THIS IS NOT A BERNIE SANDERS MEME

Seemingly every second post on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is a Bernie Sanders meme.

Great.

I have stated before I am not political. I don’t hate Bernie, nor Trump, nor Biden nor Harris not even Trudeau.

Am I fond of them? No, I am not.

I am old enough and I guess wise enough to realize all politicians can do is say stuff and promise stuff to get elected. The rest of the tough bits are carried out by civil servants who have been in power… sorry, have been in the service of our country for decades. Yep, the same ones.

What bugs me is the low-class and seemingly endless immature behavior I see online. It is no different than the “cool kids” making fun of someone not as cool in school.

We are quick to condemn bullying but making fun of someone to me is bullying. And we have seen these personal attacks on politicians and others for many years now on Social Media.

And no matter how superior you seem to feel you are, doing that makes you look like an asshat.

 

 

Selling

With all the hubbub about Social Media platforms I thought this interesting? I also am awfully disappointed in all of them. As a Cluetrain guy – well, we had hope!

I know a titch about selling. Did pretty well at it. and just received my umpteeth solicitaion on Linkedin. Yay!

I will share my reply to this person who wanted to add me as their connection and a then with a  predictable one-two-punch … the wealth, retirement and financial security pitch.  Eeeek.

I wrote them this reply – I have written something like this before to some of the others – no responses as yet. I don’t expect a response from this person either. Maybe use it as a cautionary tale? And there have been no pattern of sales typs. Old, young, male and female and all from companies I never heard of?

Y’all simply can’t sell.

Here are my thoughts on Selling.

The Note

An old chestnut!

Hi

I am not trying to be pissy or rude here I am just curious. I have always been a very curious person and you add that to being a senior and retired, well I found this fascinating.

If you are like some – or most – of the folks that have solicited me, here on LinkedIn, you won’t reply. I understand if you don’t.

Not sure but did you check- at the very least – my profile here prior to the sales message?

If you did you will first and foremost see I am retired, and old, and have been for a while now. Not the old part but depending on who ya talk to these days being over 40 is old? LOL!

If you didn’t I am curious how I became a “suspect?” Certainly not a “prospect” in any sense. And I know from the 40+ years selling and as past-President of the Direct Marketing Association and no stranger to lead-gen am – as mentioned before curious – why me?

If is is simply a “cold call” cool.

When I was working and selling or running a sales team I made sure we always checked out something about whomever I wanted to do business with? And that was only marketing communications ergo really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things! But wealth management and my financial future?

Hell in successful pitches with some of the ad agencies and the professional consulting firm I ran we knew just about everything before we said “So, any today, Ma’am?”

Sales to me is 90 percent homework.

So as a die-hard direct marketer why contact me?

Pete

PS: I am a devoted Og Mandino cultist.

Found some stuff

I was doing some backups and cleaning and tripped over this …

This was sent to me by my good friend Paula Purdon – about the best damn writer in Canada BTW!!

========================
Improving your creative life for tomorrow starts today.

By Tug McTighe

1. If you have to revise a concept, the copy or a layout more than three times, you need to kill the idea.

I cannot express this enough. David Lubars said it best. When you go shopping for a suit with your significant other, there are a lot of racks with a lot of different suits on them in a lot of different stores. When you like a suit and your wife doesn’t, you don’t just cut off the right pant leg or splash yellow paint on the jacket (revisions). Instead, you put the suit back on the rack and find another you can both agree on. As Dr. Lubars concluded, “There’s a suit out there you and the client can agree on.” Don’t stop until you find it. Just know you’re going to have to embrace murder along the way.

2. Do research first, not last.

Too often, we create concepts out of thin air based on poorly written briefs or for ill-conceived projects. So start with research, do benefit testing, interview consumers of the product, watch them at home, whatever. Hey, the CW/AD team will always come up with something. Let’s start respecting them, ourselves and everybody’s precious time more. Respect each other enough to try to do it right the first time versus wasting two weeks concepting a project without the proper insights or account planning. It’s two weeks you will never, ever get back to spend with your family.

3. Ask for more mandatories.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Creatives are very literal people. If we can’t use blue or have to use the word “Crisp Crumb Coating” just tell us. We’re professionals, we’ll deal with it. What we hate a lot more is when we’re not told that orange and blue are out because one client hates the Florida Gators (true story) or that another one hates the word “administrate” because it reminds her of the word “menstruate” (Again, and sadly, true.) When we can, let’s move this stuff from the creative review to the kickoff meeting.

4. Tell the truth.

For deadlines, client craziness and general ad insanity, simply tell the truth. Creatives aren’t children so don’t treat them as such. If it’s due Friday, don’t tell them Thursday because you know they’ll be late. Tell them Friday and then praise them by saying, “And I know you’ll get it done because you guys rule!” Why? Because, even though they aren’t children, they still like to be praised in the same way my 5-year-old does. Further, stop cheerleading all the goddamn time. When the assignment sucks or the deadline is awful, don’t say things like, “We know the timeline isn’t ideal.” Say, “Sorry this timeline is so shitty, we couldn’t do anything about it.” That lets them know you’re on their team and not the clients’.

5. And creatives, tell the truth about your ability to get the job done.

If you don’t have enough time or are too busy or whatever, tell the AE or traffic. EARLY. Don’t wait until an hour before the review to tell somebody. That’s BS. Man up and ask the AEs for more time. And AEs, man up and ask the client for more time. It was once said that, “There’s never enough time to do it right but there’s always enough time to do it over.” Write that one down and tack it to the wall. It’s truer today the way advertising works than it ever has been. And my personal experience has proved time and time again that, aside from the Super Bowl, virtually every deadline (including media placements and insertions) are arbitrary. There is ALWAYS a day or two in there you can give back to the creatives if they need it.

6. Stop when it’s time to stop.

My stopping time is 5. I get up, close the laptop and go home to see my kids. Now, many nights I’m back online after I get them to bed, but my time to stop is 5. Always has been. After a day of this, I just cannot muster the strength or creativity to keep on going until midnight. Now, like all of you, I have worked all night when I’ve had to, but I don’t believe in it. Great ideas are more likely to come after a good night’s sleep than during some caffeine-fueled all-night concepting circle jerk. That’s where you write those terrible, illegible notes to yourself that – in the fluorescent half-light of an office at 3:30 am – seemed destined to be One Show worthy but stink worse than goose poop. So stop when it’s time to stop and pick it up later. If you don’t have enough time, see #5 and ask for it.

7. Don’t blame the creatives for not caring after round of revisions 13.

Are you kidding? If your spouse asked you – no demanded – that you rearrange the living room furniture 13 times over the course of two days, stopping whatever else you were doing each and every time to do so because it “had to be done right now!” you would quickly stop giving a shit about where the couch and overstuffed chair were. In fact, you’d probably throw him/her and your cadre of Pottery Barn tchotchkes out the freaking window. So don’t blame the creatives when this happens. Man, it’s human nature to stop caring.

Besides, you should have killed that concept 10 rounds ago.

Bill Gates

Funny!

I saw this picture on LinkedIn and some folks were gushing about it!! Headline: “Bill gets hamburger like regular folks.”  What a fucking guy!!!!  I started a reply but then I took stock. This is a post damn it!

Do you have any idea what the life of one of the richest men in the universe is like?

Not this. NOT BLOODY LIKELY!

He would be out with photographers, PR folks Flacksters and Hacksters – assistants, a lead party to check it out, and boocoo security. Yeah, man!!! That is just like normal folks. He’s just like me!!! Well, except I can’t afford a hamburger?

I don’t mind Mr. Gates – don’t know him from a plate of beans, but sure I don’t hate him? No published scandals – that is always nice … But I am too old and seen too much to believe spin.

Cue Blade Runner epic speech. I was going to leave it at that but folks seem to NOT know anything that happened past 2019? You know?  YOU PEOPLE!

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. …Rov

And if you check this post you will see I have a special place for RH!

Sorry je digress …

So, if he (Bill) lived like Randolf Hearst at a San Simeon – well he could probably live 5 Randolf Hearsts… would be fine with me – I do not care. Meh, as the kids say! (They probably don’t say that anymore?

The fact Mr. Gates and other very rich people are … well, very rich Means nothing to me.

None of them have come to my door wanting any of my money. They have never dictated what the hell I can do and they have never confiscated my property… Oh Sorry, that is Canada.

This shot here is Ol Bill “virtue signaling” to all of us: “Ain’t I normal! And please could the army that guards my place keep the CHAZ and other Antifa radicals at bay?”
Gracias (See I am Spanish-friendly too!!!)

Rich folks do not mean I have less. Liberals in power mean I have less.
And that is the only political statement I will make. Once every 15 years is sufficient.

I met a couple of very rich people. Amazing to see. I never wanted fame celebrity nor millions. Was always fascinated by the sheer spending.

Outraged, incensed, offended… and well all sorts of shit!

I don’t know nuthin!

I am an old guy. But that is not why I don’t know nuthin!

I am an old white guy – and that is not why I don’t know nuthin!

The reason I don’t know nuthin …  is that stuff that is percolating is, well not real.

Lemme ‘splain

A young girl was incensed and outraged that her employer misspelled her name twice! Twice!

Ok, not great but to be fair I looked at the Kid’s name and I bet I would get it wrong 3 out of 5 times. Why? Because I am a racist? No, I have trouble with this type of memorization.

Maybe the shots to the head I took playing football – may be other reasons but a Doctor explained the damage causes short term… Oh, look flowers!

Sorry. Je digress1

In Victoria we have one branch of the Public Library named:

sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ JAMES BAY BRANCH

I have downloaded the pronunciation of this Indigenous name and tried to remember how to say it and spell this… I just can’t.

I am also NOT being racist in this instance. Also, I must point out my Cantonese sucks and I can’t read Hebrew. I took French, Spanish, Italian, and Latin in high school and it was a fine school. Can I speak any of them (Well no one speaks Latin unless you are in Latin America, LOL) No I am not multi-lingual? Some would say I am hardly uni-lingual. I did however lecture at three Canadian universities so… that means either the qualifications to lecture at a university are shit or I am pretty bright and valued in spite of my learning disability. Speaking of disabilities I am also a retired professional drummer… we will circle around to that later!

Oh, and for the record, I grew up in a French-speaking household. yeah, it’s the shots to the head.

If you happen to have a name or I see a word that is not within my lexicon I betcha I am going to misspell it. Intentionally? No.  Why would I? If I wanted to intentionally be mean, racist, derogatory, or hateful to someone misspelling ain’t really a grievous offense. Punching someone in the throat is more in line with wreaking havoc.

We really need to get over ourselves in all the petty racist bullshit. There are serious problems and serious issues that need to be dealt with – this kid’s woes are not one of them. Does it matter to her? Of course, it does! I am not marginalizing her feelings.

In fact, I think this is a good time for me to protest because I bet she cannot read a lick of drum music. Here read and play this.

What? You can’t!!!

How dare you!

RIP, my dear friend Mr. J. Pratt.  If you cannot read this drum chart – one of the best I have ever played, well  … you are a damn racist!

Now, I am triggered!

 

Oh for God’s sake STOP!

As a background, I taught presentation skills at three universities for years and trained hundreds of clients. And it always confuses me why folks don’t take the time to learn the basic skills of presenting? They are not that hard to develop over a very short period of time.

With all the “online” presenting during this COVID nonsense boy have I witnessed some absolutely appalling and pitiful examples. I put it down to

“Hey, how hard can this be?”

Skippy, it is a lot harder than you think and we – the audience – are suffering through your horrible presentation!

Talk about a “lasting” brand impression? An anecdote …

I saw an ad from a major music retailer about to do an online presentation on studio monitors.

I watched two of their previous presentations online for about 5 minutes each and could not bear to watch any more. It was evil!

I cannot think about this company without the experience I had at an alleged live presentation years ago.

They set up – again a studio monitor thing – I believe I waited for about 35 min? Then I went for a beer.

It was a huge “failure to launch” moment! No sound. Full stop.

Proving as I taught for years … doing a presentation test everything, have redundant systems, and some delicate spare parts.

Again, “Hey, how hard can this be?” Well, it was obviously way too hard for those folks at the time.

I chuckle every damn time I see an ad or post from this retailer.

That my friend is a BRAND EXPERIENCE! And not a good one!

So, here are a few basics.

  1. rehearse
  2. have a script
  3. rehearse again and again and again
  4.  learn to slow down and “annunciate” your words
  5. remove any and all placeholder words (Um, like, you know, actually and others) that show just how nervous you are BECAUSE you have NOT rehearsed enough! Or you are “speaking to the slides” which a professional presenter NEVER does!
  6. look into the damn camera. Stop looking at yourself!
  7. plan your presentation … it needs a beginning, middle, and end.
  8. slides are probably NOT necessary if there is interesting reading material … we can all read, we can all download it and we DO NOT need reading off a screen as you read the slide to us. We are NOT that stupid!
  9. Please do not start your presentation with “Hi guys!’ boy that is getting old. Same goes with “Good morning, Hello all I want to thank etc etc yada yada… YOU have about 30 seconds to win an audience Start with a compelling statement to draw the folks in!

I have about 100 more tips at least …

And there is my book.

 

 

 

 

Women’s Day

Ok … As a referent point – I have played thousands of professional music gigs. Many of them with women in the bands. Singers, bassists, piano players, and horn players. Lots of them!

One, in particular,  I played with breaks my heart every time I think about her -Busi. you Zulu GoddessI love you and miss you!

Women should neither be compromised, nor marginalized, nor made to feel anything less than … well just amazing. And when I was in drum corps there were so many amazing women one particular a snare drummer -Connie – who has passed and she too breaks my heart. Love you you snare stud-ess! (Christ she could drum!)

This is the shit!

To all the serious women.

 

Logo Design

I saw a Tweet today. It is from one of my favorite accounts BCFerrys

@BCFerrys
The most interesting marine transportation system parody account in the world.

Love these guys – they have been written up by the local media and have great funny posts

like this one:

Well, prompted by this quip I thought to myself, “Self why NOT do a spoof Zero Haste logo for them?

That is when all this went off the rails.

I am not going to embarrass anyone – you do it. Search Google for Zero Waste then click “images.”

Wow. I know one thing that was never wasted was a single moment of professional design, typography, art, nor one minute of considered thought.

These – and not all, of course, there were a couple that weren’t too bad, tedious and just plain boring logos I have seen in many many years. Oh, and they are ugly.

In the “era of the amateur” where you will hear,  “Logo Design? Hell, how tough can it be?” Yet again this pseudo industry and movement have demonstrated just how hard!

Amazing!!!!

I call it a Christmas Miracle!

I have been off Facebook for most of the year with no plans to go back. I do have a “maintenance” account because I look after some pages for people for filthy lucre. Yes, I am an ad guy, therefore … a whore.

I use Twitter and Instagram mainly. It keeps me somewhat up-to-date with family and current events but I found – at least with Twitter – I was increasingly getting steamed over what I read. So, I did something about it.

Now comparatively speaking my Twitter account is no big deal. I was following 2,500 people and 1500 were following me. It made for a robust Twitter stream … but!

So I decided to cull the herd. I unfollowed or muted folks who:

  1. Had Trump derangement syndrome 
  2. Could not stop talking politics.
  3. Were all non-stop Trudeau this and Trudeau that!
  4. Were attention-seeking whores (All the time!)
  5. Were consistently whiny! “Oh, poor me! Wah!!!!!
  6. Kept retweeting or following the above.

So, off they went. I now have 2,200 folks I follow.

Now it is early sailing but in the last few days, my Twitter feed smells like a walk in a beautiful country meadow rather than a walk in New York in the 80s! (If you walked in NYC in the 80s then you know exactly what I am talking about!)

It has been refreshing. It has been a Cluetrain moment for me. You see, you are in control of your life, your social web and what you see and read.

Is this censorship?

Hell no!

This is getting rid of toxic folks who really need to get their shit together.

First of all – a lot of the folks who got dumped were Canadian and the Trumpster is really no concern of theirs. We have way bigger issues here!

Second of all if you think you will feel better by pulling at that scab – trust me, leave it be. Let it heal.

And last … no backbone, no follow. Full stop.

Happy New Year!!!