Is this really a Brave New World?

Sorry this is nothing to do with branding. It’s bigger than that.

The NRA have come out today and said the massacre in Newtown which saw 20 innocent children and six innocent adults murdered by a lunatic gunman (that I refuse to name and feed his publicity fetish) could have been prevented if the teachers had been armed.

How can it be right that it is seen as the right way to bring up children to have them cowering behind high wire, prison style fences with armed guards for teachers. How can it be right that children in a supposedly civilised society have to practice for the chance that a gunman could come to their school, like we practiced fire drills.

In the book Brave New World, written by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932, he predicted that life in AD 2540 would be characterised by a few things.

People would live in protected communities and so out of their heads on Soma (their tranquiliser) that their life would be an idle and pointless one. They would grow fat and lazy and be de-sensitised to death whilst being bought up to be scared of the ‘Savages’ who lived in the Reservation. Effectively, these savages are us, you and me, normal people, living normal lives with love, passion and compassion for others around us.

The answer to gunmen being both inclined and able to wander into schools murdering people isn’t just about banning guns, it’s about changing the culture of an entire society that is built on the right to bear arms, which gives anyone carte blanche to able to get their own back on people or society by blowing them away.

In my Reservation, that I’d live in, people could have guns, but keep them locked away at gun clubs. No-one would be allowed military spec assault rifles – apart from the military and even then only in training or in war. People with mental illness would be cared for and wouldn’t have access to guns at all – let alone over 500 rounds of ammunition. Ever. Full stop.

We are heading for Huxley’s Brave New World and without a generational change in attitude, we will get there a long way before 2540.

Please share this if you want us to live normal lives as normal people and give our children a chance to grow up in a society that you’d like to live in yourself.

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What a beautiful brand video by Chipotle

I think I must be turning into a bit of an old softie as I saw this video today and just loved it. The music by Willie Nelson is a beautiful interpretation of the Coldplay song ‘The Scientist’ Which I have since bought and played a few times to check it is as good as I think It is. It is.

I knew nothing about Chipotle, but it turns out the are pretty big in the US with over 900 stores, none of which incidentally are franchises. If they are half as good as this video and the way they present themselves on the rest of the brilliant website, they will be a place that I want to hang out. There are four stores in the UK, all in London, but i’m hoping the development page here, may be picked up by some of my agency friends and some perfect Nottingham sites suggested to their development team.

But this simple video tells me everything about their values. They do the right thing, they are a simple business model and they are prepared to invest in quality. That doesn’t sound far off the perfect brand value set to me. Please come to Nottingham, you will be very welcome. Better still, come to West Bridgford, you’ll be alongside, the fabulous Escabeche, Fellicini’s and  the busiest Pizza Express in the UK (allegedly).

In the meantime, enjoy the video and go and buy some locally produced food.

Updated 28.03.13

I was in London yesterday meeting some friends and colleagues and managed to get chance to finally go and eat in a Chipotle restaurant and I wasn’t even a tiny bit disappointed. The food was lovely and the staff friendly and helpful. For what is effectively fast food, there is almost no saturated fat and you leave feeling full and healthy rather than ‘dirty’ as you would with other fast food joints.

Chipotle Burrito - One of the nicest things I have ever eaten
Chipotle Burrito – One of the nicest things I have ever eaten

I was lucky enough to travel across Costa Rica some years ago (on a bike!) and one of the highlights for me was the food. Chicken, rice, black beans and some chilli style sauce with Guacamole. Chipotle serve this plus some. Chipotle, please come to Nottingham. We need you.

The new WeighTWATchers logo

Sorry to be rude, but exactly how is the new logo for Weightwatchers an improvement over the old one? I have underlined the offending area of oversight in red.

Weightwatchers logo - before and after - This may make you feel a bit of a twat
Weightwatchers logo – before and after – This may make you feel a bit of a twat

Admittedly the old one was a little dated, but is this really better, more inclusive, younger, more dynamic, or does it just make the agency – Pentagram – look a little silly and the research they would have carried out look a little flawed.

This is why the Apple brand is still world class

Sometimes I fall right out of love with Apple, mainly because it isn’t individual or special any more, but this just reaffirmed why Apple is still an astonishing brand with a stunning eye for detail.

I asked Siri a simple question “who let the dogs out?” and this is the conversation we had.

 Apple Siri - Who let the dogs out? Who, who who, who who

Apple Siri – Who let the dogs out? Who, who who, who who

Apple as a brand has always had it’s own little quirks and one of these is Siri. Apple have pre-programmed jokes into it that we slowly uncover as we use it. One of my other favourites happens if you tell Siri you are a little drunk.

‘Neither of us is driving home then’ comes back as an answer with a button to press to call a taxi.

That could have been done in a totally boring way or ignored as a valid question/statement, but Apple, in the search for the tiny details that really make a brand special, have hidden these beautiful brand quirks all over the products and I love them for it.