much worse than that…

It’s just. You know. Embarrasing.

Sorry to inflict it on you again.

This is the “director’s cut”