Shed Simove: "I told my mum I had a viral campaign and she said, 'Get down the clinic!'"

Hello, Shed here. Great to be with you.

You might forget from time to time, but you've got something very valuable in your head. And it's not just your wonderful, creative and very sexy, brain. You've also got your eyeballs. In fact, as you may know, the term 'eyeballs' is used by internet marketers to describe your 'attention'. And, as you also know - your eyeballs are very, very valuable. That's because once something on the web captures someone's attention, someone else can sell to them. And hey, there are a lot of folks out there with something to sell…

So, day to day, what gets your attention? Is it something funny, exciting, taboo or original? It's probably any one - or a combination - of these factors. When I think up ideas for novelty gifts, books or TV shows, I always run my ideas through an internal filter that checks whether something I'll produce has one of four traits. As well as being original, my ideas have to tick at least one of these vital boxes:

Shock - Amuse - Amaze - Inform

Now, because you're visiting the Smarta website, I can easily conclude that you're a very astute person who seeks out knowledge, therefore I have no doubt that it won't take you long to work out that most of my ideas fit into the 'amuse' ,'shock' or (occasionally, I hope) 'amaze' categories, and that most of my productions (apart from my books and corporate speeches) don't really 'inform' (I'll leave that to 'Wikipedia' - it does a grand job)!.

And one of my recent attempts to 'amuse' neatly shows how an idea can be taken from one business area and adapted to another sector, with hugely exciting results.

Here's how I went from the shop shelves on the high street to the internet superhighway…

One of my first novelty gifts was the 'Cock-A-Doodle Pad' - a memo pad that features full length drawings of men, complete with carefully placed gaps in their mid section, which allow the user to doodle an appropriately sized appendage onto the illustration. To date, the 'Cock-A-Doodle Pad' has sold over a hundred thousand units worldwide and I've even proudly released the 'Celebrity Cock-A-Doodle Pad' as a follow up to the first pad.

This latest version features drawings of Brad Pitt, Barack Obama, Elton John, David Beckham, Bill Gates and Prince Charles that you can happily doodle on.

Now, I've always wanted to create a big online hit. In the past, we all saw how the 'Elf Yourself' e-cards swept the world and how this year, the 'Newport State Of Mind' spoof music video really caught people's imagination - well, I've always wanted to create something similarly remarkable so that people spontaneously recommend it to their friends. How exciting would that be - to have something you produce enjoyed by millions of people in hundreds of countries?  Plus, potentially highly lucrative too, of course…

I tried launching a viral campaign with my 'Guantanamo eBay' site and that did pretty well but it never quite became the phenomenon I'd hoped for. So now I'm hoping people will love my new attempt at a viral hit: Cock-A-Doodle - and that it'll be this year's web hit.

I simply took the concept of the pad and, with the help of the brilliant team at Overthrow Productions, brought it to life on the web. Now anyone can draw on a wide selection of men's bodies using just their computer mouse. Please remember, though, if you're doodling on the image of my body that's on the site, just make sure I don't have a floppy disk, thanks.

So, fingers, toes and wires crossed - hopefully my CockADoodlePad site will spark people's imagination, give them a great laugh and create a global phenomenon that all started with a cheeky paper pad.

And, bonus! Until the 25th of December, I've also included a special guest figure on the online CockADoodlePad - in the shape of the topical figure, Santa. Yes indeed, you can draw in his baubles…

Get doodling now on:

Find out more about Shed Simove at

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