The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Why A Bin Is Better Than Earth Hour …

I’ve written about my skepticism of Earth Hour.

And while I appreciate any bit of good is good, I feel the problem with Earth Hour is that it lets people off the hook for the remainder of the year just because they turned their lights off for a few hours on a single day.

Recently I saw this …

Yes, it’s a bin.

A simple bin in the airport.

But what I love about it is the fact it says LANDFILL, rather than rubbish.

Maybe this is nothing new – maybe this is just a byproduct of having lived in China for the past 7 years – but by ensuring I knew exactly what was going to happen to what I put inside it, it made me look at what I was doing.

I’d like to think I give a shit about the environment, but I can honestly say that bin had a stronger effect on me than Earth Hour. Not only that, but that bin won’t let me off the hook for the rest of the year. It will be there – every time I pass it – reminding me that my choices will determine how much I poison the planet.

The other thing this does is highlight my big problem with adland … which is that it loves to communicate problems rather than solve them.

When a bin [and let’s remember, this is not the first time this has happened] produces more effective solutions than much of adland – and certainly what adland awards at shows like Cannes – maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what we view is creativity.

Please don’t think I am pissing on the power of communication or ignoring the importance of craft and exploration – of course I’m not – but for an industry that celebrates the freedom of creativity, it’s amazing how limited we are in our execution of it.

Of course part of that is our ego – because not only do we like to think that we can solve all the problems of the universe, but we feel simply ‘renaming’ something is beneath our creative brilliance, despite it potentially being more effective than a Worldwide campaign asking us to turn our lights off for the night.

I think this is why I loved Fearless Girl and Mr Parking Ticket Nerd because at the end of the day, they have understood our industry is at it’s most powerful when we’re at the creative end of business rather than the business end of creativity.

27 Comments so far
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youre praising a fucking trash can. am i reading this fucking properly?

Comment by andy@cynic

thank fuck youre pissing on earth hour and shit ads or this might be the lowest low of this blogs overlong fucking life.

Comment by andy@cynic

No that was Monday’s post.

Comment by John

photo fucking finish.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think Monday has it.

Comment by DH

I’m more disturbed by your use of the term ‘trash can’.

Comment by Rob

hey adland, if campbell ever judges innovation at cannes, you now know how to win a fucking platinum.

Comment by andy@cynic

So you rightly like this but were happy yesterday to applaud a gimmick that recycled a huge twenty of the millions of coffee pods?

Comment by John

i hate being nice to campbell but he was hard liking the coffee knife bollocks. then it deserves more hate so youre right doddsy.

Comment by andy@cynic

What is worse is I like this post. Well, not like, but found it kind of interesting. Or more interesting than the posts he normally writes about. Now I feel so dirty admitting that.

Comment by DH

you better mean dirty in the unhygienic fucking sense of the word.

Comment by andy@cynic

Definitely unhygienic.

Comment by DH

Rob’s nomination for the innovation hall of fame.

Comment by DH

that made me laugh. enjoy the greatest achievement of your life dave.

Comment by andy@cynic

Hilarious. It is also a reminder how bad British television was in the 80s.

Comment by George

This explains why I used to really like that show.

Comment by Rob

Not a surprise.

Comment by DH

Excellent read Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

The need to satisfy ego rather than an audiences needs has seen many celebrated ideas achieve nothing more than momentary, fawning, industry headlines. Great post Robert.

Comment by George

Smarter than the iphone 8.

Comment by Billy Whizz

And Billy throws for first punch …

Comment by Rob

a weak as overly milky tea.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s all you need to beat Baz.

Comment by Billy Whizz

What did you put in the bin and how have you decided to change your future behaviour so you don’t have to do so again?

Comment by John

hell only but wifi gadget shit that comes in green.

Comment by andy@cynic

I believe behavourial economists would call this framing
Problem comes down to the business model most agencies need to charge for making something- production etc or for buying something and getting commision
If you’re not paid for problem solving ideas you don’t produce them. Just the data you choose to share on Tv consumption or print depends on where you work, how you make your money and what kind of brief you get

Comment by Northern

[…] as I wrote about the bins in LAX airport, by not labeling it simply as ‘rubbish’, it did stop me in my […]

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