Monday, September 01, 2014

Are New Ideas Truly Scary, Or Is That Just A Reassuring Story We Like To Tell Ourselves?

I kinda like this new ad for GE, by BBDO New York.

The message is that new ideas are scary, and can only thrive in a welcoming environment.

I bet the ad will resonate with many ad Creatives, who'll feel it's an equally valid commentary on our own industry.

But is it actually true?

Of course, we love to tell ourselves that Clients are scared of innovative ideas. So much so, that most Creatives see the process of making an ad something like this: 

Step 1. The Creatives give birth to an idea. From nothing, we've produced this beautiful, incredible baby. A world first.

Step 2. The Client says: "Hey, nice idea. We just need to make it fit with our brand pyramid."

Step 3. The finished product ends up looking something like this:
And yet...

I've very rarely - if ever - seen Clients who are scared of creativity or innovation. In fact I'd say they crave it.

But they also want something that is 'right'. Which means on brand, on strategy, etc. They make no apologies for that, and nor should they.

This is why, when we show them a baby, they hammer it into a triangle.

It's therefore up to us, I'd say, to create something that is cool, but also 'right'.


Commenter said...

Sometimes I feel Simon really captures something unique. At others, he just states the bleeding obvious. Today, alas, it's the latter.

Scamp said...

Jeez. I spent like frickin' 40 minutes in InDesign making that triangular baby. And then the link to the Pink Floyd album, and the Louvre, and all tied in to an ad that came out just last week... No good? I can only apologise. If you have an acute observation of your own that you'd prefer me to write a post about, please feel free to email me at

Sell! Sell! said...

Tough crowd.

Long time reader, first time poster said...

Nice post.

Clients buy great work, all the time. We just struggle to deliver great work that’s on brand and on strategy and breaks the mould creatively. And fair enough.

Good creative, ground breaking stuff comes from understanding the parameters within which you are required to operate.

Look at some great ads (my opinion only) Honda impossible dream, Ikea Lamp, Heineken walking fridge. They all clearly embody the brand, they play in the safe space but with a new twist.

It’s the twist, the palatable shift from the expected that is what we need to sell.

That’s the hard bit.

My 2.5 cents.