Simon Pont's 'The Better Mousetrap' - promo quotes, June 2013.
Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)rands have not suddenly become fish with feet.As ever, they look to seduce and captivate and intoxicate us,to draw us in, draw us close, never let us go.But like Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, the world of brands is oneof riddles and contradictions.Welcome to the rabbit hole.B“
Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)I take ‘the better mousetrap’ to be acompact metaphor for consumerism and the ‘creationof want’, that bad-wrap discipline called ‘advertising’.“Ro-Cat: The 1934 Twin Rocket Flying Suit, Jeff deBoer (1997).
It’s such a lovely, thorny, gnarly, ever-so-twisty,I-double-dare-you-to-try-and-answer kind of question.“Just what the hell is a ‘brand’?Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)”
A brand is a bundle of meanings and values, but as seenand perceived in the eye and the mind of a consumer.“Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap(Kogan Page, 2012)
My strong point is notrhetoric, it isn’t showmanship,it isn’t big promises –those things that createthe glamour and theexcitement that peoplecall charisma andwarmth.Richard Milhous Nixon37th President of the United StatesWatergate aside, there’s avery good reason whyRichard Nixon remains theleast-loved president in thehistory of American politics.““Simon PontThe Better Mousetrap (2012)
‘Straight advertising’ is the equivalent of ignoring yourgirlfriend over dinner. Branded content, and CRM, andco-creation is the opposite. It’s telling her she’s hot.Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)
In the finestsemiotic tradition,a brand’s logo is a signifier,a Stargate through which wemay pass into theemotional, rational,Philosophical Universeof that brand.“Simon Pont,The Better Mousetrap(Kogan Page, 2012)
Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)The running man.I’ve always foundthe running manto be an incrediblyevocative image -a motif with all manner ofpotential meanings:Running.Running towards something.Running awayfrom something.Being chased.Driven by fear,the threat ofcapture maybe.Or more hopefully,being driven byone’s self,to progress, succeed, to improve;the thing that drives not beinga threat from behind but a goal in front, the horizon.A burning want to improve, this being mankind’s perpetualforward motion. Bannister breaking the four-minute mile (6 May1954); Bolt devouring 100 metres in 9.58 seconds (16 August 2009).Mankind. By brilliant example. Achieving. Always running.And always getting faster.“
We need to get better at digital.Digital is too often talked about likeit’s someone’s tennis game,or golf game;like a handicap thatneeds shaving.‘Digital’ is not something toget better at. Digital isnot something to improve at,like your golf swing.‘Digital’ is merely zerosand ones. ‘Getting better’starts with understandingwhat to get better at.Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)“
‘The Past’ conjures all the magic and mystique of a travelbrochure destination, without a handy Time Machine todisprove the allure and expose the truth.For brands, ‘nostalgia’ can be one helluva compatibleand curvy bedfellow.“Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)
In the case of advertising, the headline holds firm.Sex sells... so long as you do it well.Life and advertising has many a parallel.“Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (2012)
Men and womendon’t - of course -respond to thesame universal setof turn-ons.As Billy Crystal put it:‘Women need a reasonto have sex. Men justneed a place.’Simon PontThe Better Mousetrap (2012)Kogan Page“
Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s ahorrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fictioncowboy detective novel.You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.Alan Moore, comic-book legend“As referenced in: The Better Mousetrap: Brand Invention in a Media Democracy (Kogan Page, 2012)
Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (2012)We divide lifeinto genres –just pigeon holesso that we can makesome sense of it all,but that’s not how welive life.An alternative sensecomes through living itand looking upon itdifferently,through which we maymashand bust it up.“
Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (2012)the consigliorepositioning.
Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)
Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (2012)There’s nothing veryvoodoo about consumerunderstanding.I think insightfulconsumer understandingtypically comes frombeing un-clinical,from being emotive.Great agency plannershave to draw on rawfirst-hand experiences,on ‘feel’ and intuition,of head, heart and gut.“
An agency’s planning process, or‘system’, or ‘tool’, may well be an acronym.Big organizations (agency and corporatealike) tend to be utterly adoring ofacronyms.TCP (Total Comms Planning);IBM (Integrated Brand Marketing);IBC (Integrated Brand Communications);ICP (Integrated Communications Planning).All are absolutely harmless, so long as noone goes confusing them with WMD’s.And while there’s nothing wrong with agood tool, there’s also a clear bottom line.Use a tool, never be one.“Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (2012)
Simon PontThe Better Mousetrap (2013)Kogan Page
Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)You get conventional brands. You get conventional advertisingsectors. Typically they sit within that world of risk-aversion, ofuncertainty and easy doubt, populated by journeymen anddullards. Conventions are the play-it-safe default that steps inthe way of invention.“
Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (2012)It’s only once youhave everythingthat a Hollywoodmovie star has thatyou then findyourself wantingan audience withthe Dalai Lama.Existential angstonly tends tofollow once yourtummy doesn’tgrumble and youpotentially have astar on HollywoodBoulevard.“
Language is abeautifulthing, andfortunately robustenough to take theslings, arrows andoccasional atombombs of abuseaimed at it.“Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)
To be a Category Hero, a brand needs to contrivea worthy villain, a suitable counterpoint,irrespective of howsame ordifferentthey truly are.Every brandneedsits Moriarty,its Joker,its Blofeld.Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (2012)“
Most grown menon the planet wishthey knew the stuffJason Bourne knows.Journeys ofself-discovery are justgreat when youend up in a placewhere you’resome kind ofkick-ass capableJames Bond, or wake upone day to be told you’reSuperman.“Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (Kogan Page, 2012)
More than ever, weworship at our ownaltars, plumping our ownegos, fuelling our owndelusions.Our ‘icons’ are now ourmeans, a desktop quick-clickby which we chronicle andcurate and self-narrate.Anyone can be a self-idol, anyone cancraft, expand and sharetheir own mythology.We’re becoming our owngods and monsters.“Simon Pont, The Better Mousetrap (2012)
Adland is no different to anyother industry badlands. There arerednecks with shotguns, forsure, just like anywhere, andmaybe some hungry tigerstoo, but also like a Narnia, thereare friendly lions and newfrontiers forming all thetime, where you get to playexplorer, pioneer, andcartographer. That can bethrilling.“Simon Pont,The Better Mousetrap (2012)
Happiness is our oneultimate end. Boil it rightthe way down, reduceall those motivationaldrivers, and sitting rightthere at the centre ofour very human hearts,is our yearning tobe happy.“Simon PontThe Better Mousetrap (2013)Kogan Page
The fundamentals will causeSimon PontThe Better Mousetrap (2012)Kogan Pageus all to stand and stare; our want“for material possessions, ourpossession and passingon of heirlooms, ourwant to leave a legacy;our base sexualdrives, our wish to bethe superior versions ofourselves; our desire tobe happy, as an emotionand an idea, thatultimate phantasm.
Material taken from ‘The Better Mousetrap’(Kogan page, 2012).“A fabulous new book. We recommend.”Blackwells Featured titles“Sneaky in a good way.”Judd Labarthe, Argonauten G2“A scalpel-sharp examination of ourrelationship with brands.”Chris Maples, MD, Spotify“Gloriously smart.”Faris Yakob, CIO, MDC“Shows cunning more akin to a wild cat thana mousetrap.”Greg Grimmer, Founder, HDMG“Simon has achieved the near impossible. Amust read!”Steve Hyde, CEO, 360 Search
ABOUT SIMON PONTHis agency career includes being part ofSaatchi & Saatchi and NakedCommunications, the pioneers ofCommunications Planning. Hollywood moviestudios, Icelandic investment banks, Britishchocolate bars and Middle Eastern airlinesfigure amongst his time on the inside ofAdland. He is Chief Strategy Officer at agencynetwork Vizeum, and an EACA Effies judge.Simon Pont is the author of non-fiction titles ‘The Better Mousetrap: Brand Invention in a MediaDemocracy’ and ‘Digital State’, and ‘Remember to Breathe’, a novel.Say hello at: www.simonpont.comSIMON PONT is a writer, commentator and brand-builder.