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  • 6.23am. The van’s lights on, blood covered the steering wheel.

6.23am. The van’s lights on, blood covered the steering wheel.

December. 6.23am. The van’s lights on, blood covered the steering wheel.

A frighteningly-haunting cold morning.

Trees black and barren, naked and scared.

A menacing blue hue screamed through frosty-vacant sky like bats.

The blood on the steering wheel sparkled a glossy cherry red as the orange morning sun poured through the Mercedes Sprinter windows.

Footsteps. Closer.

I sat in the passenger seat. Petrified.

Heart thudding like football boots in a tumble dryer. Sweat dripped down my forehead.

The Footsteps. Closer. Closer.

Cold boot on cold concrete.


My head turned into an ice cube of cold fear.

Was it one person or two or maybe three ?

The boots paused 5 feet from the front of the van. The wing mirror was frosty, I couldn’t really see. Only a man in a cap with an ear piece.

The man in the cap in jumbled pidgin English: “you gaaatt theee goods, everything in there?”

“Yes bruvaaaa, naaa get thaaa faaaak aaataaa here”

The van door swung open.

My friend, Tom, nose stuffed with Kleenex (daily nosebleed), dropped hot steaming pucks of pure joy on the seats.


Sausage and Egg McMuffin.

Duran Duran “Hungry Like a Wolf” aptly poured through the speakers, I stuffed my face like Famished-Like-a-Racehound.

I miss my cheese slinging days. Easy life. Bowl around London. Drop cheese to The Ritz, Savoy, Ivy, Chiltern Firehouse. Eat McDonalds. Drink Diet Coke.

I love McDonalds. It’s god like.

When I’m catatonically-crawling through the streets of Wandsworth in a splendid stupor of starry-eyed absolutely-battered.

The totemic Golden Arches, hang in the sky dark sky, beaming hope, like God’s fucking nut-sack.

They say: “come un’ home bab-ee,, erry-thangs gon’ be alriiiiitght”

An ode to Maccies.

Starter: Just Do It, Differently.

Fallow is London’s Hansal’s-so-hot-right-now restaurant.

Fallow, famously, just reinvented the McDonalds Sausage and Egg Muffin.

It’s giving me the Medium-spice-Horn just looking at it.


The lesson:

We don’t need to REINVENT the wheel. Just Do It, Differently. 

The market rewards DIFFERENT not BETTER.

Innovation is just a small selection of small things done, differently and in a world where everyone’s obsessed with better, just be different.

It’s the same with brands, just do it slightly differently.

Little Moons is NOT a new idea. Mochi has been in Japanese culture for centuries. Little Moons made mochi fun and accessible.

Main Course: Tone of Voice is a Brick Wall that Starves Off Competition - lessons from McDonalds’

Some brands let their soul fall-out-their-arse.

Become insipid, tepid, pallid meh-ness.

McDonald's are different.

McDonalds are Tone of Voice Masters.

They say.

🍊Brand is a moat that starves off competition.


🍊Tone of Voice is a 10 ft brick wall with barbed wire and Sniper Shooters.

EVERYONE is coming to copy your brand, packaging, product, distribution and social strategy.

Tone of Voice is SO, SO hard to copy.

Tone of Voice comes from the soul.

Tone of Voice a unique language between you and your consumer.

J’adore McDonald’s latest campaign.


Speak like your consumers speaks.

Nuffin is colloquial and speaks like builders who buyer Maccas breakfast.

Also, Nuffin sub-consciously alludes to the McMuffin - their hero product.


🍊7.45 AMMMMM

Again genius.

7.45 - rifles home the occasion of consumption.

The “Ammmmmm” - works on 3 levels

  1. Am - morning - reinforcing consumption occasion.

  2. Mmmmmmmmmm, onomatopoeic = Mmmmmm that’s delicious.

  3. Mmmmmmmmmm, onomatopoeic = the yawning feeling when you’re getting ready for a days work


Questions > Statements.

Questions create tension, unlock curiosity and conversation.

Are you Red or Brown? Or both?

Breakfast, Done Properly.

Tone of Voice, Done Properly.

Dessert: Sweat your way to Luck.

his head actually looks like a hamburger bun

Finally, to end our feast some wisdom from Ray Kroc.

“Are you green and growing or ripe and rotting?”

Stay green. Stay growing. Constantly reinvent. Try new things because when you’re ripe, you’re complacent, when you’re complacent you’re dying.

“Luck is the dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.”

I really believe you create your own luck. Work harder. More comes your way.

Thank you so so much

One little favour, that would ABSOLUTELY make my weekend.

Growing a newsletter is bloody hard. Like really hard. My goal is to get to 500 subscribers by the end of the month. Were on 378 right now.

Please, if you’ve a couple of mins, may you share the newsletter on your LinkedIn or social media or Team’s Slack Channel

As they say, Every Little Helps

Popey x