Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mind the gap

Business warned of 'creativity gap'

"There’s currently a coffee commercial, rather a lush one in fact, whose main message seems dedicated to a rather contrived joke, instead of the product benefits. The wise and benign plantation owner asks his hapless charge what he is doing there, and on being told it is the youth’s gap year, comments: ‘Gap between the ears, more like!’ Oh, how we laugh when that comes on.

However, it seems a worthy metaphor for the sate of British advertising, and now business, and I rather suspect our performance internationally is already registering blows as a consequence.

The 4% statistic is shocking, but not surprising. Though how the question was posed may offer some insights. I wouldn’t want Tracey Emin pitching for me either.

In fact the word creativity rather suffers from a broad range of interpretation. What, exactly does it mean? As suggested, it probably means an awful lot of things to different people, ranging from pure artist, to creative/media industries to... ‘them’.

Personally, I choose to interpret it, at least in the business sense, as seeking innovation; ways of doing things that have not been done before - to get a better result, to stand our more, etc. But there is one small problem with that: risk.

We seem to have arrived in the most risk averse era yet. And we can’t just blame the bean-counters (who may soon figure that if you don’t make any more beans, there’s no job counting). Even those MBA-toting, metric-spouting, blue-sky-thinking communicators and marketers in business and government seem so worried about losing their jobs, they all rush to be first to be second. But usually that means they end up last.

At least in the marketing world they soon end up ‘pursuing other options’. "

Not one for the main site!*

Partly becuase it is not reuse (please, let it not be recycling), but mainly becuase it's got to be the most gross-out bizarre thing I have ever been sent.

But, in a strange way, I felt compelled to appreciate the imagination shown.

Tampon Crafts

* Though most 10year olds will find it a hoot.

Empty (or in this case full) gestures

Eco warriors get a lift in Golden Square office

Staff arriving at M&C Saatchi’s offices in Golden Square were surprised to be forced to take the stairs yesterday.

To publicise a new green initiative, the advertising agency filled its lift up with balled up pieces of paper with the slogan: "If we recycle this much paper in an hour, we can save three trees a day".

My reply to the City Editor:

Let’s just hope they remember to recycle the paper in the lift.

But they did get the PR! Though what green initiative was/is that? If my experience of agencies is anything to go by, they'll have sent a junior in a taxi to buy 5 reams of virgin recycled paper stock to scrunch up.