It’s not often fundraisers get stopped in their tracks

Friday, December 7th, 2012


This morning has been a bit of a struggle.


But I got to work and watched this short film from the NSPCC. In 90 seconds I felt like a bucket of icy water had been thrown over me. Who am I to grumble or feel sorry for myself?



It’s the best charity video I’ve seen all year. The child actors so eloquently give us an insight into the horror thousands of children in this country experience every day.


In fact I’ve just checked their website. A child is killed every 10 days in England and Wales. That’s two more before Christmas.


I’d love to see a direct call to action on this. It steers clear of ‘concept’ and leaves no doubt in the viewer’s mind that something needs to be done.  The balance between anger and emotion seems perfect to solicit a response. A micro donation would sit so neatly – £3 to answer that call? It almost doesn’t feel like enough – follow up conversion would be flawlessly placed.


Our most vulnerable children deserve the response it would get.




Dead End? I think not…

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012


Last night, my copywriting-partner-in-crime Hannah, and I were very lucky to be invited to a private screening of new soap opera ‘Dead Ends’. Swanky, huh?


This was no red carpet affair though. The soap opera has been written by eight young writers at after-school clubs at the Ministry of Stories – an amazing local charity we’ve been supporting for some time now. Episode one is above or at this here link. It’s only five minutes long so put the kettle on and prepare to be truly engrossed. The other four episodes will be released each day this week.


You can read more about the project here, see what Nick Hornby has to say about it all here or give some money of your own to enable the Ministry to do even more brilliant work here.



Deliver us from novelty

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012


Down the hall from me at Open is a room where everything is novel. A room where people younger than me beaver away in heavy rimmed glasses at the bleeding edge of the new – pausing only to tweet.


I’m immensely proud of them. But I’m not one of them.


I pretend I am sometimes. I do my spiel with the Simpsons cartoon and the Ewan McGregor ad. But as the astute members of the audience will notice, I’m just touting the same old same old. The stuff I’ve been doing for over fifteen years for a worrying number of hours a week.


You see, I’m older than I look. I’m married. I have a garden. I like continuity – stuff that I know works and makes me happy. And any remaining traces of neophilia are entirely satisfied by my children.


So I have a healthy suspicion of requests to do something new because ‘we always do the same thing and people will get bored.’


That might be true if ‘the same thing’ is something crap. Something boring. Something difficult. Something self-indulgent. In that case, it won’t work in the first place – and you should change it.


But the thing is that crapness is seldom a product of repetition or format. A hot bath is always a pleasure. The Hobbit will be great on paper or on a Kindle. Form is usually incidental. Content is everything. To put it bluntly, the solution to a shit sandwich is not different bread.


So let’s embrace continuity. Let’s stop worrying about making it different. Let’s focus on making it better.