Advertising

Not-so-hot coral

It’s always a pain when an ad isn’t worthy of what’s being advertised. Which is why seeing this spot from Monzo the other day felt like a particularly hard kick to the stomach.

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Tech

Google and the disappearing stars

What’s the value exchange between me and Google? Not a question I gave a second thought to... until I noticed a few disappearing yellow stars.

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Tech

132 Days of Duolingo

I spend around 10 minutes a day on Duolingo and I’m not convinced it’s worth it. And the fact these doubts only started occurring to me after I completed a 100 day streak on this maddeningly well-designed and moreish app is… annoying.

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Business

The four types of agency-client relationships

Agency/client relationships are getting ever more fraught these days. Anselmo Ramos is here to help.

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Product Management

Stop being a Product Martyr!

Being a product manager means that you have a lot of responsibility, but no authority.

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Art

Why I’m getting Artangled

I went to a lot of art shows in 2017. I don’t really know why this obsession took hold.

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Economy

Lessons from a crisis

Alistair Darling was in charge of the nation’s finances when the biggest financial crisis in a generation hit in 2007. This crisis, for him, led to political developments, culminating, in our age, with Brexit, and in the US, with Trump.

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Art

The White Bottle

Giorgio Morandi's paintings don’t really tell the full story of his life; and his life doesn’t explain his paintings.

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Strategy

5 things I’ve learned about the Future of Strategy

While it was a real passion project, it was also based on a big user need: the company’s hardcore fans are planners at ad and media agencies, yet within the marketing industry as a whole, the planning discipline is little-understood and often overlooked.

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Business

What’s the purpose of brand purpose?

With so many heart-warming, CSR-led ads winning awards these days, setting a purpose seems to have become almost a prerequisite for launching a big brand campaign. But many in adland would say these wins are due more to tugging on judges’ heartstrings rather than demonstrating great creativity or solid business results.

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Personal

Miss Naysmith and her city

As London’s super-rich make the city their playground, pushing the rest of us further and further to its social – and physical – margins, I think it’s becoming more and more important to remember stories like Miss Naysmith’s. She’s an example of somebody who refused to be pushed out. She lived on nobody else’s terms but her own.

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Strategy

How marketers can make people focus

The standout for me was a problem that’s always bedevilled advertisers with a message to get across: once you get people’s attention, how do you keep it?

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Personal

Walking somewhere

I’d arrived in Trieste on a Friday evening, and, having dropped my backpack off, I needed to walk. So I set off, towards the sea.

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Personal

Cat guardians

The beginning of the end of my 2016 came when I spent three days in Athens, alone.

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Technology

Are social media and gaming good for us?

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves as we scroll through yet another smug status update or toss our phone across the room because we didn't match a row of colourful candy. Is all this digital distraction actually good for us?

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Personal

Peggy and Mihaela

Our evening flight had been delayed, and they’d finally given up for the night. We’d be on the first flight to Heathrow the next morning. An air traffic control failure in Brussels caused the original problem. Appropriately timed: it was June 24th, the night following the Brexit vote.

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Cities

War on two wheels

The cyclist was an easy urban type to spot: middle aged, black lycra, racing bike, pedal clips, a backpack with a fluorescent rain cover. Serious kit, maybe a lawyer on his way west from the Strand. The driver was clearly a type too: white BMW with a superfluous spoiler.

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Technology

Tapping the Kangaroo

Every day in London, thousands of fingers tap a cute Kangaroo logo on their smartphone screens. As a result, every lunchtime and supper time, thousands of young men have a job to do.

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Economy

Room 59

We must have gone through most of the rooms each time, as the Gallery isn’t that big, but I remember one room more than the others. Because it made me think about another, warmer, sunnier place. And about… fruit.

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Cities

Another London

The city at its grimiest (and emptiest). Note the wonky railings and hump in the pavement on the near side, and the pedestrian crossing to nowhere on the other side.

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Personal

The Chinese plate

My mum’s finally finished clearing out my grandparents’ house, and she’s brought back a few boxes of things: books, pieces of jewellery, notes. Nothing valuable, just mementoes.

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Personal

Books I read last year

I read less than I used to, and I forget most of what I read. A fact brought home to me last year when, bored at Christmas time, back at my parents’ house, I rifled through some shelves in my childhood bedroom, and pulled out a plain blue hardcover notebook.

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Yes we Kanban!

Kanban is one of the most talked-about, but least-understood, ways we have of managing digital product development.

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Advertising

Kleenex, Apple, brand love

It’s hard to work back from Apple to give brand advice to Kleenex… so said the man behind the Cadbury's gorilla.

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Advertising

Management and Leadership

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

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