Category Archives: health

Live Young?

It was my birthday this week and as I’m officially moving deeper into my thirtysomething years, I’m therefore always on the look out for ways to ensure I still look as though I’m enjoying my later twenty-somethings instead.

Water’s long been the “secret” to great skin, better metabolism etc. and perhaps it really is the elixir of youth, but somehow the Evian “Live Young” campaign that has been around for a couple of years now, has always left me cold, and frankly done absolutely nothing to endear the brand to me. Quite the opposite in fact. Especially as their more recent work seems to be moving away from what I imagine were some of their more established brand values – origin, health & youth.

Nowadays they seem to be falling into the all too familiar trap of doing quirky, whilst retaining only a tenuous link to their strategy. Their initial Live Young TV ad seemed a slightly better brand fit, tonally, although I’ve got to be honest CGI babies are among some of the creepiest things that you can associate your brand with in my personal opinion – it’s not natural, they look really, unnervingly odd!

But this new “viral” that they’ve got out – it not only leaves me feeling a little confused about the brand, but it completely gives me the heebejeebes!

Currently at No.2 in the AdAge Viral Video Chart a fair amount of people are watching it I suppose. But what’s the propositon really? Evian makes me more youthful? That’s a category truth though – where’s the product truth? Where’s the thing in Evian that makes me look/feel younger than if I drank 3 litres of standard tap water? Combined with the fact they’ve (to my mind anyway) managed to completely lose any genuine brand personality, there is apparently no reason for me to choose it.

So I won’t.

That and the fact I don’t want the energy of a baby – awake & hyperactive for 2 hours, then grouchy & irritable and then asleep for 3 hours?? That’s what coffee & mid-afternoon chocolate’s for, no?

Kudos to them for trying to do something that will stand out in a category it’s probably hard to make any genuinely distinct claims in, but dancing babies aren’t going to make me want to drink their water; lack of a distinct personality, USP or any real engagement certainly isn’t either.

Also, why the “viral” ad if they’re not going to do anything else online? Their website doesn’t have the same tone for starters (no, showing the ad there too isn’t enough), as it seems to be very much where they used to be – conservatively european, clean, aspiring to be high-end and perhaps a bit dull. If the ad has entertained me enough to seek out your site, I want to be worth my while – engage with me, let me interact with you, don’t bore me. If you’re quirky, be quirky.

Having clearly spent a fortune on a TV ad, I think they’re missing a mightily big trick. It’s not all about TV anymore, and it’s certainly not about an online strategy being the release of a “viral”. They’ve got a creative device that could have real legs across all media, but especially online (albeit slightly creepy, chubby babies’ legs). Why aren’t they using it to its full potential?

I can see why they would want to move on – but follow it through. If a job’s worth doing and all that jazz.

My verdict – Stop trying too hard, just try & be smarter. Pick a brand personality, stay true to your values, make sure it’s in the fibre of all your communications and engage, engage, engage.

There endeth my sermon for today 😉

Chariots of… dire

OK, I’m seriously going to start running & get fit. No, really, I’m serious. Really. Alright, you can stop now… really… stop… well at least put that cup of tea down before you start choking, or shoot it out of your nose or something. Seriously though, I mean it. I am determined to whip my fat ass into shape and find a way to de-stress at the same time.

Now, those of you who know me of old, will be more than aware of how badly P.E. & I got on at school – we were in no way the best of friends. I tended to get picked for things like the Long Jump at sports day, mainly on account of having had a growth spurt early on and being a 5ft 9ins tall 13-year old.

Most team sports and, well, really anything involving a modicum of coordination and/or speed, were just not something that I was very good at. I’d have been much happier working on some quadratic equations or making sure the books in the library were properly sorted in line with the Dewey Decimal system (I wish I was only joking about that last bit!).

The only sports I was any good at were Volleyball, again probably the tall factor kicking in and Trampolining. Not really sure why I was good at that one – I bounce well maybe?!

In addition to my lack of sporting prowess comes a sporadic form of ADD, which mainly kicks in when I go into a gym (a bit like Tourettes when I’m driving). I’m sorry, but fuck me but gyms are BOOOOOORRRING! I walk into one and instantly I can feel my mind becoming restless straight away. 15 minutes on a cross trainer has got to be the equivalent of a temporary frontal lobotomy – drop a section of your brain off at the desk when you pick up your towel maybe?

Well, we’ve established that I’m a raging geek and an impatient one at that, but the fact remains that I need to get fit. And I sure as shit, need to find a way to destress, with the maelstrom of thoughts that are racing through my head at any one time. S0, here goes.

Serious running is the order of the day and who knows, there may even come a time when I can run further than the end of the road without either a) coughing up a lung or b) pretending not to be in quite as much discomfort when cute (and much fitter) boy zooms past me?

Until then, I’m going to crack on and get some miles under my belt, all the while dreaming of a day when I can run for aaaaages with the greatest of ease and also figure out a running outfit that makes it OK for me to wear my American Apparel knee-high socks in public…


…which may or may not be my real excuse for taking up running. Don’t ask me why, but I’m a total sucker for knee-high socks!

Every cloud has a silver lining

Ten things that are great about being off work ill for the day:

  1. I don’t have to wash my hair or wear any make-up (though I just saw myself in the mirror and probably should, for my own sanity)
  2. I don’t have to wear normal clothes & can slob about in my tracksuit bottoms & a t-shirt with no sense of shame
  3. Crappy daytime TV, especially Maury – my parents should be eternally grateful that I was so utterly rubbish at my rebellious phase
  4. Snoozing on the couch
  5. Having no appetite at all makes me feel really thin
  6. Feeling sick stops me smoking
  7. Ploughing through my DVD collection. Today: Old School, All About Eve & The IT Crowd
  8. Sitting in the garden & enjoying the sunshine… shall get around to that one this afternoon.
  9. Snoozing on the couch (I like my sleep)
  10. Endless cups of tea (as soon as I get up and buy some milk)

One thing that’s not great about being off work ill for the day:

  1. I’m sick. Stupidly, making me feel like I’ve been in a war, nauseatingly, annoying, sick. Bleurgh.

Still, it could be worse. Now, for a little snooze methinks.

Nick Nolte looks how I feel

Not generally in life though you understand. In the normal turning of the world we are in no way similar, but today I am pretty knackered and therefore feel like poo on a stick, a poopsicle if you will.

Nick Nolte Mug Shot

And though he has provided an excellent visual metaphor for my decrepit state today, there endeth the similarity. I am however regretting my choice of Hawaiian shirt this morning though…