Transition Economy

Image from via Pinterest David Webb

As an ambitious young student searching for a career to pursue, it seemed a paradigm shift was happening away from manual / technical labor, production, agriculture. The future belonged to those with a profession, the service industry, those who had ‘intellectual property’.

But this bit of forward planning didn’t predict the Internet & digital boom, the population explosion, the effects of the environmental meltdown, endemic global economic woes, global inequality or various political rumblings.

We are living in recession weary yet technologically driven days. Data and knowledge is easily accessible and what we do with this is what sets us apart. Publishing and communication has never been easier. Any industry which is opportunistic and relies on the success or failure of others will remain stagnant. Anthropologist David Graeber calls these the ‘Bullshit Jobs’ which tend to be concentrated in “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers”. And any industry that fails to acknowledge and adapt to the rapidly changing political, economic or environmental changes will suffer.

Over the last 15 years and specifically the last 8 years, (since the launch of Facebook) the world has changed faster than the previous half century. We are now in what many call a ‘state of flux’. A constant state of rapid development.

In this state of flux, technical skills are increasingly in demand. People who do and make stuff, who have a unique flair for creating something new or improve on an existing design. The ‘new world’ is like an island inhabited for the first time, a chaotic frontier, it needs designers, builders, plumbers, carpenters, bakers, chefs, farmers, app developers, software & hardware designers and developers, engineers, scientists, mathematicians. People who do, who create, who help solve old world problems in new world ways.

Leading this transition is Generation Flux, a new breed of entrepreneur who is quick and nimble at making something new or improving on previous ideas.

We can no longer afford the luxury of old world silos and job descriptions; we must create new ones, based on symbiosis and flexibility. Jobs are not guaranteed, especially lifelong jobs – in the new world once a project is over you move onto the next project. When your contract is over there is help needed elsewhere. We need an army of doers. A constant state of symbiosis with our fellow inhabitants and the land.

The world is changing at a rapid rate, much faster than you can say MBA. Are you ready for it?

Unhealthy Body, Healthy mind…Smooch or Noose?

I’ve never been a health freak,

But I know what is healthy and what is not…and I’ve indulged of the ‘not healthy’ for so long.

I’ve never been an ad guru,

But I feel what is a good communication and what is not…and I’ve been indulgent to the ‘not so good’ for so long.

I can tolerate cheaply produced ads.

I can even accept flat communication…sometimes there is a reason for that.

But what I will never tolerate is irrelevant communication.

I’ve been seeing this bridge banner, every day for the past week.

And every time, I tried to remain positive to find a logical link.

So I checked it again online.

And here is the idea:

We’re a fast food brand. We sell ‘deep fried’ chicken…..and we love Children.

And we care for their education

So we’re organizing an event to help raise money for their education.

And since we have a spicy variant, this makes us:

“All Fired Up to help educate Children”.

The flames in the over cluttered layout are spot on..they are related to their ‘hot & spicy Zinger taste’ (check the bottom left corner, around their ’30 years’ icon).

The name ‘KFC Bucket run’ definitely makes sense since it promotes the large size family meal.

The mini promotion on the left side is pure genius since it pushes you to buy a Bucket and share it with friends…of course because sharing is caring!

The rewards listed are tempting. A trophy, free meals, free gifts and the list goes on and on.

So what’s not to like!

And to prove that the campaign is a success, check their 300K FB likes (which of course are pushed by the genius ‘Click and win a free meal’ hook)

Well done guys! you just crossed the line to beyond irrelevant.

If you’ve been told that these are the ingredients that make a good ‘community initiative’….get a second opinion.

If you really want to do something for Children, then maybe introducing ‘fat free’, ‘skin free’ or ‘Fried with grape seed oil’ variants should have been the answer to your brief.

And if you care about their education that much, you should have been challenged and reminded of ‘Healthy body, healthy mind’

The main issue is that this communication is forced.

I am sure something went wrong somewhere. Having been around for ’30 years’ comes after all with maturity and community understanding.

What happened here?

I’ve had my share of KFC buckets and it’s the ‘Unhealthy’ i like. Pleasure and sin goes sometimes hand in hand.

What annoys me in this communication is the ‘irrelevance’.

A boring ‘Cleaner Dubai’, an expected ‘Plastic-free week’ or even a free ‘play area for kids’ initiative would have gotten a better review.

I’ll stop here and wish you Good Luck with your event.

I bet we’ll see lots of empty buckets and filled bellies on Feb 24th.

Definitely a ‘Noose’.

We like…we don’t like.




Being the ‘not another dinosaur’ agency, its in our DNA to be playful and do things differently.

But our principles are set & sacred.

One thing’s for sure, we respect other agencies.

That’s where we all graduated from.

We owe them for where we are today.

Without them we wouldn’t be here under the same Livingroom roof.

We speak our minds without reservations but within the boundaries of ETHICS.

We allow ourselves to criticize…constructively.

What’s out there in terms of communication is pushing us to do so.

We see Art and Bullshit every day.

We see Big ideas and ‘Reclame’ everywhere.

We want to talk about them.

We will praise what we believe is worthy

We will trash what we believe is mediocre and doesn’t deserve to see the light of day.

We’re not pretentious and we know that this will definitely not improve the communication landscape,

But at least we will release some of our frustrations and hope to get you on board to release some of yours as well.

Smooch or Noose is our next activity.



We will select every once in a while a campaign that caught our attention. We will Smooch it…or Noose it.

So watch this space.

And before starting with others, we will start with ourselves.

Here is Some of our work… let us know which ones deserve your Smooch and which are doomed to your Noose.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Squandering space.

I believe that every aspect of a brand’s appearance to its audience is an opportunity for it to display its products, its beliefs, its contribution to the world. None more so than its office space and its HQ.

So consider this ‘mural’ on the side of the HQ of G.E in Dubai.

I believe it’s a waste of space. Here’s why:

The creative itself is…well…un-Creative! What exactly does ‘the new face of the region mean’? And what an over used line. And, Just because the word ‘face’ appears in the headline doesn’t mean you need to put some random faces up there.

How many thousands of cars drive past that site each day, how many stand at the traffic lights waiting for the signal to turn, wanting something (anything) to read to make the minutes pass quickly? (As a side note, did you know people read their cereal box back-to-front, on average about 12 times before it’s thrown away!). Surely it could have been put to better use.

Here are some suggestions:

Tell me what G.E is actually doing in various parts of the world.

Tell me what new products you’ve launched.

Wind power, desalination, better health care are all great stories to tell – but what is it about them people want to hear? Make it interesting.

Tell me how you improve lives.

So, if you’d like to see how we could make your communication with the world more mesmerizing, tweet, message, email or call us.

Have a good day.

Let’s Live…

Brands live in an era where the conversation is constantly evolving.

And the consumer is controlling the megaphone.

Consider this carefully then.

Should your brand still be speaking in cavemanic?

Or pursuing a near extinction thought process?

We don’t think so.

That’s why we believe in not being another dinosaur.

We are led by talent.

Motivated by honesty.

Fascinated by new technology.

Obsessed with the conversation.

And don’t believe in waiting for the future but rather in creating it.

We live so that brands can.

Let’s live. 

The new breed of retail.

Must read this article.

It is an example of the seismic shift we will continue to see across all industries and retail is no exception (see also Walmart and Apple retail).

Welcome to the new way of working. Transparancy and efficiency.

I love his customer understanding and respect “The customer knows the right price,” Mr. Johnson said. “We can raise the price all we want. She’s only going to pay the right price. She’s an expert.”

Change is a-coming. Oh yeah!