Archive for the ‘Objects of Desire’ Category

A Right Wally Bag

In Future, Objects of Desire on April 24, 2014 at 6:49 am
Wally Bag

Wally Bag

Dorks, Nerds and Geeks. Put away those black-rimmed glasses, remove those cardigans and shave off those silly bushy beards! You’re history. We’re entering a new age. Soon everyone will be searching for their inner Wally and displaying it for all to see as they strut around art galleries, architect’s practices and advertising agencies up and down Britain. You heard it here first. How do I know? My good friends in Amsterdam, Property of – those purveyors of fine bags and goods – have brought out the Wally work bag. It fits a laptop and a Lever arch file (perhaps those are coming back too?). Those Dutch masters are never wrong. All of their gear is beautifully designed and bombproof. It’s top shit, as they say in their fragrant cafés. I have purchased several of their creations and can’t help myself coming back for more. These objects of desire are built to last. You won’t be disappointed. So if you want to invest in a new you – one that says you’re ahead of the curve, a trendsetter, a mover and a shaker – Wally up now.



Start as you mean to go on

In Chez Jeremy, Objects of Desire, Small Man, Big Ideas, Wannabe CEO on August 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm

One of my favourite dictums is the more thought you put in at the beginning of something, the more you’ll get out at the end. Take breakfast, for example. Getting your body (however small) off to a good start is critical especially if you run an agency that looks to you for constant inspiration. That’s why I always kickstart the day with a slab of wholegrain bread lightly toasted and smothered in blackcurrant jam. An all-natural piece of utter yummyness!

However, this is not simply a lesson on eating. It goes much deeper than that. I found the delectable cutting board and knife (pictured above) on a recent visit to Paris and I just had to have it. It’s one of the most tactile pieces in my kitchen (if you get one, be careful how you caress that knife as it’s mighty sharp). Each morning, as I stand, pyjamaed, in my Kensington kitchen, I look forward to cutting the bread as much as I do to eating the toast. Running my fingers along the faultless grooves on that objet d’art serves as a daily reminder that the work I do should be equally desirable. It’s an exhortation to me to burst out of my apartment intent on creating mini-masterpieces for my clients.

Wouldn’t you like to sally forth from your abode with the same vigour as I do from mine? Then find something to caress each morning that gets your juices flowing! It’ll change your whole outlook on the day.

There you go. Another few crumbs from my table. Enjoy!

The Twist is in the Tail

In Lateral Thinkers, Objects of Desire, Wannabe CEO on July 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Look what Monsieur Le Facteur brought yours truly yesterday! Cute, isn’t it. It amazes me how these big companies find me, especially when I’m in my retreat in Provence. I suppose that’s what good PAs are for though. To keep the goodies coming. Helena sifts through the endorsement requests and only lets those which she knows will tickle me filter through. This one did tickle me quite a bit, especially once I’d opened the box and taken all the little mice out and examined their little tails.

Now I have to be careful here. Although they are computer mice, not all of them have a mouse tail. One is a fish, another a piggy, another a pony and so on. Get the picture?

The Japanese company that developed them tells me that, when I want to transport my mouse, I should plug its USB tail back into its body and pop it into my pocket as if I’m taking a pet for a walk. Then when I get to work, I should plug the tail into my computer so that it looks as though there’s a little animal hiding in there. 

The lesson from this post to all you ad folk and wannabe lateral thinkers out there: don’t forget to be playful (a word that has been buzzing in creative circles as long as I can remember). Before you embark on your next project, ask yourself, will it make people smile? There’s no point in dreaming up a world-beater if it’s just going to send people to sleep. Make sure you’ve discovered the curly little tail that’s capable of wagging your big idea. Where would Levis be in a sea of denim without their button-up fly. Or Rice Krispies without their Snap, Crackle and Pop? Because when it comes to creativity, it’s the small things (like me) that make all the difference.

After a long day in the saddle …

In Bikes, Chez Jeremy, Objects of Desire on April 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm

A lot of people don’t understand why we cyclists look longingly at mountains in the distance and set off with the express aim of torturing our legs and lungs all the way to the top. There’s a bit of George Mallory (of Everest fame) in us. It’s because the damn things are there! Those hills call to us like sirens. And we have no defence.

Today’s post is dedicated to my fellow addicts. You guys know that there’s nothing better after a day on the vertical than arriving home and sinking into your favourite chair, ice-cold beer in hand. Well, I’ve found the perfect answer – bike furniture. Some might think it ironic that after a few hours sitting on the ‘skinny seat’, I’ve chosen an armchair made from bike parts to rest my weary posterior. Let me tell you this beauty is as comfortable as it gets. No nasty springs or bumps to catch you unawares. Just smooth rubber and chrome. And it looks almost as good as my bike, which itself is a work of art.

Nothing will make you come down those mountains quicker than knowing that this baby awaits you. You can order one here. While you’re at it, you might as well go the whole hog like me, buy a few and form a peloton in your lounge.

Over here

In God Squad, Objects of Desire, Small Man, Big Shoes on February 16, 2011 at 7:10 am

One of the USA’s greatest sons is artist Jasper Johns, best known for his paintings of flags, like the masterpiece above. Those of you who know me will be aware that 20th century North American art is a passion of mine. I’ve spent many a delightful hour in Tate Modern or MOMA losing myself in Rothkos, Rauschenbergs, Pollocks and Twomblys. They invariably take my mind on an invigorating journey, encapsulating as they do such raw beauty.

But not everything that comes out of the USA has such a refreshing effect on yours truly – a visit from my Chairman being a prime example. Especially if he has his Global CFO in tow. When Helena, my super PA, informs me that the Chairman is gracing us with his presence, I know I’m in for a rollercoaster ride lasting several days. The trick is staying on the coaster without barfing, metaphorically speaking, of course.

The visit usually starts with the delegation marching into reception as if they owned the place (which of course they do). A little humility however wouldn’t go amiss. Next comes the barking of orders. They seem to derive a certain satisfaction from portraying the big boss (me) as being not so big any more. This has got nothing to do with me being 5’4″. (My Chairman’s no bigger, bizarrely). It’s more a belief on their part that the Yanks are God’s chosen people and therefore know best. This brings me nicely (or unnicely) on to the worst part of all. Both Chairman and Global CFO are deeply religious and take their management style straight from the Old Testament. How can you be in advertising and go to church, I hear you ask? With great difficulty, you hear me reply, considering the bare-faced lies our clients insist we broadcast to the public. Back to the Chairman; notice it’s the Old Testament, not the New that he swears by. We’re talking Eye for an Eye here not Turn the other cheek (just in case you were thinking that he and the Global CFO were a pair of marshmallows). When they were last over, they spent most of their time working out how to visit the modern equivalent of the ten plagues of Egypt on our competitors.

They’re flying in today. Pray for me.

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Hello, I’m a Lobster Phone.

In Objects of Desire, Small Man, Big Shoes on February 8, 2011 at 7:48 am

I was asked yesterday by a keen young member of staff what object best sums me up. Bit of a daft question, I thought at the time, but I said I’d blog about it. So Daisy, here’s your answer. If anything were to epitomise me, or I it, it would be the Lobster Phone from that surreal devil, master of the unexpected (and the waxed moustache), Senor Salvador Dali. Why? Well who’d have thought you could connect two such incongruous objects and call it a work of art? Same principle here. Why did a 5’4″ homunculus (I like to pepper my posts with unfamiliar words to keep the education factor high) think he could possibly nail the top job at a top agency? Small men in big jobs are extremely rare. We little ones tend to spend our time down in the shadows, experimenting with shoes with build-me-up soles or large quiffs in an effort to add an inch or two to our manhood. (And no, before you go there, we don’t have small dingle-dangles too, thank God! At least I don’t. Though I suppose it is all a matter of proportion.)

A few small men (and Dolly Parton) have made it. Those of you familiar with my website will see the roll of honour down the right-hand side. You’ll also have noticed my whopping huge salary. That has a surreal quality about it too. You see, here in the UK, one tends not to boast about how much one earns. It’s not the done thing, old chap. It’s a bit vulgar. The fact that a Captain of Industry like myself has bucked the trend poses more questions than it answers (e.g. Does he really get that much? How much is the +? How much does the Creative Director get?)

So, am I as valuable as the Lobster Phone? To Onward I am. Just as Dali’s masterpiece is to Tate. For those of you who wish to see it in its fishy flesh, you’ll have to head to Tate Liverpool where it’s currently on display in their This is Sculpture exhibition.

Sculpture? Hmm, I feel a small marble statue coming on.

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Where to get protection in Paris

In Objects of Desire, Small Man, Big Ideas on January 29, 2011 at 11:55 am

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I spent the last few days in Paris. You’ll frequently find me in the French capital imbibing a dose of much-needed inspiration. Sometimes I’m visiting my colleagues in the Onward office there, sometimes it’s a solo trip. There are even some mornings when I leave my flat in Kensington and just turn left instead of right and jump on the Eurostar. (Actually I pop back in and grab my overnight bag which I have on standby in the hallway and then turn left instead of right.) My PA Helena is used to this sort of activity. In fact she encourages it. There’d be nothing worse than hearing ‘tut tuts’ down the phone when I tell her yet again that I’ve gone a bit lateral and changed the day’s plans. It keeps her on her toes and me refreshed.

On discovering that I’m en route to St Pancras station, Helena phones those good folk at my favourite hotel, Mama Shelter, in the 20th arrondissement and gets me booked in. They know me well there. The hotel was designed by Philippe Starck and oozes cool. Old Phil must have had us advertising guys in mind when he kitted it out. Each room has the latest Mac in it instead of a TV. And check out its groovy logo. It’s a chicken! ‘Come to Paris and Mama will shelter you like a hen does her chicks.’ That’s what it’s saying. And on these occasions, I don’t mind being thought of as a chick.

Like all great design, there’s more to this logo than first meets the eye. Look closely and you’ll see that the void between the hen’s legs is actually perfectly egg-shaped, begging the question whether Mama Shelter is the hen or the egg. I’ve deliberated on this and have concluded that Mama’s the hen, the shelter’s the egg and I’m the chick being doubly protected by hen and egg. (Though if you’re the claustrophobic type, you may prefer the free-range feeling of being a chick in an airy egg-shaped space (minus shell) where you could look up to Mama.)

Bet most of you didn’t spot the egg in the first place anyway. But don’t worry, if you hang out on this blog, you’ll see these things with time.

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Every Adman needs a cool pad

In Objects of Desire, Planners on January 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

We all could do with a little more cool in our lives. With this blog I bring you an abundance. Today’s gem comes from the USA and is a collaboration between the Draplin Design Co of Portland, Oregon and Coudal Partners in Chicago. Inspired by the vanishing subgenre of agricultural memo books, ornate pocket ledgers and the simple, unassuming beauty of a well-crafted grocery list, these guys describe Field Notes as “an honest memo book, worth fillin’ up with GOOD INFORMATION.” Yeeha!

I love these little books. They’re so much more understated and authentic than the ubiquitous Moleskin, the favourite of advertising planners the world over. Herd instinct or what!

You can buy Field Notes in happening stores in a city near you – The Shop at Bluebird on London’s King’s Road, for example, where skinny black-dude sales assistants wander around singing rap to themselves, wearing cardigans, cigarette-leg jeans, tartan bow-ties and nerdy glasses. But I digress. The best way to own Field Notes is to have a subscription like me. Then you’re guaranteed to receive the Limited Editions (in different colours, papers and packaging) that are released each quarter and which sell out almost immediately. See what I’ve done there? I’ve given you a double dose of cool.

Sign up today and annoy a planner near you.


In Bikes, Objects of Desire, Wannabe CEO on January 2, 2011 at 11:08 am

Relief is on the way for you ladder-climbers out there! Feeling fat, aren’t you, after indulging in your favourite sport of red-wine drinking and blue cheese munching? You’ve accumulated a lot of weight to heave up to that next rung. You’re even a touch paranoid that your competitors may have abstained over Christmas so that they can jump out of the blocks like a scalded hare first day back, leaving you plodding physically and mentally in their wake.

Fear not. You’ve come to the home of the radical solution. Go to your nearest Tommy Hilfiger store and buy a pair of these.

Now most people would slip the trainers on and get on the treadmill. But not you. You know that treadmills are for hamsters and, although they’re cute little fellas, no one wants to be a hamster, do they? No, I’ve picked this trainer for you because it’s got illustrations from the late, great Keith Haring on it. You’ll get much more from the experience by just contemplating this work of art. Spend 30 mins taking your mind on your own properly mental iron-man equivalent. Invent stories (both histories and futures) for each of the illustrations. Who are they and where are they going? Which one is you? And are you prepared to do handstands, jump through hoops, shake things up, put your foot down (they’re all on that trainer) to reach your goal? Feel good as you exercise your most important muscle.

Now move to the next station of your circuit. Buy one of these Ciclotte exercise bikes. Sharp intake of breath. Sheer beauty, sheer expense. Well, don’t come crying to me. You’re either committed or you’re not. You have to invest in Brand Me and that sometimes involves digging deep in every sense.

This object of desire may set you back a cool £6,000 but that’s what good art costs these days. Get it out of its box and lose yourself in its circular form. Admire its stunning proportions. Challenge yourself to be so perfect. This bike knows where it’s going and it gets there effortlessly. Be this bike.

A Titanic Watch

In Objects of Desire on January 1, 2011 at 9:09 am

Last night/this morning, it wasn’t Big Ben that was the talk of the party I was attending. It was my new watch made by Romain Jerome from genuine Titanic salvage. Shortly after I arrived, word spread round the room that there was a special timepiece in the house and, before I knew it, people were queuing up to see and stroke it.

Titanic DNA Rusted steel T-oxy III Extreme


Well, as we approached 12 o’clock, the rest of the guests had me standing on a table counting down the seconds. And when I, like a true Captain, signalled that we’d hit midnight, everyone made a sound like a ship’s horn. Nor did it stop there. Forget the England Cricket Team and their Sprinkler Dance, our dance floor was buzzing for the rest of the party with guys and gals pulling on imaginary steamship horns. Legendary!

I hadn’t expected my watch to cause such a stir, but that’s what happens when you take care to source special pieces. Not only do they give you hours of personal pleasure but they can attract attention from other quarters when you’re least expecting it.