Learn By Doing

For Chapter 4 -- "Spot On"

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In a previous post, looking at the various pros and cons of CGA, I weighed the value of consumer-generating a marketing tool that is on its way out anyway -- namely the 30-second spot.

Well, then. Let's recap: The 30-second spot is an endangered species. The amateur ads will mainly be cheap knockoffs of professional ones. Your ad agency is going to be infuriated with you and the stuff you solicit may hold your brand up to ridicule or worse. Doesn't seem like much of a case for CGA.

But, as I said, I'm not sure Neil Perry was raising the most relevant questions – not against CGA and not in favor of it, either. Yes, it's true, the best way to generate a Big Idea is to cast far and wide for one. But considering the early returns -- that even the widest nets are being hauled in with no ideas at all – the argument, as it were, also holds no water. What trolling for spots most achieves is creating the conditions for listening. The biggest argument for going to consumers and asking them to think deeply about your brand is the experience it gives a marketer in going to consumers and asking them to think about their brands. It's about a mentality (or, as they like to say now "mind-set," not to be confused with "skill set," which is what they used to call "skills."). It's about establishing a template for learning to cede control, and for harnessing the wisdom of the crowd.

This is useful experience to have. In fact, it is invaluable experience to have. In fact, it is obligatory experience to have. Perhaps this is why George Masters, of "Tiny Machine" fame, never had to hire a lawyer.
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