Confusa Persona

Three weeks into my college course and my head is wrecked. Simple questions such as ‘Why are you wearing what you’re wearing ?” followed up with “But why ?” and several more ‘But whys ‘ has left me firmly in the Comforting Lies camp rather than venturing within an asses roar of Unpleasant Truths territory. Do not wear your favourite St.Pauli F.C. sweatshirt into that class !

One of this week’s exercises was to pick five products at random and then pick a person/person from a group shot featuring a young family of 5, a hipster, granny, a model pretending to be a lady executive, a lady in a wheelchair, a model, a bloke pretending to be a punk, a lady jogger, a young couple, and a politician who’s just lost his seat and can now wear the elasticated sweatpants and jacket combo he always wanted to wear. Next you were to marry a product to a persona and answer some questions.

That’s my homework.

This is not my homework.

This is me matching random things in my office with one of these guys :

Product #1  :  Uddermint cream

Persona Group : Sporty , health conscious-ish

Name : Panting Paul

Job Title/Major Responsibility : Self employed, frustrated entrepreneur , dreamer, mortgages, runs for peace of mind.

A Defining Quote : “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami

Demographic : 52, secondary level education, Irish, married with almost adult children.

Goals : Eventually wants to run a marathon under 4 hours, having run 7 already , fantastically until mile 12-16 when everything falls apart. Just loves jogging, 5k’s and 10k’s, enjoys the camaraderie and , to be honest, hanging out with people in Lycra ( them , not him).

Pain points/Frustrations : Aching calves , and various other leg muscle, joint, tendon strains. Commitment to training interfering with love of Guinness and Rioja fueled dinner table chats.

Technical expertise & Background : Left school at 17, went to work in a factory, warehouse, sales rep., sales agent, self employed, employed others, the world collapsed, self employed.

Environment : Own office three miles from home in country , runs in forest park and around the centre of the Universe, Monaghan.

Product #2  :  Spiral bound blank page notebook from MUJI

Persona Group :  Creative, arty

Name : Procrastinating Paul

Job Title/Major Responsibility : Writer, self employed, frustrated writer , dreamer, writer who rarely writes ,mortgages

A Defining Quote : “If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.” – Seamus Heaney

Demographic : 52, secondary level education, Irish, married to long suffering Soul Mate  and incredibly talented children who will rock the world.

Goals : Publish ‘The Book’ , not a book, he’s done that , but ‘The Book’ his book. There is A story that creeps to the surface every so often, but is scared by the light and the chaos of the chase after every bright and shiny new thing.

Pain points/Frustrations : Time. He always says it’s time, but really it’s …SQUIRREL ! Distraction, procrastination and fear, fear of actually writing it all down and no one likes it at all.

Technical expertise & Background : Left school at 17, got a B in English thanks to his essay. Went to work , managed to employ writing and imagination in marketing and advertising.

Environment : Own office three miles from home in country , helps with voluntary groups that allows him to meet real artists and creators and help to write stories about Monaghan, the true centre of the Universe, paint wall murals, and build Giants.

Product #3 :  Self Help Books – (mostly unread), latest is “DEATH: The end of self improvement.”

Persona Group :  Middle aged pretend business person

Name : Pilgrim Paul

Job Title/Major Responsibility : Son, brother, Soul Mate, Dad.

A Defining Quote :     “ It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others. Not every life can be a success, just like not every vessel can be seaworthy. But there’s no shame in being one spectacular shipwreck.” –

Demographic : 52, reluctant Catholic, Jonathon Livingston Seagull is my bible. Community minded.

Goals : Peace, with oneself and with others. Secretly already knows that he has everything he has ever wished for and simply wants some indeterminate cherry on top. Actually, come to think of it …….

Pain points/Frustrations : Getting others to appreciate the good things that surround them already. Guilt. Undeserving.  

Technical expertise & Background : Left school at 17, tried the old Holy Ghost Fathers thing, worked, fell into lucky positions, met some AMAZING people , married the most amazing one. Fortunate in family and friends.

Environment : Own office three miles from home in country ,helps where he can, is helped 10 times over in return. Loves Monaghan, and is secretly delighted that it is relatively undiscovered, Dublin is OK to visit, but who would seriously like to live there ???

Product #4 :  Dogrel (LP) – Fontaines D.C.

Persona Group :  Middle aged hipster-lite

Name : Peter Pan Paul

Job Title/Major Responsibility : Curator of taste for his family, holding back the tide of mediocrity.

A Defining Quote :     “ I always thought my records were number one; it’s just the charts didn’t think so.” – Nick Cave

Demographic : 52, concert goer, hates Irish country music, buys vinyl, but more for the album covers, listens on Spotify, wears band tees, retro isn’t retro for him it’s nostalgia.

Goals : Glastonbury !

Pain points/Frustrations : Never getting to Glastonbury. Would really love to love craft beer, but really, really doesn’t.

Technical expertise & Background : Left school at 17, has seen The Pogues,The Blades, Stiff Little Fingers, Something Happens, Light A Big Fire, REM,U2, Queen, Blur , Oasis, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, Post Party, Gorillaz, Rex Orange County, got to Radiohead after party, met David Bowie on the bus to Galway.

Environment : Best concerts EVER were in McKenna’s Bar, Dublin St., centre of the Universe, brought Jake to see The Strypes, brought Robyn to see Fontaines D.C.

And the fifth product ?

What random product do you think I’d use, have, want to have ?

Email me with your answer and I’ll send a limited edition tee to the 5 best answers.


P.S. This week I’ve been listening to Weird Fishes/Arpeggi by Radiohead….again.

Author: paul

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