Around the Dot

13 February 2007

In between two beach visits, Raquel and I managed to see Dreamgirls at the cinema downstairs. Or to be true, I let her convince me that since it had some Oscar nominations, it should be worth a try.

Some parts of the dialogs are actually songs so I thought “hey, that’d make quite a nice musical”. And the end credits revealed it is based on a musical so it all makes sense – yep, sorry, I missed that part of American popular culture.

The story line is quite basic and predictable but that’s a musical! So it makes for a nice entertaining 90min musical. Or it would, if the songs were ending properly without the 5 minutes vocalization of the song’s final one/two-syllable word.

Still, great performance by the wonderful Eddie Murphy and the lovely Beyoncé.

And I just learned that Jennifer Hudson (who plays Effie) is a former contestant of American Idol – wow! We don’t have contestants like that in France or in the UK from the poor performances I overheard while zapping or when Raquel’s watching.

Anyway, you might want to seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Or maybeeee noooooooooooooooooooooooooooot. ;)

09 February 2007

Marky Mark and the Black Card
Nope, this post isn’t about me babbling on Mark Wahlberg and its Amex Centurion – I have no access to customer information or that kind of gossip at Amex anyway. By the way, I saw one of his last movies (Invicible) on the plane between Heathrow and Bangkok… and it was not too bad, even a tad inspirational.

Back to the topic today: I have come across a recent article by Marketing bad boy Mark Ritson about the Centurion card. I had the chance to attend Prof Ritson’s class on Brand Management during my second year at London Business School and it’s as good as his articles. He now has his own website with an archive of his witty column in UK magazine Marketing.

The article is a good read but I can't really comment on it (Amex policy).

Amusingly Mark’s website is at a URL with a cheap word twist, In France (where BTW according to Mark’s class, we have a natural sense of branding), we have a saying: “Shoemakers always wear the worst pair of shoes”. :)

08 February 2007

Five Months later
Well, I guess that a 5-month silence is more than enough to declare a blog legally dead. Yet, I'm back. So, as with good friends whom you haven't seen in a while, let's catch up as if only a few days had gone by. Starting with the highlights of the post-MBA life since my last post in August - in no particular order:
  • Seeing CEO Ken Chenault and then spending 1 hour with CMO John Hayes on the train discussing cards, design, Laird Hamilton and innovation
  • Spending a week in NYC with Amex and enjoying the week-end there with Raquel to discover our future playing ground (ETA August 2007) in a very nice Indian Summer time
  • Indulging (?) in a week-end in Rome - great food, great walks, great shopping and poor weather
  • Trying some great trendy restaurants and bars (Atami, Spoon, Asia de Cuba, Mango Tree, Volt Lounge…)
  • Enjoying to the full my first family Christmas in three years – scene set in our lovely family house in the French country side with walk in the woods, board games and relaxing in the big chairs next to the fire place. By the way, Christmas must be offline time (even YouTube took a plunge)
  • Finally receiving my original MBA diploma from the University of London
  • Visiting the Google London office (3 floors above the new American Express office where I moved in November) on their PJ day – very fun but felt a bit like an hospital ward
  • Being featured in the French business magazine “Challenges” – interview... and! picture; the session for the picture with the professional photographer was great fun (in front of Big Ben with my LBS scarf)
  • Paying a visit to the German team to discuss SBS initiatives
  • Attending an Amex-organised Marketing Breakfast with WPP’s Martin Sorrell who is actually my previous big boss (I interned at the group’s media agency Mindshare last summer)
  • Seeing fewer movies than usual (too expensive here and we couldn’t apply to an unlimited card for just 6 months) – still, I loved the new James Bond!
  • Going to the JET concert in nearby Brixton with best mate James (coming from Paris and staying in our lavish second bedroom for the occasion) and also going to an Iron Maiden show because Raquel is a die-hard fan
  • Finding some time to write a post about my first three months at Amex on the school MBA blog
  • Flying to Sydney – departing on February 1st and arriving on the 5th with a stopover in Bangkok to discover the city, enjoy Thai food and relax in a nice hotel and spa.