Brian Collins on Doing What Matters

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Creativity Awards judge Brian Collins on finding new inspiration.
Creativity Awards judge Brian Collins on finding new inspiration.
"In 1941, the Bulova Watch Co. broadcast the first TV commercial during a Brooklyn Dodgers game, on WNBT. They paid only $9, but advertising changed overnight. By the 1950s, David Ogilvy's genius was to put some science into that mix: If you understand people well enough, you can project what you've learned into the future. Assuming, of course, that the future was simply an extension of the past. And for 50 years, it almost was. But everything changed. Again. And judging Creativity's first awards has given me great heart that imagination and courage is alive and not only thriving in advertising but in amazing new products and experiences. Here are some random thoughts that came to mind as I reviewed this year's best work.

"The One Big Idea model is dead. The last half of the 20th century was the only time when there has ever been a model. Since the dawn of commerce, niche products and shifting micro-segments have always been the rule. TV created massive markets for mediocre, "good enough" stuff. That was the exception. Now we're back to chaos again, and we're not going back. This has undone some marketing organizations that are used to placing the bulk of their efforts in one broad, top-down, agency-controlled idea. Single-minded communication—The Big Idea—makes life easy for communicators. But people aren't single-minded. We're too busy living our lives to pay attention.We know what we love, and it's not brands spread like jam across every piece of media in our face. It's lots and lots of small, weird, new ideas and products—in lots of different places–so amazing that people will seek them out. Axe's "Gamekillers" is a smart example of making something so remarkable, people will do just that."
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