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Have you ever been in a situation where you thought someone was really smart and then they did something that made you think,
“Hmmmmn, maybe they’re utterly stupid?”
The last time it happened to me was when the very lovely Steve Harrison wanted to send me a copy of his book on the wonderful Howard Gossage.
Anyway, it’s happened again, but this time its an organization rather than a person.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls … please give a big hand to the latest example of professional suicide … TED.
Yes TED … as in TEDTalks.
An organization that has a rich and enviable history of amazing presentations [including 2 of my all time favorites, which are here and here] have committed credibility suicide by asking me to take part in their ads worth spreading program by answering 3 questions:
1. What stands in the way of brave work.
2. Who – or what – inspires us to overcome these obstacles.
3. What is the bravest thing you’ve seen a brand do this year.
Three little questions.
And yet when I saw them, my first response was ‘what is brave work’?
Is it someone that does something outside of their comfort zone?
Is it someone that does something that challenges the category convention?
Is it someone that does something that questions society?
Is it someone that simply does something no one has ever seen or done before?
You can tell where I’m going with this can’t you!
Within 10 minutes, I had responded to TED’s request with a massive diatribe that – to be honest – wasn’t what they wanted to hear, mainly because it did it’s level best to ignore answering any of those 3 little questions.
That said, there was one bit I liked which was how I said I thought ‘brave’ could be evaluated as successful … which was when an idea or action infiltrates and changes the perspective, context and mindset of societies opinion and behavior on a massive, measurable scale.
I like that.
Sadly – or fortunately – TED didn’t, but not because they’re bastards, but because  I was blathering on like a lunatic [I wrote 10 lines about issues I felt were stopping brand bravery!!!] and  this is part of a series addressing this issue and so want everyone to approach the task based around the same 3 key questions.
The only other thing they asked is that the example of ‘brave’ I used was specifically associated with communication, hence my initial example of Microsoft and Windows 8 was wrong.
[And yes, I really do think what Microsoft did with Windows 8 was brave, even though when you look at the bigger situation, it was the only option really available to them]
With all that in mind, I went back to the drawing board and ended up actually answering the brief, which you can see below.
You might agree. You might disagree. That’s cool … but I would love to hear your answers if you can be arsed.
I have absolutely no idea why TED asked me to take part – probably for light relief – but it was very nice to take part, so thank you, I hope you don’t live to regret it for too long.
The film associated with the Bodyform ‘Truth’ campaign can be seen here.
The backstory to the campaign can be viewed here.
The other views of those 3 little questions can be viewed here.
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