Filed under: Comment
Last week I wrote about the lack of agency folk on magazines ‘most creative people’ lists.
I asked why this was the case and what the hell we were going to do about it.
Then I came across a quote from Albert Einstein and it’s made me think, maybe I’m completely wrong.
“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources”.
What if adland has never been about original creative?
What if it’s always been about reconstituting other peoples ideas for their own purpose?
After all, in the old days, when there was no email, internet or youtube … we lived in a much smaller, more isolated World.
What happened in – say – America tended to stay in America and if it did eventually cross overseas, it would take years for it to happen.
Not only that, but because there was no quick or easy way to investigate it’s heritage, people were left with the impression that everything they were exposed to was the work of original genius thinking.
Sure, sometimes it was, but maybe less than we have been led to believe.
Advertising today gets a lot of stick.
Apart from people openly questioning it’s effectiveness, it is often criticised for being nothing more than an ‘interpretation’ of other people’s creativity.
Quite often, people have discovered – thanks to their access to technology – that what is being praised as original thinking is nothing more than a rehash of some clip that appears on Youtube.
Or a photo that was on Flickr.
Or a thought that was on Twitter.
Or a book that is available on Amazon.
While I don’t like that our industry is currently being viewed as the Magpies Of Creativity, maybe it always has been that way … so instead of creating commercially focused ideas that infiltrate and impact society, maybe the best way to get us on Fast Company’s ‘most creative people’ list is simply to learn how to hide our sources better.
Like our predecessors did.
Of course there’s an alternative …
Maybe we could be original and use technology to create change rather than to fake it.
Of course that would rely on some fundamental change in how the industry operates – from remuneration to objectives to the timelines we are given to achieve our clients goals – but if we get it right, we would prove how valuable our industry really can be, which is much better than the current ‘strategy’ which seems to be selling ourselves on an hourly fee to deliver a process rather than a result.
Obviously some agencies are living this.
Sadly, it’s not enough.
It’s up to us.
49 Comments so far
Leave a comment