Tools & Tips > Library

Welcome along to my library...

It's a nice and cosy place, tucked away in a quiet corner of my website, where I store inspiring and interesting and entertaining bits of knowledge from other folk.

So settle in, pull up an e-chair, pop your feet up on an i-poof, and have a read and/or watch accordingly.

How a chameleon's tongue works Vs. how Chameleon Copywriting works

chameleon feeding bbc earth

The other day, I was kindly forwarded some jaw-dropping footage of a chameleon catching its prey.

Now whilst I don't use the 'ballistic power of my sticky tongue' to capture clients, I did spot a few parallels between my namesake's talents and my copywriting services.

So I decided to put our respective skills to the test...

1) An actual chameleon can catch prey located up to 1.5 body lengths away in less than 0.07 seconds. Vs. Chameleon Copywriting can write copy that appeals to target markets across the globe, and Google takes around 0.27 seconds to provide search results.

Score: 0-1 to Chameleon Copywriting. A touch slower off the mark, but much more reach.

2) Pre-tongue launch, a real-life chameleon tenses a number of circular tongue muscles. Vs. At the time of writing, Chameleon Copywriting isn't aware that it possesses any circular tongue muscles.

Score: 1-1

3) The BBC Earth film, whilst wonderful, does include the following typo:

bbc chameleon typo

Result: Chameleon Copywriting wins the match 2-1, thanks to an own goal.

Unplain speaking


Some lovely alternative definitions of modern phrases and how to 'succeed through obscurity', courtesy of Robert Hutton.

Have we all been guilty of uttering some or all of them? Now, let's be honest...

"Cautiously optimistic" - I think it'll either be fine, in which case I want you to thank me, or it won't, in which case I don't want you to blame me.

"Could you put your request in an email?" - I stopped listening about five minutes ago.

"I'm sorry, but..." - I'm not sorry at all.

"Let's be honest" - Let's agree with me.

"Let's face it" - Let's agree that you're wrong.

"Consultation" - We're not going to let the fact that we can't work out how to do it stop us from announcing what we want to do.

"With respect" - Please die.

"With the greatest respect" - Please die now.

And last but not least, a fabulous quote from the author:

“This is a book about how to succeed through obscurity. Not by lying; lying is wrong. But you can steer a truck through the gap between a lie and the truth. This book will tell you how to load the truck.”

Image and extracts from Would They Lie to You? by Robert Hutton

Things That Are Important on the internet And How To Spot Them

lauren laverne

Another wonderful article from the superb Lauren Laverne. In this irreverent guide to navigating modern day media, we learn that:

"On the internet, Things That Are Important are also Things That Are Capitalised OR THINGS THAT SHOUT AT YOU. Things that shout at you in all caps are both urgent and important. You should deal with them first."

As well as tackling the difference between male hobbies ("key drivers of industry") Vs. female hobbies (likely to merely result in a "flabby" brain) we also get an insight into knowledge itself.

"...bear in mind that there is no difference between information and understanding. People who believe the two things to be discrete and interdependent are IDIOTS (NB capitalised for importance)."

Full article

(Not very) Social Networks

secret library

I really enjoyed the article Do you know the social media secret? on the Huffington Post Canada website. It shone a light on the new generation of social networks, like Snapchat, WhatsApp, Path and Secret.

They're fascinating because they seem to herald a move away from Facebook and what Huffington Post's Mitch Joel calls the 'public chest beating of [our] semi-consequential day-to-day accomplishments'.

For example, Snapchat's content is instantly removed once the recipient has viewed it (it can't even be saved), whilst Path restricts users' number of friends to 150 (to better reflect the number of meaningful relationships we're supposedly able to successfully maintain). Meanwhile, Secret, launched in March 2014, attempts to elimate all ego and self-aggrandising from its network by forcing users to be anonymous - there are no profile photos or names.

So do we all want to communicate with actual friends in a real and meaningful way - and are these unsocial social networks the way to do it? Or will we remain welded to the self-branding utopia that is Facebook?

Heart FELT words

leadership wallace

A lovely inspirational piece of art, featuring the wise words of David Foster Wallace on the concept of real leaders and leadership.

It's an abridged excerpt from his essay "Up, Simba: Seven Days on the Trail of an Anticandidate" and it's crafted in felt-on-felt by artist Debbie Millman.

Here's the whole thing. It's well worth squinting at.

leadership wallace - all

It was created as a poster for the 2014 How Design Live conference (in Boston, USA) and you can buy a print here and 100% of proceeds benefit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.



An exceptionally silly but wonderful guide to branding language that, sadly, doesn't exist. Comes courtesy of Compass360.

An example or two? Certainly.


A glaringly obvious overestimation of a brand's importance in the world.

Also referred to as Delusions of Brandeur.


An archaic brand with a multi-pronged strategic approach and tendency to fizzle out over time.

More great branding terms you need in your life

He saw it, he loved, he ate it


Maurice Sendak

Edit, edit, edit


TEDTalks. Astonishing things. Here's another wonderful one, in which Sebastian Wernicke shows how to distill every TEDTalk into just six words.

TEDtalks - Sebastian Wernicke

Paws for thought


'We're seeing a shift in consumer habits [and] phenomenal growth in this category.'

A hefty dose of marketing catnip, courtesy of ad agency John St.




What does Raiders of the Lost Ark have to tell us about branding? How to get your audience on the same page, quickly.

Six secrets to branding


“Matt McGuire is a great asset to our team and his expertise and flow of ideas are greatly appreciated." 

Maryon Stewart, Author, Broadcaster & Founder of The Angelus Foundation


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