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Are We Ready for a Self-Deprecating Brand?

It’s shocking isn’t it? Two posts in two days. I know, I know. I deserve a badge. Or something.

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Anywho, this post has been in the pipeline since September when my lovely pal Debbi asked:

“I was wondering whether I could pick your brains on self-deprecating brands.  Does such a thing exist? Can you think of any examples of self-deprecating ‘aren’t we all a bit rubbish never mind let’s have a laugh about it’ campaigns?
Am just having a debate with my colleagues. I reckon I’d respond really well to a brand who openly took the piss out of themselves. Do you ever think it’s a good idea?”
Here’s my response:

“Perhaps not strictly self-deprecating, but certainly self aware, Pot Noodle spring to mind – remember their slag of all snacks campaign?

We know Pot Noodles are dirty, they know Pot Noodles are dirty, they know we know Pot Noodles are dirty – hence the slag of all snacks. The ad got banned sadly, but I thought it was fab.
Tesco Mobile are trying a take on this too:

Whilst not self-deprecating per se, they’re certainly poking fun at the ‘change the world via text’ nonsense the other mobile networks are spouting with their no nonsense ad.

Is there space of a self-deprecating brand? You’d need to be careful you didn’t do a Ratner*!
However, I’d say yes, absolutely. You’d need clear positioning in terms what the brand did do well, and for obvious reasons you’d be restricted to certain niches… No one’s going to buy a self deprecating diet pill – ‘you might not lose weight, but hey, you’ve less money to spend on cakes and chips fatty…’
If you accept that music artists are brands, then I’d argue there are a lot of self deprecating brands out there already. That self-deprecation hasn’t done those artists any harm; in fact it’s probably done the opposite. In real terms the consumer relates to the artist (and therefore the brand). As branding in the noughties has become more and more about engagement rather than aspiration, perhaps indeed it’s the way to go.”

And so dear hearts, over to you: Are you ready for a self-deprecating brand? Can you highlight any other examples?

Best comment (as judged by me) gets a Ferrero Rocher.

Yep, just one. Not a box. Whaddya think I am? Made of money?



*Gerald Ratner damn near ruined Ratners in 1991 with his “it’s total crap” speech at the Institute of Directors… But you knew that already, right?

An Eye for an Eye?

I’m sure at some point in all of our lives, we have all felt that an injustice was done to us. Not to put to finer point on it, it sucks. But, we all have choices. Sometimes, despite the strong sense of injustice you feel, it’s better just to let it go.

Some of you may (or may not) be surprised to hear that I was fired once. It’s a long and involved story, and those involved shall remain nameless.

Up until that point (and indeed since) I’ve had a blemish-free employment record. 

I’m a little older now, and perhaps a little wiser. In retrospect I think that whilst the circumstances surrounding the termination of my employment were nothing short of a nonsense; I have to take responsibility for my part in it.

I also have to think about what this episode says about me.

Whichever way I twist and turn it, I was fired from a job. It’s not something I can hide. Sadly, for some potential employers that one black mark against my name renders me a poor prospective employee. I disagree of course, but nevertheless understand their point of view.

So, what should I have done? This company (potentially at least) irrevocably damaged my future career. Should I have sought vengeance? Damaged their brand? Dispensed my own kind of justice – an eye for an eye?

I elected not to do anything. Despite being offered various ‘solutions’ 😉

I think I’m a better person as a result. I’ve survived with my morals completely intact.

Oh, and at night….I sleep like a baby.


Image credit lostintheredwoods

Big Brother & Pseudo Psychobabble

I’ve been watching Big Brother too much.

I’m trying to pretend it’s for cerebral reasons (ya, coz I’m really interested in psychology and human behaviour, innit?)… it’s got nothing to do with me being obsessed with a pointless TV show.

I sit, drinking tea… watching them sitting, drinking tea. I listen to their pointless drivel… and in turn spout out some of my own on to this blog. Oh, the painful futility of it all…

Anyways. A couple of things occur to me:


The Difference Between Academic Prowess & Intelligence

Seemingly people on Big Brother (and indeed those commentating on it) struggle to discern the difference between being academic, and being intelligent. Halfwit (Freddie to his Mother) is often cited as being intelligent. Hmmm. I think he’s probably well-educated. He may even be academic (although clearly I’ve not seen any of his school reports). But, he displays precious little intelligence.

I suppose at this point I should try to define what I mean by intelligence, particularly as many think that academic prowess and intelligence go hand in hand (and sometimes they do, but it ain’t necessarily so).

According to WordNet intelligence is defined as the ability to comprehend; to understand and profit from experience.

See how it doesn’t mention the number of GCSEs, A levels, Degrees, Masters, PHDs an individual has? That my loves is academic prowess.

Right, so that’s that cleared up. Back to ickle Halfwit. He is not intelligent. A truly intelligent individual wouldn’t get nominated 5 weeks on the trot. An intelligent individual would ‘comprehend and understand’ where he’d gone wrong, and ‘profit from experience’ – i.e. figure out how to stop getting nominated.

“But he didn’t get nominated this week” I hear you cry! OK, I’ll give you that. Perhaps he has indeed learned a little and figured out how not to nominated… But if he has, he’s learned it late… AND I can’t help but think it him not getting nominated has more to with the house splitting into two distinct groups; and the in-fighting that’s ensued, and less to do with anything he’s done.


She’s (or indeed He’s) Not That Into You

There have been several instances – Marcus, I’m looking at you re Noirin; and indeed Halfwit (yes I’m picking on Halfwit again) was also pestering poor Charlie before seemingly getting the message. So why is that some housemates delude themselves so completely? How can they possible fail to realise that the object of their affection just isn’t that into them?

I’m not sure what this is down to. Maybe emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is defined by Wikipedia as comprising of the following elements:

  1. Self-awareness: the ability to read one’s emotions and recognise their impact, whilst using gut feelings to guide decisions.
  2. Self-management: involves controlling one’s emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
  3. Social awareness: the ability to sense, understand and react to others’ emotions while comprehending social networks.
  4. Relationship management: the ability to inspire, influence and develop others while managing conflict

For my money, Halfwit lacks emotional intelligence as well as your common or garden intelligence – hence his social ineptitude.

But Marcus is a more interesting case. Perhaps rather than lacking emotional intelligence, it’s a case of misplaced confidence? On more than one occasion he’s stated that he thinks he’s one of the housemates put in as a ‘piece of meat’… (translation: eye candy). Now of course it takes all sorts, but Marcus clearly isn’t conventionally good looking like Kris, Charlie, Dogface & Karly. He isn’t even unconventionally good looking like Siavash. Bizarre…


Who’s Playing Games

All housemates, without exception have elected to take part in a GAME SHOW. And yet, without exception, they all get extremely put out whenever they perceive that anyone is playing a game, or has some sort of game plan. Durrr. It. Is. A. Game.


Thoughts? Opinions? Abusive comments about what a complete and utter loser I am?

That’s what the comments are for loves – hit ’em up 😉


Big Brother logo half-inched from here

Who Owns a Photo?

This post is perhaps a little off-topic, (but then as this blog doesn’t really have a topic per se) I figured it was fine to pop it on here.

I suppose I ought to add the disclaimer here and now that I’m not a lawyer, and I have no experience whatsoever of the law and indeed how the law differs from country to country.

Right, enough procrastinating, let’s do this.

You may be surprised to know (well I was) that the owner of a photo (in most instances) is the person who took the photo.

Sounds obvious, right? In the same way that a person ‘owns’ anything they write (e.g. I own this blog post); the person who takes the photo owns it.

There are however exceptions to this – for instance if an employee of a company takes a photo on behalf of the company, then the company owns the photo.


What I find a little troubling is that, for the most part, the subject of the photo has no rights. So if your friend takes a photo of you, they can do whatever they like with it – you don’t get a say. Now, hopefully your friends are lovely and wouldn’t ever do anything mean.

But what about your ‘better half’? They might have some photos of you that, well let’s just say you wouldn’t want broadcast.

So what if your significant other becomes an ex? Hell hath no fury and all that. Just sayin’ 😉


So, what do you think? Is this fair? Or should the subject of a photo also have some rights about how their photographic image is distributed? Lemme know in the comments, loves.

Ex-Masturbator T Shirts – Get One Before You Go Blind!

I’ve been having a bit of a dilemma about whether or not to write this post. Part of me doesn’t want to promote this any further; and yet – well it’s ripe for a debate.

The Passion For Christ Movement are based in LA. I’ve had a look around their website, but they don’t seem to have an about us page which clearly defines what they’re about. However, from what I can gather they are pretty hard line when it comes to Christianity as their new range of T shirts testifies.

PC4M seemingly believe that masturbation is sexually immoral – and therefore a sin.

They’re encouraging people to emancipate themselves from their bondage to masturbation and embrace Christ. Here’s the T shirt:

Photo credit PC4M

It’s probably important for me to state here and now that I’m not religious. However, I do respect other people’s beliefs.

But this… This is a real struggle for me.

Masturbation is a pretty taboo subject. It’s not something many talk about. But, I’ve always been led to believe that it’s natural, normal and contrary to the popular myth, will not make you go blind.

I’ve never been led to believe that it’s a sin.

I struggle a little with the concept of sin generally – not least because I’m not religious. There are however, certain behaviours/actions which I think the majority of the human race would agree are ‘wrong’ – and for the most part I think that they coincide quite nicely with the religious concept of sin; e.g. killing, stealing etc.

But is masturbation really sinful?

Is it healthy to promote it as a sin? Abstinence is a common theme in many religions – again I’m not convinced that having sex outside of marriage is a sin. But, if that’s what you believe, then fair enough. But are you to abstain from masturbation too? Are you really only being truly religious if you abstain entirely?

Perhaps it’s just my particular breed of ungodilness, but I can’t help but think it’s a little unrealistic.

Are those people who are wearing the T shirts really abstaining from masturbation?

Or are they continuing in private, and being made to feel horrendously guilty as a result?