Bob died of a massive heart attack. The funeral director bathed him, brushed back his hair, touched up his face and dressed him up in a finely cut suit and Gucci shoes. Bob was ready to face the world one last time. But Bob is as dead as a door nail. And if he were left out any longer, rigor mortis would kick in and he would rot and stink. Sadly, the suit and the shoes will not help (Sorry, Gucci).
Now let me tell you that Bob is actually an ad, a TVC or a direct mailer. And the soul is an idea. Without the soul, no matter what it wears, it will stink and get buried in the graveyard of sameness.
Such is the power of an idea. You can cloak its absence with gimmicks, execution style, and with a litany of rationales. But let’s not kid ourselves – it’s dead.
So why is it so difficult to instil ideas? Believe you me, it’s not rocket science to come up with one. It takes the same amount of time to do a ‘crappy’ ad as it does to do something that’s memorable and stands out. You hunt for images and fonts. You spend hours trying different backgrounds. What’s the point in flogging a dead horse?
If a client’s aversion to ideas is what’s stopping you from infusing an idea into your every day work then you need to understand the true meaning of an idea.
An idea is not a bizarre, abstract and cryptic puzzle that you pride yourself in while everyone around you doesn’t get it. If that’s your definition of an idea then you are in the wrong profession. Maybe you should paint. There’s a huge market for abstract art – people don’t understand it but pay a king’s ransom to own it.
The ideas that I am talking about are simple truths born out of insights. It’s the originality and power of how it is presented.
It’s what happens when we shed all the frills that adorn our egos and start looking at consumers as real people. We tell stories, we make them laugh, cry, sing, question the status quo.
When your core idea is steeped in the essence of the brand, chances are the client wouldn’t reject it. But you cannot arrive at path-breaking ideas if you haven’t understood the brief. Don’t just read it. Question it. Believe in it. A brief is like a stereogram, if you look at it long and hard you will see an idea taking shape. And the more you immerse yourself in it, the clearer it will get. Look for gold nuggets. Push for insights. Find the many ways in which the product can enrich lives then dramatise them.
Breathe life into your work and it will live in people’s minds.
And, if you do it with all your heart, become immortal in a hall of fame…
Some of my friends and colleagues often joke about my reaction to things. It’s not rare to hear me exclaim wow! when a designer shows me a thing of beauty or when another creative comes up with a great idea. The fact is that these little thoughts / ideas / designs – no matter how small and where they come from – are rare little pieces of brilliance and creativity. They might solve a problem (big or small) or connect people or concepts, or just make the world a more beautiful and better place.
I am a champion of creativity and open mindedness. I love and support the creative process and connecting previously unconnected ideas together. I believe the result is a small step to humankinds’ improvement. And todays’ economy is powered by this creation and innovation. This is what WordPress and Tumblr and Blogging and Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Google+ and Youtube and Smartphones (you get my drift!) are all about. They get people designing, creating, solving and then sharing.
I read something yesterday – I cant remember who said it or where I read it (so sorry about the lack of attribution) but it was something like “if we honestly seek to change ourselves or our condition just 1% each day, that’s 365% of change in a year”.
So, here’s to more WOW! moments, living consciously and changing our condition and the world positively.
Last week we had some fun.
We gave each and everyone in Livingroom a line, a belief, a promise from our agency Manifesto and a week to come up with an idea around it.
It would have been one of those tasks that get lost in inboxes,
thrown on the back burner while day to day work takes priority,
or even ignored and forgotten till its dead and meaningless.
Luckily, we don’t abide by the ‘Normally’.
Instead, things happened.
We heard finance pitching their ideas to designers over a cigarette break,
We saw Brand Navigation experimenting with Photoshop,
Journey planning playing around with fonts,
Mission Control scratching their brains,
Connection having fun,
After hours brainstorming sessions,
Proud & glowing faces with ‘I found my idea’ written all over them.
And the result was mind blowing, nothing less than ‘Goose bumpy’,
Livingroom transformed into an art exhibition where everyone displayed their ‘own-created-developed’ idea.
It was heartwarming.
A reinforcement to our belief that great ideas come from anywhere and that we were indeed surrounded by Talent.
Definitely a big SMOOCH!
Check for yourselves:
ITS WHEN YOU’D TOUCH EACH OTHER WITHOUT A GUILT
ITS THAT TIGHTEST HUG YOU’D GIVE YOUR PARTNER
ITS WHEN YOU’D STAY LATE COZ YOUR PARTNER HAS A DATE
WE BELIEVE EVERY PIECE OF WORK WE DO IS LOVED TO BITS
WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY PIECE OF ART WE CREATE…WE CUM OVER IT
WE BELIEVE TALENTS ARE IRREPLACEABLE
WE BELIEVE OUR FLABBY TUMMY WILL NOT SLOW US DOWN
WE BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE OF US IS A PAGE IN THE BOOK CALLED ‘THEY DID IT’
WE BELIEVE IN INDIVIDUAL INDEPENDENCE & COLLECTIVE VICTORIES THAT TURN INTO BEST SELLERS
ITS A BELIEF THAT MAKES OUR HEARTS BEAT LOUDER THAN THUNDER
IT’S THAT CUP OF TEA YOU’S PREPARE FOR A VISITOR, A COLLEAGUE OR A CLIENT
WE ARE BELIEVERS
EINSTEIN ONCE SAID ‘FUCK YOU’. WE SAY, ‘FUCK YOU EINSTEIN’
WE BELIEVE THERE IS NO NIGHT…JUST THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT
WHEN THE SUN SLEEPS, WE TURN ON THE STARS
IT’S THE HONEST LAUGHTER THE SECURITY ON THE GROUND FLOOR WILL HEAR
BECAUSE WE’RE LIVING
There’s a blue bird inside us all.
Charles Bukowski’s poem “The Bluebird,”
there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I’m too tough for him, I say, stay in there, I’m not going to let anybody see you. there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I pour whiskey on him and inhale cigarette smoke and the whores and the bartenders and the grocery clerks never know that he’s in there.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I’m too tough for him, I say, stay down, do you want to mess me up? you want to screw up the works? you want to blow my book sales in Europe? there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I’m too clever, I only let him out at night sometimes when everybody’s asleep. I say, I know that you’re there, so don’t be sad. then I put him back, but he’s singing a little in there, I haven’t quite let him die and we sleep together like that with our secret pact and it’s nice enough to make a man weep, but I don’t weep, do you?
Based on Dr. Seuss’s final book before his death, this is a story about life’s ups and downs, told by the people of Burning Man 2011.
Beautiful words…beautiful people! Click to enjoy.
A nice little campaign from Fiat in collaboration with GOOD. Here’s why I like it:
1. It’s simple
2. It’s laying out the values of Fiat as a progressive company for progressive people
3. It’s interesting and entertaining and engaging
4. It kept me on the site for longer than 1 minute.
Check it out.