Fish and geeks, Robert and the missus

It’s an intriguing title right so what on earth is this posting all about? Well it’s all to do with new sources of entertainment that quite frankly I find amazing. When I was a senior marketing guy, media meant print (news press and specialist), tv and radio. Social was nowhere and online was in its infancy. Now they’re almost everything and increasingly I’m searching out stuff almost exclusively on my devices. And I’ve come across two sources which, unless I’m the last person in the world to find them, I think you’ll go wow; they’re very different and completely nuts. Continue reading

Random thoughts

Well dear readers for the first time in a very long time I thought I’d do a posting not linked to a single theme but just a series of random thoughts zapping around in my mind at the moment. Each of these could be the subject of a separate posting but I thought I’d just shorthand it for fun.

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Early morning scheduling

So as regular readers may know I’m a bit of a creature of habit. And one of the regular features in my life is the early morning routine. Carol and I are early risers and usually downstairs by 6.30am or so. It’s usually a cuppa for Carol then at one minute to 7am it’s Converse sneakers on and I pop out and over to the little Co-op store in the market square to be first through the door to go and pick up my morning paper, the i. And occasionally some milk. Continue reading

Best of the West

Now I’m very conscious that I may have turned off my huge army of female readers with the last posting about 50 year old Yerkshire men in their trunks grappling with each other. So for something a little more contemporary and hopefully a touch more amusing and for all, I was just wondering if you’ve been watching the new programme on C4 A Very British Hotel Chain: Inside Best Western? This show is more fun than you’d expect, though maybe not in the ways intended. Here’s C4’s publicity image of the main characters…

 

Presumably Best Western thought a three-part series filmed in May last year would be a handy publicity boost for their 265 hotels, with its portraits of the wacky but lovable workforce. But thanks to the coronavirus it now looks more like a portal to a distant far-off time and a completely different business.

It did make me wonder fairly quickly what the point of this series was though. Cut to today and Britain’s largest chain has closed all but 60 or so of its hotels, presumably on a temporary basis, they must hope. And to be fair they are one of the few hotels staying open to give key workers in local authorities a welcome and convenient break from their work tackling the covid crisis. But sadly none of that comes through in this tv series which is very much played for giggles not serious business niggles.

So to the unintentional humour. It’s clear that a career in the leisure business demands a thick skin and eternal optimism and at Best Western’s HQ in York (back again – it could only be set in Yerkshire) they have tons of both. The new CEO Rob Paterson, an ex Aussie footballer, is just David Brent with an ozzie accent. He loves his slogans from the 1980’s with lots of exclamation marks like Beat Yesterday! Own It! Give a Shit! And his dopey staff  suck it up with gusto. Mark Stanley, head of hotel development, grins away and loves his staff to tell him how great he is. We saw him revelling in a sales, marketing and revenue conference, as staff were covered in pink gunk for charity. Brilliant! raved Mark, Best Western madness. Actually he might just have out-Brented his CEO.

Mark’s number 2 is ambitious Head of Acquisitions Terii (with two ‘i’s) whose job it is to sign up new hotels to the chain. We find her trying to get Marco White to allow his Rudloe Arms to join up. Marco teases her a little showing off his pixellated sexy artworks and larger than life images of himself to see what reaction he gets from her. But Terii’s (two i’s) made of stern stuff and won’t be put off. I love it, she replies, sniffing the scent of a deal being done.

Then there’s slightly camp and arch Alasdair, the wisecracking but ruthless hotel inspector who follows up on Terii’s (two i’s) new signings. He announced himself as if he were a righteous superhero: I am the hotel inspector. I cannot be bought. More sharply he mentioned that he likes to measure TV screens to see if they are as big as the new hotel claims. I pinched this out of my mother’s knitting box, he says, unfurling a measuring tape. She’s been dead for 20 years. Hard man eh. Then I noticed he’s quite the peacock, wearing wacky glasses and different brightly coloured socks. I wonder if you can spot him in the picture above.

There was also a lady whose name escapes me who’s a Marketing Manager at one of the bigger hotels and she just comes up with barmpot ideas for entertaining guests like creating a rocket ship cabin just off the foyer for people to experience. How it was relevant  I just couldn’t fathom. And it was totally crap. Unbelievable. And if you want to see how they magic-ed things up here’s what the whole marketing team supported by the CEO came up with for their Xmas promo campaign. If it makes sense to you, you might just need some therapy…

I was just shocked that they didn’t include the only funny line that exists about our four-legged friends – what do the donkeys on Blackpool beach get for lunch? About half an hour. Now Mark would piss himself at that one: BW donkey jossing, brilliant!

I’m tempted to ask what’s the difference between the BW senior management team and a donkey. They’re all asses but at least the donkey does something useful. Ouch

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Reality TV ratings

Well you can tell it’s autumn because the weather’s turned crap whilst the TV broadcasters have rolled out their blockbuster reality shows. We don’t watch many but we do tune into Strictly. To me it remains one of the campest things on the box but I got castigated for my views on it before so let’s just agree it’s decent Saturday/Sunday  night entertainment. Continue reading

Hidden meanings

 

 

I’ve mentioned Drew Pritchard before. He’s TV’s Salvage Hunter – a dealer who finds items in country houses, old factories, antique stores etc, then renovates them where necessary and sells them on for a profit. He is extremely good at his job, knowledgeable, has a fantastic eye and claims to be a great negotiator. And he’s a first rate twathead. He’s a complete self-regarder, full of his own self-worth and ability and annoyingly condescending to anyone and everyone beneath his station in life as head of a major trading conglomerate. Or successful rag and bone man. If you were looking for the definition of a diminutive Welsh businessman full of his own self-importance, then Drew’s your little boyo.

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Mange tout Rodney, mange tout.

Well it’s ages since I did a posting on a really laughable tv ad but I’ve found one for you dear readers. It’s for Renault’s new electric car range, specifically the Renault Zoe. Now it’s a very nicely produced ad and the background music is spot on, whilst the characters are believable and the creative idea of showing things which ought to be electric being powered by little combustion engines puffing out exhaust smoke, is simply brilliant. So what’s my problem with the ad? Well it’s the female voice-over and she has just about the most ridiculous French accent I’ve ever heard. Like a refugee from ‘Allo ‘Allo. Have a listen (or as we say in Franglais avoir une ecoute)….

 

See what I mean? It’s the best laugh I’ve had since scouser Joey Barton started speaking English with a faux French accent whilst playing for Marseille and that Yorkshire dipshtick Shteve McLaren adopted a Dutch accent in hish tv interviewsch whilst managing Twente. As they say in Peckham, Bonnet de douche my old son…

 

 

shuper shtuff

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