Sunday, July 29, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Why is a 99 called a 99? Who invented it? Lots of people have asked me this over the years and I've never known the answer, which is a bit embarassing given my upbringing.
However, have discovered - reassuringly - that nobody really knows but there are lots of strange theories. Here are my favourites.
1. When Italy had a monarchy, the king used to have a special army of 99 guards
2. An Italian family in Scotland invented it in the 1920s and their cafe was 99 High Street
3. The initials 'IC' from Ice Cream form the Roman numerals for 99.
Loads more info on wikipedia
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
In today's workshop I showed this new Nike Ad which was recently shown in South Africa. What do you think of it? It created a lot of discussion.
I'm not really a fan. Its powerful but feels very Adidas to me. Nike has always had a touch of humour and lighthearted-ness which I feel is missing here. Not sure its the right thing to do.
One of my favourite Nike ads is still the 1998 ad with the Brazil team stuck in an Airport which featured a young, slim Ronaldo and a cameo appearance from Eric Cantona. Makes me want to play footie every time I see it.
During a break in today's workshop I discovered that one of the attendees was a pipe smoker and that his favourite brand was Condor. Its been years since I've come across anyone who smokes a pipe and I have to admit that I found the smell of the pipe tobacco quite pleasant.
Years ago of course pipe smoking was much more common and one of the most famous pipe smokers was the late, great Eric Morcambe.
Does anyone remember that on their show, Eric and Ernie used to sleep together? No-one batted an eyelid at the time.
Watch this. It'll make you smile
Sunday, July 22, 2007
In yesterday's Times there was an article suggesting that Newbury could replace Ludlow as the next foodie destination on the strength of the Vineyard in Stockcross. Well, I'm not sure that Newbury is quite there yet. I always associate it with the Vodaphone head office.
However, the food at the Vineyard was stunning and there is a huge winelist. So if you fancy a real gasto treat then its worth visiting. Also worth considering staying there. The rooms are really comfy and there's a spa. In terms of decor, its still not sure whether its contemporary or traditional. Tries to do a bit of both and doesn't quite succeed in either.
However, this place is all about the food and drink, so don't let that put you off.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Am staying at a very, very nice 5 star hotel which has a restaurant with 2 Michelin stars. Its called the Vineyard at Stockcross near Newbury.
We're about to go on a tour of the wine cellars, a wine tasting followed by a 10 course dinner. Fortunately, I'm working so I'm not paying. Thank goodness.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Last week at a workshop, someone told me about this craze in the USA called Speed Stacking. Now I'd never heard of it and have no idea how big it is, but there some amazing videos of it posted on Youtube.
Will it ever become a big craze in the UK? Maybe it is already...
Friday, July 13, 2007
This is what some of the Dutch people were telling me over dinner last night. (They may have made up some of it)
1. Mark Overmars the ex-Arsenal footballer lives very near by in a village called Epe. He's a local celeb.
2. Holland and Jamaica are the only 2 countries in the world where soft drugs are legal.
3. You buy can drugs at coffee shops - but you can't buy coffee.
4. There are no Starbucks in Holland except in the airport.
5. The Dutch really are tight with their money - hence the expression 'going Dutch'. They never tip.
6. Allo allo is still shown on Dutch telly and is really popular. They know all the characters (Herr Flick, Renee, etc) and can quote all the lines.
7. They're not very fond of the Germans. Maybe that's why they like Allo Allo.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
For once the sun shone and it felt like Summer had arrived in Oxfordshire.
We met up with the residents of Landcroft House and had a good look around all the stalls and around the site which was small and friendly. Not quite Glastonbury but a great day out.
A highlight was the Innocent Village Fete which had lots of games and gave out loads of free samples.
We even managed to see some live music which included Suzanne Vega who was on fine form.
Unfortunately we had to leave early and missed The Feeling and Blondie which was a real shame. I had to get up at 4 am to get an early morning flight to Holland. Will be here all week and have got 5 days of workshops / training sessions in a row with 2 different clients.
Looking forward to my holiday in Italy.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
I played this Dove viral ad called 'evolution' at my workshop yesterday. It caused quite a stir and sparked a lot of discussion. It takes something special for a team of jaded, know it all marketers to go 'wow'.
No wonder it won the Grand Prix for viral marketing at the recent Cannes Advertising Festival.