Thursday, May 14, 2009

As always.

Minute by minute, assignment by assignment, as communicators we must focus on getting through to people. There's no sense creating a piece of elegance and beauty if it is not noticed, if it is nothing more than wallpaper.

More often than not, breaking through, getting noticed, being intrusive involves being a pain in the ass. It's so much easier for clients, agencies et al to decide simply to blend in. No one is offended. I've heard it expressed this way--from an ex-client: "Fly low, fly slow and try not to crash."

I'm thinking about this this morning as I picked up my next book, Freeman Dyson's "The Scientist As Rebel." Early in Chapter 1, Dyson quotes a rebel who changed the world, Albert Einstein:

"When I was in the seventh grade...I was summoned by my home-room teacher who expressed the wish that I leave the school. To my remark that I had done nothing amiss, he replied only, "Your mere presence spoils the respect of the class for me."

I bring this up because often creatives and creativity "spoils the respect" of the best-practice-ites, of the incrementalists, of the status-quo-ers.

But it is our job. Not spoiling respect. But questioning, challenging and in the ungrammatical words of Apple and Chiat/Day do(ing)something different.


Unknown said...

True. But it must be the premise of the entire agency.
A the client must be strong enough to tolerate the process. It's not an easy thing. A lone rebel will be ridiculed, asked to grow up, be realistic and fit in...or else. Doing the outstanding is only something that is paid lip service to in most agencies. Which is why soon the only award winning work are scam works. That is the only outlet a creative mind has in our industry today.

Per Robert Öhlin said...

Well put, George. This subjet moves me. Here's why.

Through my whole adult life I've been insulted by many crude accusations:

»Are you crazy, Per?«
»Don't be naïve, Per.«
»Show some respect, Per.«
»Funny, but let's be serious, Per.«
»It's not realistic, Per.«
»That sounds so negative, Per.«
»Oh, that's a very dangerous word, Per.«
»Do you always have to go to extremes, Per?«
»This is not kindergarten, Per.«
»Pretty good, but impossible to sell, Per.«
»Who's side are you on, Per?«
»Do you want to get fired, Per?«

Over the years I've learnt to calm down, breathe deep and respond in a mature manner:

»Yes, maybe I am insane. And perhaps you're all sane and normal. But guess what? Normal doesn't get noticed. It doesn't sell. Doesn't create relationships. Doesn't promise loyalty. Love does. And the great thing about love is that it's not known for its sanity. The struck of love creates a brief moment of madness – a state that we've inherited from pre-historic days when we had brains the size of a pea. And there's a good reason for this.

It creates action.

Fact is, action is the biochemical equivalence to motion.

So you want action? Then fuck seriousness. Fuck logic. Think up lot's of weird stuff that moves people. And do it with passion.

Or you'll end up as someone elses lunch.

Of course advertising is serious stuff. But we also have to live with the fact that it stands in stark contrast to the quest of creating strong and healthy relationships, which is based on love, fun, drama and personal usefulness.

The problem with this business is that the majority thinks that seriosity moves products from the shelves. That the serious preceds the insane. But it's the other way around.«