Monday, December 5, 2011

The best toys of all time.

I've just been emailed an article in "Wired" magazine entitled "The 5 Best Toys of All Time." It got me thinking.

For the last few decades or so Wired, and journals like it, have run an enormous number of articles that fall into two categories. 1) The "This-Will-Change-Everything" category and 2) The "Things-that-Mankind-Have-Known-Forever-Are-No-Longer-Germane" category.

We've read in recent years about the death of print, the death of television, the death of agencies, the death of bricks-and-mortar, the death of "the death of" articles.

We've also been treated to about a gazillion gizmos that will change everything. Lonely Girl 15. The segway. Just last week in the "Times" we were told to get all heated up by a new thermostat.

All that is why I liked this article so much on the best toys of all time. They are according to Jonathan Liu:

1. A stick.
2. A box.
3. String.
4. A cardboard tube.
5. Dirt.

You can read the piece here:

The same reductio ad absurdum quality can probably also be applied to our business. We can analyze the quantum appeal of pixel manipulation, we can create apps that allow you to create more apps, we can augment reality while we change the paradigm to decrease costs, but when push comes to shove, a gag, a pratfall, a funny expression or an intelligent appeal do more to drive more business and brand value than any new "toy."

It's that simple, really.

Or, as Preston Sturges noted in his "11 Rules for Writing a Hit Movie,"

1. A Pretty girl is better than an ugly one.
2. A leg is better than an arm.
3. A bedroom is better than a living room.
4. An arrival is better than a departure.
5. A birth is better than a death.
6. A chase is better than a chat.
7. A dog is better than a landscape.
8. A kitten is better than a dog.
9. A baby is better than a kitten.
10. A kiss is better than a baby.
11. A pratfall is better than anything.

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