Jonathan Staines

Sometimes I have worthwhile thoughts about brands, language, marketing and advertising. Any views expressed are entirely my own and nothing to do with anyone I work for or have worked for in the past.
You can follow me on Twitter if you like — @jonstart

LOOK AT YOU. YOU’RE HIDEOUS.

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This is how an overwhelming amount of media imagery makes billions of people feel. It’s not good for you, me or anyone. None of us is physically perfect. Not one of us. We get what we’re given and we make the best of it. Maybe Scarlett Johansson has only eight toes? Perhaps Aidan Turner has got wonky knees, excessive ear wax or a flatulence problem? And even if human physical perfection existed and could be precisely quantified and defined, there are more worthwhile things we should care about. Promulgating Photoshopped images of a prescribed, cookie-cutter notion of ‘perfection’ is crass and demeaning for us all. It’s also really bloody boring. The same lean, tanned body types over and over and over again. Whether it’s on the cover of Men’s Health or on a dim-witted poster for Protein World.

Read more on LOOK AT YOU. YOU’RE HIDEOUS….

TESCO: BRAND KARMA

Tesco’s founder, Jack Cohen, famously based his business on the mantra “pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap”. It’s a philosophy that seems out of step with twenty-first century retail and is, perhaps, the kind of thinking that has led Tesco to the dismal results that have humbled the brand today. Read more on TESCO: BRAND KARMA…

RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE

It’s no surprise that Apple is at the top of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands list but the accompanying profile of the brand ( http://www.bestglobalbrands.com/2014/apple/ ) is rather worrying. In it, we discover that Wired magazine described “the new Apple ecosystem” as having “turned our world into one “huge ubiquitous computer…all around us, all the time.”  Read more on RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE…

WATCH OUT FOR C-WORDS

Recently, the brand agency, Aesop, published a simple guide to planning. The Five Cs of Planning. It’s a wonderfully concise summary of the basics of strategy. It got me thinking about some other C-words. Good, bad and ugly c-words.  Read more on WATCH OUT FOR C-WORDS…

KEEPING IT UNREAL

I left my gym this week and shortly afterwards, I received an email from them telling me that they’ll miss me. Awwww, that’s nice. Isn’t that nice? I can just picture the manager of Bannatyne’s and the staff looking more and more despondent with each passing week that I don’t turn up. I can see them all looking pathetically at each other and saying things like, “Oh, I really wish Jon hadn’t left. This gym just isn’t the same without him. Why? Oh why did he have to leave? I miss him so…” Read more on KEEPING IT UNREAL…

RETAIL THERAPY

I was going to lament the lack of fresh thinking in UK retail when two things happened recently that gave me hope. One of them was only an advert but it was a bloody good advert. It made me realise that a certain British retailer is an unsung hero of the high street: Argos.

Read more on RETAIL THERAPY…

BRAND IS ALL YOU HAVE

So Wonga has finally got its comeuppance – as a result of action by the Financial Conduct Authority. I was interested to read that as part of its humiliating fall, it may change its name and for me, the story of Wonga is proof that brand is more important than ever. As a business, your name and your reputation (ie. your brand) are all you really have.

Read more on BRAND IS ALL YOU HAVE…

TOSSED: BLOWING THEIR OWN BRAND?

Tossed might be a good brand name for a social media platform for coin collectors. Or an app to help Scotsmen choose their cabers. But it’s a salad bar.

Without doubt, the name is hard (ahem) to forget. In many contexts, the word ‘toss’ has a perfectly innocuous meaning. And it is relevant to food. We toss both pancakes and salads.

Read more on TOSSED: BLOWING THEIR OWN BRAND?…

NO GOOGLE. NO WIKIPEDIA. NO BOOKS.

That’s me for this particular blog.

I swear to God I’m writing this with just my brain, my body and a laptop that is offline.

I don’t know how to prove that I haven’t looked anything up  during the production of this piece of writing.

Read more on NO GOOGLE. NO WIKIPEDIA. NO BOOKS….

FOR META OR WORSE

When I recently asked myself which TV ads from the last thirty years had made a lasting impression on me and why, three ads immediately sprang to mind. Weirdly, all three were in black and white and they were all significant to me for the same reason. Read more on FOR META OR WORSE…

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