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

Bring Back Bali’s Bounce …
October 14, 2006, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Comment

So last night, I talked to a bunch of my stupidly clever mates [George from cynic, Ed from Mother, Pete from Crispins, Ian from WhatIf and Ivan from Virgin] to help me out on this Bali project I’m doing.

Now normally you get quite alot of ‘thinking’ time before you have to present back to a client … well, certainly far more more than the 5 days I’ve been given … however in Bali’s case, time isn’t something they’ve got a hell of a lot of – so they want some short and long term ideas as quickly as is possible.

Maybe it’s because we’ve all worked together at various points in our lives … or maybe it’s because they’re all really smart … but within a couple of hours, we were able to come up with some – though I say it myself – wonderful and [relatively] quick-to-implement ‘tactical’ ideas that will definitely generate a tourism lift quickly and effectively . [These ideas are around the areas I detailed in some of my previous posts which can be seen by clicking 1st post, 2nd post, 3rd post or 4th post PLUS do things like ensure people in Western markets actually know where Bali is located [they often lump all of Asia together] so that they understand it’s miles away from the places that suffered Tsunami’s, civil unrest etc etc]

However, where we came to discussing the overall brand idea, things took a turn for the worse.

On the positive side, we all agreed the essence of ‘UNCONDITIONAL GOODNESS’ was right … we felt it really captured the spiritual, emotional, physical and mental essence of Bali [and further research with locals backed that up] … however where we didn’t have consensus was how this could be expressed in a communication idea.

Oh how we went on and on and on …

We all agreed that the words ‘NATURAL’, ‘HUMBLE’, ‘PEACEFUL’, ‘SIMPLE’ were important interms of tone-of-voice, but as for the idea that could form the foundation for all communication, we disagreed and disagreed and disagreed.

Now I know and trust these guys … and whilst we may all work in competitive agencies, there’s no ego between us [we’ve too much of a history together for that] … so the fact we were all disagreeing about the ‘idea’ meant we simply hadn’t found the right answer yet. [Especially as any central idea has to be ‘adaptable’ to dramatically diverse markets – ie: The core idea has to be able to be expressed in ways that are relevant and resonant to Americans, Indians, Chinese, Italians – even though culturally, they all have such varied views on subjects like travel, Asia, terrorism, vacations, Bali etc]

Anyway, we started talking about work I’d done with Lonely Planet [I’d got them to to invest in movies like ‘Monsoon Wedding’ because it encouraged more people to start traveling [increasing the odds of them buying a Lonely Planet] than any ad would do] and before you knew it, we were onto a subject close to our hearts … films.

We somehow always end up on this subject … and quite often, end up having exactly the same conversation as we’ve had a million time before … but being gluttons for punishment, we stated playing our usual ‘game’ where we take it in turns naming a film that starts with the last letter of the previous movie mentioned.

For example …



NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN … etc, etc, etc

So why am I boring the pants off you by telling you all this?

Well, because at one point, I had to come up with a movie beginning with ‘L’ [after George had said ‘Kill Bill’] and I came up with …

… and within a second, we all started acting like a bunch of 8 year old girls going, ‘THAT COULD BE IT, THAT COULD BE IT’.

You see for some reason, we all feel there is something quite magical in the thought of ‘Life Is Beautiful’

Sure, we have to identify/articulate just why we think it works  – but it definitely feels closer to an expression that can credibly come from ‘UNCONDITIONAL GOODNESS’ than anything else we’d come up with … aaaaannnnnnd when you underpin it with a tone-of-voice that represents simplicity, natural, humble and peaceful … we think it can really lead to something interesting, differentiated and motivating.

OK, you could argue it was late, we were tired, hungry and a bit fed up … PLUS we’re not even charging for this project [it’s a pro-bono – because [1] we love Bali and [2] we/I need all the karma points I can get] … however that’s not the reason we like it. 

As I said in a previous post, Bali could be described as ‘God’s Greatest Work … the people are warm, humble, kind, beautiful, respectful and friendly and this continues despite ever increasing pressures on the economy.  Whereas other nations in similar situations may see people resorting to certain ‘criminal activities’ to survive … that is very, very rare in Bali because from a religious standpoint, that isn’t within the Balinese psyche and from a social perspective, everyone is committed to encouraging the return of tourism and ‘mass holiday crime’ isn’t going to help that happen.

It’s been 24 hours since we had our deliberation, and we still think there’s something in ‘Life Is Beautiful’ … even my friend Andy [the cynic in cynic] thinks it’s got some real potential [though only after I informed him that the people of Bali were the ‘Amish of Asia’, ha] … so in the spirit of openness, friendliness and humbleness, if you have any comments or suggestions [to the idea and/or ways we could bring the ideas ‘to life’] I ,,, and a bunch of Balinese people … would be very happy to hear from you.

I fly to NY on Monday … talk about ‘change of scene’.

15 Comments so far
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[…] First is Rob [a cynic founder no less] who writes about his goal to help Bali get back on her feet after terrorism brought her to her knees. […]

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i see youre doing your visual planning stuff again with the bali poster. nice to see you honour copyright issues so carefully.

Comment by andy @ cynic

I think it gets across the message well.
It is simple, it is natural, and it is very positive; and in that sense it embodies the things that make Bali special.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Thanks matey … lots to do, but it could be a good starting point. Lots of ‘politics’ to navigate, but it’s worth it – especially compared to the Yanks I encounter who have absolutely no idea about the realities of life.

Hope you are well.

Comment by Rob

The only big issue I can see is differentiating this wider idea of ‘beauty and simplicity’ from the many other less detailed “beautiful place” concepts.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Yeah, you’re right but [1] we’re going more about the beauty of humanity and nature than beaches and skies and [2] that’s the creatives problem, hahaha!

Comment by Rob

and that last comment of yours robert proves what ive always known. planners talk lots of high end intellectual shit (even you), and we poor creatives are the bastards charged with turning it into something great.

Comment by andy @ cynic

I’ll see you very soon Andy and make it up to you. Possibly. Or not.

Comment by Rob

Yeah, I know this idea is different, but it needs to let the public know it’s different.

Planning vs Creatives…let the battle commence.

Oh and, if this campaign ever uses “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt, I will never ever take any of you seriously ever again… 😉

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I would rather drink bleach than EVER use a Blunt song in anything.

Sure, I might be a sentimental ol’ fart, but I’m NEVER going to be that sentimental, hahaha

Comment by Rob

That goodness for that!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

It’s almost an insult you would consider we’d even do that … but then again, if we did it for Thailand, it could upset people so much that they suddenly consider Bali.

The ol’ reverse psychology trick …

Comment by Rob

I wouldnt think that you would do such a thing, but that maybe someone else insists on it and you not refute the very idea strongly enough 😉

Bali, we hate James Blunt even more than you…

Maybe thats a worthwhile brand proposition, Bali is the KT Tunstall to Thailands James Blunt. Or maybe not.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Alright, now since this involves Andy, I tread carefully so I don’t blow my foot. But first off I agree with Mortimer that this whole Life is beautiful thing has been done before, and moreover it just doesn’t seem to be a summation of the ‘Unconditional Goodness’ position. And I do agree with Andy that most planners don’t bother to work towards a creative expression, and as far as I’m concerned without that the job’s not even half done.

Comment by Hari

It has been done before, but not noticably with the focus onthe person rather than just a “beautiful location”.

My main issue is how to differentiate the idea based on that focus.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

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