Monday, November 28, 2011

It reminds me of advertising.

There's a great French movie by Jacques Brecker from way back in 1960 that reminds me, like most things do, of advertising. The movie is called "Le Trou" or "The Hole" and involves four inmates who attempt to dig a hole to free themselves from prison. About three-quarters of the way through the movie, a fifth inmate is put into the cell. Do they trust him, or do they abort their plans?

The intensity of the prisoners' effort is amazing. The narrow focus on the hole. It consumes the men completely. They can think of nothing else. It is everything, every thought, every conversation.

There is no outside perspective until there is. Until someone enters their closed worlds.

Many agencies, I've found, are closed worlds. Traditional shops forget that people do things other than watch TV. Digital shops forget that a Facebook app will not change everything. In both both instances these sorts of agencies are focused like the convicts and their Trou. Little exists outside of the deepening emptiness.

The truth, of course, is that the world is bigger than a hole. Focusing on one thing--the hole--is great for getting the hole dug. Just like focusing on spots or apps is great for getting those things created.

But marketing is about the "whole" not just the hole.

You need a broader view.

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