Wednesday, 16 June 2010

I Just Don't Get It

Congrats to Fletch for correctly identifying yesterday’s post heading as being a reference to Capt. Beefheart’s seminal opus, Trout Mask Replica. Not many people understood what Trout Mask Replica represented when it came out in 1969 – and they still don’t. I don’t think even Capt. Beefheart himself understood it.

Talking of ‘not getting it’; I’m currently at a trade show in Southampton all week. The words of the psychologist who lectured us last week on the benefits of simplicity in a PowerPoint presentation have come back to haunt me.

We have one of those pop-up stands as a backdrop, but it is an object lesson in the pitfalls of cramming too much information into something which has 8 seconds to make a visual impact on a passing punter and let him know what we’re actually selling. I specifically asked several tame customers if they could correctly identify our products from the backdrop and they had to admit they were struggling to make a connection. I had never seen this backdrop before and was horrified when I unpacked it on Monday.

Talking of branding; who knows that BP stands for Beyond Petroleum and not British Petroleum? I thought so. Not a very good rebranding exercise when 99.9% of people still think your company is called British Petroleum ten years after the change. I only became aware of it after Obama was brought to book by the press for calling them British Petroleum.


  1. Gimme dat Harp Boi
    Ain't no Fatmans' toy
    D'yu hear what it's saying?
    Hear wh'as sayin today?

    Strictly Personally the trout mask replica reminds me of the Billy Bass novelty push-button singing, wriggling fish shite artifact – I might get you one for Xmas unless you're nice to me.

    We use large pictures of gorgeous women to attract attention on our stands – works a treat – we could provide you with banners of this kind – gorgeous chick could be holding a radome or rocket or whatever it is you sell. Not phallic at all, much.
    Why do people use SuitPoint as an epidiascope for boring lists? Use pictures instead of words – obv innit.

  2. Just use the words "free", "new" or "improved", the rest of the sentence doesn't matter although if you can get "sex" in there somewhere then you're onto a winner.

  3. My dreadful borish brother in law works for those bastards! Knowing what He's like, no wonder they're in the shit. xx

  4. Does this mean the BNP are in fact the Beyond National Party and I just haven't been told yet?
    Sorry I have no idea what the trout is all about but I agree with Hux it looks like Billy Bass.

  5. Hux: Good man! You and Lizzie headed our way anytime soon? Must meet up again.

    Steve: There's no such thing as a free lunch.

    Jenny: I kind of feel sorry for them - the Americans I mean.

    Kerrie: Beyond National Party sounds like Nazi.

  6. You have to get the ancient buzzword, "Solutions" onto your banner...

    I saw a van the other day with "Catering Solutions" emblazoned upon it - Fab! They make sandwiches, obviously! I hate it...