Five things on Friday #252

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W+K: “Reader, we hired him”

You can see why.



Sometimes, when you work on big global brands (or sometimes small ones), you sometimes set the tone of the work globally. Your agency creates a campaign, it gets bought, and then, via often some godawful/painful asset-sharing experient, you create a ‘toolkit’ that the local markets can draw down on, localise, and use to their heart’s content (within the strict campaign guidelines that they all received as part of said toolkit). Some animals like to call this ‘think globally, act locally’ – better yet, if you’re in THE BAD PLACE, they might call it ‘Globalization’. If you’ve heard this word before, you can come out now – the bad people have gone. If you’ve never heard the word before, then just be glad that this stuff never reaches your eyes and ears. For some of us, it’s a daily routine.

I digress.

SOMETIMES though, SOMETIMES you’re just told to make a local version of the master ad. And by ‘master’ that normally means ‘U.S.’.

‘Here’s the US ad, please go and make a local-market version’

‘What? Exactly the same?’

‘Yes, exactly the same’

‘But what if the cultural references don’t match up?’


Hell has a new name. That hell is ‘Because I can’.

US version.

UK version.

I’ll be over here, crying into my fizzy water.


PS. I know I talked about this last week but this week the UK version hit and – OH MY GOD MY EYES. 



‘Journalists will go far for a story and they’ll go far for a drink—but would they buy a bar? In Chicago, that’s exactly what a newspaper did. An oral history of an incredible experiment.’

– The Story Behind the Chicago Newspaper That bought a Bar

A great read.



Two brothers, 14 and 16, sit down to discuss the above and more.

One of the best things in the newsletter this week.

(thanks Ben)



‘If you don’t consciously choose how to allocate your attention, it will be allocated for you, by entities whose objectives are not your own.’

This has been kicking around a lot in my feed this week – so you may have already seen it. That said, it is a worthwhile and provocative read.

Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about ‘choice’ – and how privilege (white, male, status, power, class and more), plays into that.

Eg: What is the point in discussing ‘the future of brands’ if we’re only really talking about the people that earn enough whereby this is an actual ‘decision’ (ha!) that they make?

What is the point of spending your Saturday night slagging off brands on Twitter if, for the literal millions of people that live and work outside your bubble, this seen as great entertainment? ‘Oh, people must hate this because it’s SOOOOO obvious’ etc. Ugh.

What is the point of discussing media choice when for some, they don’t even know they have a choice?

That challenging thinking is a privilege?

I don’t know. It’s an unfinished noodle.

Anyway – the image and quote above are from the excellent ‘How to Balance Your Media Diet‘, by Faris Yakob. Read it.



This section is often dedicated to the continuous support of the #MeToo movement and others like it.

This week, some good things – mainly about IWD2018 (and I mean ‘good’, not ‘We’ve rebranded for one day because yolo’ – yes, I’m looking at you, WcDonalds).


And for what it’s worth, I’m with Philippa.

Normal service will resume next week.


‘No buses’ is an anagram of Bonuses. Which is fitting as there absolutely no buses: 

  • Having an idea ripped off by another brand/agency? Nothing new.Having said incident feature in Private Eye? A career highlight.
  • I’m fairly sure I’ve written about the ongoing discoveries regarding the eating habits of the Giant Squid but still - they never get boring.
  • *whispers super quietly* ‘I’ve turned notifications off on Instagram – it has been a revelation – you should try it’.
  • Yesterday was MAR 10 – aka Mario Day. Google celebrated by putting Mario Kart in Google Maps (and it’s there for a WHOLE WEEK!!!) – I celebrated by digging out my SNES and schooling the kids on what REAL gaming is. Woop.
  • Irrespective of how you voted, it is hard to see how the B word is any kind of ‘success’ thus far. Rory Bremner (yes, the actual one) tweetedthis link to a 1996 sketch featuring the amazing Bird and Fortune (I used to love these two) and it is eerily similar to the state of UK politics today…
  • Related: this huge Tory Whatsapp leak is mental.
  • Stop the world, I’d like to get off.
  • Ogilvy UK ‘retold’ the story or Rapunzel for SXSW/Sundance with YouTube. You can see our work (and others – but ours is the best) right here. I had the lightest of light touches in helping to make this happen and am so SUPER PROUD of the team for getting this out. Well done. 

And finally…

The last ‘thing’ above was a brief to retell a fairytale using the video-lengths available with YouTube’s ad-products. Specifically communicating how to tell a story in various lengths of time. Our response was a music video (see above). And it’s ace.

I’ve literally just spent the last 15mins dancing around my front room listening to WELCOME HOME, by Spike Jonze and starring FKA twigs.

‘This is such a great ad!’ people say.

It isn’t an ad, you guys (or is it?). It is an EXCELLENT music video with product placement at the start and an end-frame.

But whatever, it’s great – so you should watch it. Loud. 


You’re all lovely (yes, I’m still wanging on about the Macmillan thing but HONESTLY – IT’S ACE). Woooooo! 🙂

Last thing: a fortnight ago or so I managed to accidentally talk myself into going to San Francisco for a week. That’s on Tuesday (via an overnight in Barcelona). I’m not back on UK soil until a week on Tuesday (21st).

I have no idea if FToF will make it out next week. If it does make it, expect a US-flavour. If it doesn’t, then I’ll see you all in a fortnight.

Big love,


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Author: James Whatley

Experienced advertising and communications strategist working in brand, games, and entertainment. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x