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Many years ago, I was talking to a friend that was going through a pretty hard time.
As he was cataloguing the trail of disaster, I pointed out that his story wouldn’t look that out of place on a Jerry Springer show.
We both laughed because  it was true and  he was the last person you’d ever associate with anything Springeresque.
The reason I say this is because I recently came across this quote from Tom Clancy.
How brilliant is that?
Of course it’s brilliant because – as the conversation I write above demonstrates – it’s true.
The reason I am highlighting this is because as an industry, we spend an inordinate amount of time talking about, celebrating and producing ‘logic’.
Sure, I appreciate we like things to be nicely packaged because it makes us feel better about our lives, but the fact of the matter is, the way we live is often anything but.
Yes I know illogical often ends up forming certain patterns that we can recognise if we study them long enough [hence the value of ‘big data’] but even then, that’s not really telling us WHY people do things, just WHAT they did.
And that’s why for me, the problem with planning is we look for things that make sense rather than what is actually going on.
Of course the trendy way to explain this is ‘behavioural economics’ – something adland likes to think it invented even though other industries have been talking about it and using it for donkey’s years – but even then I think that’s wrong because we tend to talk about how we can capitalise on what people are doing [as opposed to what they say they do/like in a focus group] rather than understanding the [mental] thought process that goes on behind every decision.
So whether it’s making an ad or understanding the real insight behind the claimed insight, I much prefer the term ‘sound twisted logic’ because apart from anything else, it can also act as a beacon for authenticity … because to paraphrase Tom Clancy, if it makes logical sense, it’s probably not true.
PS: Happy Bonfire Night!
[Dear American Army, this is a British tradition, when we say ‘rockets’, they’re not the sort you like to use. At other nations. Thank you]
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