October 22, 2017

Sunny with Occasional Rain | Leaving London

Sunny with Occasional Rain

It was a feeling of expectation mixed with a certain degree of finality when I arrived in Dubai may 1999. I had finally made definitive closure with my London life, 30 years of extraordinary memories and experiences, surfing on the rapids of the 70s music industry and the waves of 80s advertising mania.

The nasty nineties,  as they had been dubbed, brought recession, technology and a sudden curtain call on all the fun and extravagance that had been the unique London climate for this extraordinary period of time. Everything had suddenly become serious, organised – (read  digital) and competitive in a new fangled way. Kids with computers called themselves composers and upstart 20 somethings were all the rage of advertising because they ‘knew’ what the ‘consumer’ wanted. Gone were the long boozy lunches, the million pound shoots in Jamaica the witty, daring ideas. This was the new age, the MTV generation where it became the norm to license famous songs for ads, ‘borrowed recognition’ as was famously quoted. After  Levi’s had enticingly created the genre through their brilliant agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty,  the whole world jumped on the bandwagon. Ironically, research showed that people might remember hearing a famous song on an ad, but mostly people couldn’t remember the associated brand. Classic bandwagon syndrome. It became almost a mark of distinction – a kind of show off platform for ‘creatives’ and ‘directors’ to extol their supposed knowledge of obscure music recordings. For me it was just plain boring and more importantly – numbing. So my decision to leave London was pretty much made for me. I had to get back to something new, exciting, challenging. Dubai was at that time, a regular drop – in destination for a break and catch up with friends and clients. A trip was due and this might give me some thinking time about future plans. And so change was bout to happen and the mood of challenge that had dissipated from my London life was soon to be replaced – in spades.

Sunny with Occasional Rain

Sunny with Occasional Rain is a blog series written by BKP Media Group CEO, Barry Kirsch, highlighting moments from his intriguing career.

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