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

It’s Not Big. It’s Not Clever. But It’s A Bit Funny …

So Cannes sent out a ‘wrap up’ of things learnt from this years festival.

There was a lot of talk about authenticity and audience … great, intelligent speakers with genuinely fascinating perspectives on how we get closer to audiences without them just feeling like ‘the data told us what to say and how to do it’.

Again, this is not an anti-data thing. Far from it.

But for creativity to infiltrate, invigorate and ultimately move culture and business forwards, it needs to be resonant to the audience [and the brand] rather than be some semi-relevant message that has been designed to actively disregard the very things that makes us human.

For that I mean the messiness, hypocrisy, fears, complexity, loves, passions, habits and nuance of how we think, what we think and how we live … the stuff that gives us individuality … the stuff that is very different to just focusing on transactional data points that have ultimately been designed to give specific answers to specific questions that forgets the importance of context.

Great data folks understand the need for this.

Great planning folks understand the need for data.

Sadly, we still treat them as an either/or, which highlights our industry seems to be more focused on the ego of power and control rather than what can liberate the most interesting creativity. Ironically, while I think my attitude shows me in the most professional light that I’ve ever been, I recently got called a ‘corporate anarchist’ – which kind of reinforces my point – however all this is immaterial, because imagine the utter disappointment of the people who spoke their brilliance at Cannes and discovered in the wrap up, almost half the pages dedicated to this subject come from a ranty, sweary Nottingham lad.

Their loss.

The industries shame.

My unbelievable, unashamedly wonderful gain.

10 Comments so far
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I’d love to say this proves how far advertising standards have fallen but I can’t. You and Martin were one of the few speakers I heard make sense and actually inspire fresh thinking and a focus on creativity.

Comment by Bazza

But here’s the thing Baz … it’s not fresh thinking, it’s just reiterating what we all know but have been made to think we can’t say it or can’t let it be in our everyday mindset.

I really appreciate the compliment – especially as I know how hard that is for you – but it wasn’t anything that hasn’t been said or done before, just not said or done much in the present.

Comment by Rob

Congratulations Rob. That the speech Martin and you made has received such deserved publicity and accolade makes me think the industry might not be ready to hang up its coat quite yet.

Comment by Pete

Maybe. Let’s hope not. I need to pay bills … ha.

Comment by Rob

Corporate anarchist is the best description and compliment I think you could get. Your comment on data is excellent. It is hugely valuable but only if it is used to achieve something bigger than it informs. Too many “experts” use it as a stick rather than a carrot. Mainly because they want it to feed their ego rather than open new possibilities.

Comment by George

Yes to all this. Especially the first comment … ha.

Comment by Rob

The future’s bright, the future’s Campbell.

Comment by John

i want to fucking kill myself.

Comment by andy@cynic

but ill settle on killing you campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

From what I’m hearing, the heat is killing everyone in London already.

Comment by DH

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