Boardgames are a big part of my life, and as we enter winter lockdown , perhaps you’re reluctantly dusting off an old boardgame in the corner of the cupboard for a bit of distraction.

This (rather self-indulgent and nerdy) essay looks at how you might get more out of it than you realise…

Boardgames and me

Currently I play a big sprawling boardgame called Blood Bowl, where you play a fantasy American football team (but made up with the kinds of folks you’d see in Lord of The Rings). You can play in a league across multiple games, with your…


(What HP Lovecraft can and can’t teach us about the human condition)

I don’t know about you, but to me it can feel like we’re living in the end times.

Whichever side of the political spectrum we’re on, wherever we get our news, the forecast is bad-to-worse.

Right now we are facing a bit of a perfect storm of macro and micro existential challenges. Individual lives are thrown into uncertainty, while nations are facing their own identity crises, while we face species level near and far threats in Covid-19 and the spectre of environmental crisis.

But, worst of all, we’ve…


… Or why we need more Good Honest Ads.

For the past couple of months in lockdown, me and my partner have been singing “Hello muddah, Hello fadduh, here I am at, Camp Granada”.

In particular we sing it at our cat. Although I never really understood why until my partner explained to me that it was based on an ad from when she was a kid, about a dog with fleas.

So we dug out the ad and rewatched the one that had clearly burrowed into her brain. And my god, what a treat it is. It’s not…


This is a piece I wrote for BrandZ on why we should, perhaps, be a bit less loose with the ‘L word’ in branding.

You can read the report here too: https://www.brandz.com/admin/uploads/files/BrandZ_Top_Most_Valuable_75_UK_Brands_Report.pdf

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Words matter. They shape the way that we see the world. They are the critical currency of brand strategy. It is irresponsible for us to not consistently re-examine their usage and the assumptions they bring with them.

We reach for analogies and metaphors when talking about brands because they’re complicated, intangible beasts. But in doing so we often commit a fallacy. Just because we can say it…


Into the world of Edena — the weirdest most wonderful B2B branded content I’ve seen

As both a bit of a nerd and a hoarder, my house is filled with books, graphic novels and magazines I buy but don’t always get round to reading.

By week three of lockdown, I finally sat down and read Edena by Moebius. (AKA French artist and cartoonist, Jean Giraud). What I hadn’t realised before I read it, was that it was actually an incredibly beautiful and astounding piece of branded content. (The dreaded phrase.)

The work originated in 1983 as a piece of branded…


This is an article I wrote for the BrandZ UK 75 Most Valuable Brands 2019 report — you can see it (and the rest of the report) here https://brandz.com/admin/uploads/files/UK_Report_2019_Download.pdf on page 70.

Brands exist as useful fictions in our world, to drive economic growth

Brands are intangible objects that help businesses build rich and valuable associations around their products. They help consumers navigate the world and communicate their identity. They help markets articulate and assess the value of the intangible assets within the business.

This has been the engine that drives a lot of economic growth. Creating demand, supporting innovation…


(or why Monopoly is terrible and what you can do about it)

With the holidays coming up, we may all be facing the prospect of eggnog and boardgames. In particular, one family favourite (or hated favourite)…

Monopoly.

The ruiner of many happy family moments

While monopoly definitely contains a healthy dose of luck, there are ways to do better at it, and ways to get more out of it. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you get the most out of it.

And there’s also a lot of fascinating history to Monopoly. …


Anyone who knows me will have been bored to death by my recent journey into being ‘a runner’. Having been profoundly (almost aggressively) unathletic growing up it has been something of a revelation. It’s been hugely gratifying discovering that I don’t have a fundamentally broken body. It’s also been humbling realising how it does and doesn’t work when I push it.

That aside, one concept that stuck with me was that of “going slower to go faster”. It’s the idea that sometimes you’ve got to hold yourself back and consciously slow yourself down in order to ultimately go faster. …


There’s a thought experiment about forgeries, where you imagine that you fall in love with a painting — it elicits a powerful emotional response in you, you love the finish, the craft, by also the overall effect of it. You later discover it was a masterful forgery. Is your enjoyment of the painting diminished? Is it less aesthetically pleasing? Would you still want to hang it on your wall? Why/why not? (And would you rather have never found out?)

Image result for forgery art

I was reminded of this while having a debate over whether AI, or a computer, could come up with emotionally powerful…


This is a presentation I wrote, based on an article I wrote.

It’s about how we, as an industry, were part of creating the Attention Economy, why it’s a good thing, but then how at some point, we lost our way and ended up turning it into the Distraction Economy. And some thoughts on how we might fix it…

I think there’s something useful around seeing the industry we work in as an ‘attention economy’. At the heart of it, that’s what we do – we buy, sell and use attention on behalf of our clients.

Oliver Feldwick

“Rangy and bespectacled” advertising nerd and boardgame fanatic

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