Archive for September, 2011

Stanley Cairns.

This blog is usually a light-hearted and irreverent look at the daft or funny things we get up to. But not today. Because today I’d like to remember a client who has just passed away – Stanley Cairns of Ideas in Furniture. Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife Olive, children Jamie and Lucy, and also to those who worked alongside him down through the years.

Put simply, Stanley was a gentleman. He was courteous, kind, modest and considerate. He was funny and engaging, always a delight to meet. And he had buckets of style and panache too, in his own cool and understated way.

As a client, Stanley could be demanding at times – rightly so, of course. Like everyone else, he wanted to see results. And because his was a family business competing with more and more Big Hitters in a new world of retail furniture, results really mattered to him. He had to be certain his budget was being spent wisely and effectively.

Naturally, we always try and spend clients’ money shrewdly and create the best work we can – it goes without saying. But (speaking personally here, although I’m sure the others agree) I think we always tried to do that bit more for Stanley. I certainly did. Maybe it was the fact that he was always very complimentary about the work. Maybe it was because he was carefully and successfully steering his business through changing times. Or maybe it was because you just always want to go the extra, extra, extra mile for the good guys – and believe me, Stanley was top of list of Genuine Good Guys. Whatever the reason, Stanley always got that little bit more from me. He deserved it too.

Once you’d met and got to know him, Stanley was a talker, and not always about business. Whenever he came into the office, he and I usually book-ended our meetings with a chat about football or music. He was a huge Northern Ireland fan and of course he was famous for his immense passion for music, never living in the past but always unearthing new things to listen to. I thought that was a terrific attitude – love the past, but keep on learning.

The last time I saw him, he brought me in a CD he thought I’d like: Other Directions by Nicola Conte. It’s a jazz CD by a young Italian, although Stanley was basically a blues man at heart – good, deep, raucous blues.

The music on the Nicola Conte CD was different – smooth, stylish, sophisticated and understated. I’m tempted to say it was a bit like Stanley himself. But Stanley would hate a corny link like that. “Awwwww, come off it Brian” he’d say and roll his eyes. And he’d be bloody right too.

Still, whenever I play his CD again, I’ll always be thinking of him. Stanley Cairns. A good man, a massive loss.

May he rest in peace.


Joanne scales new heights…

…and then plummets from them!

Well done to our Finance Director Joanne Brown who stepped bravely into action to abseil from the Europa Hotel last Saturday.

Joanne was raising money for Cystic Fibrosis and deserves huge praise for the cool manner in which she approached the task.

(Much more than could be said of her supporters on the ground – allegedly)

Welcome to our world

Say Hi to little Lottie Bluebell Parker, the latest addition to the portfolio of our Design Director Ross Parker. Hearty congratulations to Ross and Patsy on their beautiful new daughter.

A little more straight talking please

As an advertising and design agency, we’re not a very pretentious lot here in Elm House Creative. If we detect bulls**t, we zap it! So it’s nice to discover there’s other ad people out there who share our passion for keeping it simple. One of the most famous of these is the Ad Contrarian (there’s a clue in the name folks). Here’s his latest diatribe – I’d hate to be the guy who got his goat up!

Radio ads: recognise this scenario?

Ever wondered what VO guys really think about the clients/agency heads on the other side of the studio window? Well, this little movie from VO guy extrodinaire extrordinare extraordiniaire – from brilliant VO guy Jonathan Kydd captures it all.

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