Archive for April, 2007

The Balloon Debate was the catalyst for the Big Brother reality TV programme. While I enjoy the press comment more than the TV programme, the debates amongst BB contestants and their subsequent evictions are really just a media-savvy serialisation of the Balloon Debate idea. In the Balloon Debate a group of people each represent the […]

Déjà Neu


I’m sure you’ve witnessed the fatigue felt by consumers when faced with overwhelming choice. Their antipathy toward trying to play spot the difference between poorly differentiated products is observed in research and echoed in our daily conversations. There’s sometimes a sense, beyond the focus group-think cynicism, that people have simply ‘seen everything before.’ I wonder […]

Tomorrow isn’t any ordinary day. As I’m sure you are already aware, the 26th April 2007 is being celebrated globally as World Intellectual Property Rights Day. IP Rights are often overlooked by agencies and some clients. Its sometimes seen as the work of others, probably Mike in Legal who’s hidden in the back office somewhere. […]

out of africa


I loved the music I heard whilst travelling in West Africa conducting some consumer research a few years ago. It’s so vibrant and fresh. You can also see some marked differences in the way Western brands are distributed and marketed in African states. I remember one conversation in Nigeria that I had with a distribution […]

Second Life is currently the leading 3D virtual world environment and several agencies are investigating how it may be relevant for brand interaction, advertising and experience online. It’s also a new space for media planners to reach an international mix of consumers in. Second Life is also able to help with the networking, briefing and […]

iconic folly?


The story of Bryan Ferry in the news this week, after he made comments about his appreciation of Nazi iconography to a German journalist, is just the sort of issue that divides people very easily. The jaundiced reporting of his comments in the UK, followed by his subsequent apology and being dropped by Marks & […]

The true value of Account Planning has finally been quantified and the results are in. According to Sedo, the internet domain name auction service, the price achieved in an auction this month for was in fact rather on the small side. While the owner of the domain initially (and with account handler like cheek) […]

Does the movie director Danny Boyle look increasingly like the singer Morrissey to you, or is it just me? Perception is a point I will come back to another time, as it’s the subject of some research I’ve bubbling in a pot. But talking of Morrissey, did you know he was shocked into the realisation […]

In 1719 the Hon’ami family, who were the heredity sword-appraisers to the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan, were ordered by the eighth Shogun, Yashimune, to compile a written record of all the meito in Japan. The meito (meaning ‘swords with a name’ or ‘famous swords’) were not only the finest examples of the Japanese swordsmith’s art, […]

I always feel a little prickly when people demand insights from research, but usually settle for observations without understanding the difference. But then of course I annoy myself by failing to always be consistent in what I perceive defines an insight rather than an observation. So here and for the first time, I’m actually committing […]

I work on Phones 4u’s advertising. Here’s a story that apppeared this morning on Brand Republic about some of my work (cue trumpet blowing): Phones4u ad campaign most cost-efficient by Jacquie Bowser Brand Republic 04-Apr-07, 10:15 ( ) LONDON – Phones4u’s £9.5m advertising campaign starring Jack, the affable American, was the most cost efficient […]

Stephen King is an intriguing character and is a tech serial entrepreneur, it’s not the fiction writer that I’m refering to.  King successfully negotiated the sale of Merant, a leading change management software company, in 2004 to its competitor, Serena Software.  This made significant shareholder value.  He joined a Canadian communication management software company, as […]

Hi.  This is the first post for Brand Tao.  I’m a planner and work in London on advertising campaigns, brand development, consumer research and integrated comms. projects.  This is my first blog for the subject of account planning and brands .  But I’m sure it will also cover other subjects that interest me over time.  I started to consider the […]