Skip to main content

When knowledge constrains.

Our head of digital design told me she tries to stay away from learning more about the coding side of things when thinking about website designs, user experiences, and ilk. Because it would limit her.

She says wouldn't feel able to come up with grand concepts if she knew more about how it actually works.

I think (and write) a lot about innovation and creativity. How people can truly "think outside the box" and come up with thoughts and concepts that haven't yet been created, and could bring about genuine change.

Sometimes I'm lucky enough to come up with an idea that feels fresh. My main problem is that since I strive to be something that will truly stand out so much – and so fiercely – that it stifles me.

So I sometimes feel I spend more time figuring out how to best execute others' innovative ideas rather than coming up with my own.

But still – how is innovation created?

It's such a paradox.

Because to some extent, imagination is the key.

You need someone who can think big and explore thoughts that haven't yet been tackled.

And other times, imagination can be the downfall of innovation and creativity.

Like it says in The Golden Compass (that's Northern Lights for UK readers).
It wasn’t Lyra’s way to brood; she was a sanguine and practical child, and besides, she wasn’t imaginative. No one with much imagination would have thought seriously that it was possible to come all this way and rescue her friend Roger; or, having thought it, an imaginative child would immediately have come up with several ways in which it was impossible.

So how much knowledge and imagination is the right amount? Or does brilliance lie in finding that fine balance between pragmatism and idealism? Perhaps F. Scott Fitzgerald said it best:
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reading Raj Patel’s “The Value of Nothing” in an advertising context.

The more I read about the theory of advertising (which is plenty, thanks to my upcoming IPA Eff Test), the more it seems just inextricably linked to other disciplines.
Psychology and sociology are pretty much a given – the better we understand how people’s minds and social structures work, the better we can sell to them. But there’s also a huge economic dimension to advertising.
Specifically, so much of advertising relates to the process of value creation. Though my Comparative Literature course included ample Marx, Engels, Veblen, and Benjamin, it’s a concept that I’m still working to fully understand.
That’s why I was very happy to come across Raj Patel’s The Value of Nothing. At its core, it’s a fundamental examination of why things cost what they do – though it also goes far beyond that as the subtitle, “How to reshape market society and redefine democracy,” suggests.
One of the best parts is where Patel explains why “a burger grown from beef raised on clear-cut forest should really c…

Digested Read: How (Not) To Plan, Section 2.

Product, Price, Place!
Introduction
Marketers tend to focus overly much on Promotion, ignoring other three Ps.
2.1 Brands Can(not) Live Forever
"Brands don't have life cycles," a theory which the longevity of Heinz, Kellogg's, and Hovis apparently support.

"If there is any 'life cycle,' it's a brand management cycle."

Phase 1: Brand launch with strong marketing support and ROI.

Phase 2: Sales plateau – marketing needs to maintain and depend the brand and gets less management attention; budgets are cut.

Phase 3: The cuts lead to declining sales; brand owners retaliate with price promotions which deliver short-term sales but damage the brand image (further affecting sales).

The Boston Matrix of Cash Cows and Stars should be applied to categories, not brands.
Checklist

"Aim for brand immortality"
Always invest in continuous advertising [Comment: A recurrent theme]
Share and Voice and Share of Market can help you estimate how much you need to spend to …

Digested Read: How (Not) To Plan, Section 1.

New year = new ventures – in my case, this includes a series of digested reads, with a focus on ad strategy books. I'm kicking it off with the APG's How (Not) To Plan.

Firstly: the book is already a digested read, so this will be the super-distilled version. I'll tackle it section by section.

Section 1 is all about Setting Objectives.
Introduction
"Effective communication starts with agreeing with your clients what it's supposed to do. [O]ften, this stage is rushed, fudged, based on flawed thinking or skipped altogether."
1.1 How (Not) To Make a Plan
The authors talk about how "marketing objectives [...] have lost their grip on reality." However, "there is evidence from the IPA Databank that better objective setting leads to more effective campaigns. Best practice is to identify exactly what business results you want. And exactly what you need people to think, feel, and do to deliver those results." Also? "A campaign can't deliver unles…