Mozart vs Omelette



For anyone with weapon-grade hypochondria like me, getting through the winter is quite tricky.


At one stage I even had a bit of a brush with quantitative easing.


There are only two things which got me through it – thinking about creativity and watching naked ping pong on Sky Sports 3.


Since Sky Sports doesn’t broadcast naked ping pong nearly often enough, it’s a good job I get a few shots of my other addiction.


In fact this week I came across some thinking on creativity which I’d never come across before.


But before that I’d like to touch on A) the best model for agencies and B) a great idea for clients – not that either of these topics is remotely interesting, when you’ve got a stinking cold and the naked ping pong has been bumped to make way for darts.


I was having coffee with someone from Brooklyn Brothers agency the other day who told me how the agency is split up into “Make it up” and “Make it happen”. I love that.


It reminded me a bit of Mother and its Mothers, and also of The App Business which has a table of strategic thinkers and a table of developers – both tables in the same room, within paper-aeroplane-chucking distance of each other.


Love all that.


If you just make sure that the thinkers can communicate with the makers (by understanding the basics of code, for instance) – you’re 98% of the way towards an agile prototyping culture which is exactly what’s needed.


Think up an idea. Make it the same day. Put it out there.


B) is a new company called AUFI, whose founders I met for coffee, and which is a kind of farmers’ market for 50 small, cool, independent creative companies with a focus on high-end creativity.


I’ve mentioned it to a couple of clients who both bit my arm off – so there’s a need there, which raises interesting questions about creativity in our industry.


The big agencies can hire great creative talent – but can they foster it and sell it to clients ?


Finally, let me ask you this – what’s a better embodiment of creativity – Mozart composing minuets aged 6, or my mate Jim making a Spanish omelette ?


Most people would probably say Mozart, but actually that model of creativity can be stifling, exclusive and discouraging. For instance, I couldn’t play ‘Three Blind Mice’ on the xylophone aged 6, so I pretty much gave up on music completely.


But actually the future of creativity lies in encouraging the experimentation and joy in creativity which exists in everybody.


A few years ago, virtually nobody in this country explored truly experimental cooking. Now huge numbers of people do.


In my view, coding is the next cooking.


In the not too distant future, vast numbers of people who we’ve previously thought of as “targets” or “consumers” won’t just want to interact with our campaigns. They’ll want to make them.


Which, in my view, is a good thing.


I’ve always felt that advertising is a brilliantly engaging way to spend one’s life – puzzling over the conundra of brands and their relationships – but a pretty lousy spectator sport.


Because most of the stuff that comes out the far end looks like stuff that comes out of someone’s far end.


One solution is to find more Mozarts.


Another is to recognise that anybody can cook.


I’m not saying one at the expense of the other. There’s room for both.


Now I’m going to my room for some broth.


Ah. It’s 15-13 to the Lithuanians.

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