Tuesday, August 7, 2007

seven deadly sins

gareth kay, modernista!
mark lewis, ddb san francisco

people against lazy

“i’m just surprised that no-one’s thought of a better idea yet.”
stephen king on planning

“in most categories, a brand’s market share is stationary”
4 our of 5 categories seen as inceasingly homogeneous
less than 1 in 10 ads seen as different
4% response rate successful in dm
0.5% average click-through rate for banners

we think we’re changing, but we are what we do
old assumptions>old models of communication>old behavior>misplaced action

deadly sin #1
living by old, unchallenged assumptions

is this it?

isn’t the way things work

we’ve based our thinking on an anomaly in the history of communication: tv

tv: passive, monologue, centralized, image, money, what ‘we’ do
other communication: active, dialogue, decentralized, substance, stickiness, what you do to what we do

deadly sin #2
we care about the wrong objectives

the usual suspects are wrong
awareness: when meaning and familiarity matter more in our world of overchoice
attitude: attitude and attributes, adjusted for size, don't change
image: doesn't shift until after behavior

the real objective
the world is made of energy
the world is electricity
there’s a lot inside of you and there’s a lot inside of me
the world is synchronicity
(the apples)

when something has energy, we can sense it’s movement

it’s not what you got, it’s how you use it

what we should be focusing on is energy

how do we give a brand energy?

ye can ney break the laws of physics jim

low entropy vs high entropy

deadly sin #3
our craving for simplicity and order of outcome

embrace complexity
randomness creates energy

information predictability . . . or information entropy
the more random the source of info is, the higher it’s entropy and the more info it has

more random>more information>more energy

collection of experiences and beliefs with a product or about a product

how does this fit?
brand onions

“consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative”

if we put the chairs out>marketing today

culture craves complexity
“it takes a thousand voices to tell a single story”
native american saying

steven johnson
everything good is bad for you

from dragnet to the sopranos
great energy
a sense of energy
people crave that now days

snack culture!

twitter richer sense of who that person is
small things adding up to a sum bigger than its parts

the thrill of the new
keep cool with coolidge
the coolidge effect

we as human beings are addicted to the new

best brands do lots of new things all the time

john grand and the molecule
better coffee mission
barista culture

we’re told to keep it simple
that’s not the case anymore

deadly sin #4
what’s the main message?

old model: linear

everything in its right place
a one-way view of information

the reality is everything is intertwingled


reality is more ambiguous
there is no one meaning anymore

why does there have to be a main message on a brief?

seeing what other people do with info

obesity is a social disorder
when our friends gain weight, we gain weight

knowledge versus information
we work hard to find the right message, for the right target at the right time

from thinking to doing

some of the old tablets of information are perhaps wrong

deadly sin #5

we think what we do really matters

“people look at what interests them and sometimes it’s your ad”
howard gossage

“often our biggest mistake as managers is believing that, in general, customers care a lot about your brand. they do not”
patrick barwise

it’s about having a social mission, not just a commercial proposition

to get a marketing literate and resistant culture enthusiastic about your brand, then your brand needs to have an enthusiasm

real beauty, not moisturizer
¼ moisturizing cream

heart health/cholesterol, not margarine

encourage messy play

good design is a right, not a privilege

people against dirty
not a clearner home, a cleaner world

deadly sin #6
it’s the big things that matter

the world of fat tails

the bell curve

the black swan

the bell curve doesn’t describe a lot of social phenomena

phase transitions
change is never smooth, continuous or instant
it’s a big, big change that happens very fast all of a sudden

we live in complex systems, not unstable ones

why are we overcomplicating the input and oversimplifying the outcomes?

individual actions of small things

we live in an unstable world. we don’t want to believe that small things make a big difference

a chaotic, unpredictable effect between cause and effect
the reason for conspiracy theories

there is 2% difference in the dna between monkey and man

we spend too much time looking at the big things and not enough looking at the small things

a change in x results in all kinds of other changes

we’re all susceptible to small things that make a big difference

deadly sin #7
learn then do

the world is a very unpredictable place

doing then learning then doing again

elf yourself
that was one of 20 viral campaigns

the 1 in 20 rule
only 5% of new products succeed
only 5% of species survive

we still believe we can do one thing and predict the outcome

disposable fashion

topshop style advisor
recommend the best clothes for you

get away from this mentality that one thing is going to work and go out and try multiple things

seven ways to make brands and their communication matter again

start predicting less
go out there and try things

transmission is not the only way

planning for uncertainty
a linear process>a continuous process of creation
presenting to clients>co-creating with clients

you are never finished
you are always on

energy does not equal noise
it’s not about getting noticed. it’s about demonstrating motion

thank you
and be very


challenge your boss every day. they’re not always right

there isn’t one way to do planning. there isn’t one way to solve a problem

think of lots of little ideas and bring them to bear

be a sponge for knowledge. learn about that stuff and get involved

if the world is unpredictable, who’s to say it’s going to work twice?

how do you learn in a random world?

the act of research changes the world you are studying

are there some common rules?

some brands have been pretty consistent

google lives in beta
they put stuff out before it’s ready and keep improving it

not enough randomness in what microsoft does. apple much more

the world should be optimistic helped rebuild the brand

energy has to happen to propel a brand forward

strategic consistency
embrace a bit of chaos in things

zeus jones
not about looking the same. believing the same

the brand isn’t about me. it’s about them

don’t think about 20 executions
think about doing 20 very different things, and one may catch hold in the culture

brands should be trying to focus on a territory. think of it like a field--a field without fences
progressing continually

the strongest brands have lots of breadth of execution

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