Posts By: Jeremy Garner

The opinion machine

opinionWhat’s your opinion, right now, this second, today, right now, yesterday?!

Phew. Sometimes, trying to keep up with all the impulsively-expressed opinions floating around on social channels makes me wonder whether eventually, after years of relentlessly posting countless quantities of them, humankind will eventually evolve into nothing more than engorged brain connected to a super-lithe index finger that’s a blur of frenzied clicking.

The human need for self-expression is what drives it all, of course. With the means to broadcast one’s opinion to large audiences being so ubiquitously available, it’s never been easier to make oneself heard. And, with the immediacy of the big platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, it’s never been as fast. Read more on The opinion machine…

Cannes film lions: why the winners won

Cannes filmEvery jury panel at Cannes is said to be a completely different experience. It all depends on the mix of judges and, most of all, the organisation and communication skills of the jury president.

I’m happy to say that on the film jury – made up of 21 creative directors from different countries around the globe, and headed up by a fantastic jury president (Amir Kassei, CCO of DDB Worldwide) – the culture was one of total openness and respect. It was also great fun.

This meant the discussions could be very robust whilst giving everyone the space to properly interrogate the work – and each other’s opinion – to be able to arrive at a consensus.

Read more on Cannes film lions: why the winners won…

Would Bacon have used Sutro or Sierra?

SelfieThe rise of the #selfie and the propensity for everyone from David Cameron, Justin Bieber and the person sitting at the desk opposite you to turn the camera towards themselves, shift to capture themselves in the best light, add a filter, then send it out for validation via Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc, isn’t a new form of narcissism.

Despite the fact that it often seems like a thoroughly modern phenomenon (there’s 80+ million Instagram photos hashtagged #me and 30+ million hashtagged #selfie), the impulse to capture and share the most authentic ‘self’ has been around for a long time.

Read more on Would Bacon have used Sutro or Sierra?…

What should drive the narrative – concept or brand?

writingIn these days when campaigns are often termed as ‘narratives’ and conceptual thinking ‘storytelling’, it’s interesting to examine how the role of brands themselves plays out.

Are they merely the lead character; the central figure which the plot and unfolding narrative are all about?

Or, maybe it’s worth viewing them as something slightly pithier – protagonists.

Read more on What should drive the narrative – concept or brand?…

Curiosity is an interesting beast

It may have killed the cat, but a lack of it can sometimes be responsible for leading unsuspecting creatives towards a sticky end, too.

That’s because with so many touchpoints available to extend the arms of an idea out to different audiences, the importance of curiosity as a character trait within digital creative thinkers is more pertinent than ever. It’s basically a question of bringing expansive thinking to where, just a few years ago, it was all about being reductive.


Read more on Curiosity is an interesting beast…

Are brands playing the part?

As digital media continues to fragment and brands have to fight to maintain a consistent tone of voice, it’s always worth taking the time to reassess what it is that actually drives them.


Not what drives them in terms of business objectives, revenues, share of market, profits, share of mind and that kind of thing. I’m referring to what actually motivates them – what drives their passions and informs their character. In other words, what makes them act the way they do? What is their raison d’etre?

Read more on Are brands playing the part?…

If Isaac Newton worked in a digital creative agency…

It’s something of a contentious point these days, but digital creative agencies are still, primarily, purveyors of truth.

It may often be dressed up in words like ‘engagement’, ‘shareable’ and ‘social’, but the strongest of their creative ideas still have a solid truism at the core.

So it’s interesting to consider the quote of Isaac Newton, one of history’s greatest original thinkers, that ‘Truth is the offspring of silence and unbroken meditation‘.


Read more on If Isaac Newton worked in a digital creative agency……

Meaningful human insights: Ask a machine?

Is it becoming harder to find powerful insights to inspire persuasive, innovative ideas?

It’s a highly subjective question which, no doubt, would generate a number of insightful answers in itself.

But, even though there are dozens – hundreds, thousands even – of different ways of arriving at consumer insights to hang a creative thought on; everything from focus groups and research panels, to good old brainstorm-fuelled serendipitous gut instinct, it’s always the same thing we’re after. And, generally speaking, we know it when we see it…

Read more on Meaningful human insights: Ask a machine?…

The Curated Self – how social media creates the ‘virtual self’

The word ‘curator’ derives from the Latin curare meaning ‘take care’, and is commonly used in the context of cultural institutions; galleries, museums etc.

Over the course of the last year or so the term was increasingly used in conjunction with digital marketing, particularly social media-based campaigns. For fast-paced, content-driven comms planning, agencies would talk of acting as the ‘curator’ for the brand. In other words, deciding what content, stories, reactions, conversations and touchpoints to release at precisely the right time.

Now I think it can apply to the very nature of one’s digital identity itself.

Read more on The Curated Self – how social media creates the ‘virtual self’…

Is the internet leading towards a single, shared cultural identity?

Is the internet leading towards a single, shared cultural identity? Or is it facilitating a break-up into many smaller groups, each of which see themselves as having a defined culture of their own?

Read more on Is the internet leading towards a single, shared cultural identity?…