I’d like the theme to be about widening your field of vision and forcing yourself to connect a wider variety of seemingly disparate pieces of information, inspiration and insight, in order to improve the creativity and effectiveness of our thinking.
We are all rightly taught to be disciplined and to follow a logical, best practiced flow as good agency strategists. The client brief, the research groups, the market data, the brand history. All lined up neatly behind your shiny new proposition.
Which is fine and you won’t hear me arguing against discipline in strategy.
But following the well trodden path too often leads to briefs and strategic thinking that seems to float above reality, somehow. A symmetrical Roman castle in the sky that has little bearing on the oddities and uncomfortable truths of real life. A castle whose residents respond to an advert or social post by thinking to themselves “That brand really gets my outlook on life, I must try their new handcream”.
A world in which brands you love are always beloved and preferred for purchase.
A world in which people talk to each other about things like instant coffee and travel preferences.
A world in which a planner can say out loud in company that this brand will “Own Friendship” and people won’t throw things at them.
By lining a fairly standard set of references up behind our beautiful big ideas, in sort of the same way we always have, we lose sight of the messy real-life context of a brand, and I would argue, we deny our clients the sort of creative connection with real life they want from us, and which they sorely need to do anything that really matters to real people.
So during my curation I plan to bombard you with lots of things that don’t necessarily connect, as well as some ways to learn from new people and places that might extend and inform new thinking, to offer some models that help to connect more things than usual to better ends.. and I would like to invite you to discuss things we don’t ordinarily discuss with more open minds than usual.
Including the uncomfortable truth that the world-leading strategy community in the UK seems to be disappointingly…. British. Not to mention White, the same sort of age at the same sort of time their career, and university educated (usually in Humanities). But lets leave that for later in the month when we’ve hung out together a bit.
Chief Marketing Officer, International at DigitasLBi