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

Stop Filtering Out The Weird, Because That’s What Makes Us Human …

I’ve written about this subject before, but one of the biggest issues I think is facing marketing strategy these days is the obsession with corporate logic.

The quest to create frameworks and messaging that ultimates dictates and demands order, consistency and control. Not to help clients build the brand, but to help clients feel safe and comfortable.

And while that may all sound great in theory, the reality is – as the owner of the store with the horn discovered – that it often backfires magnificently.

Because great strategy isn’t logical, its logic born from the ability to make sense of the ridiculousness of reality.

Whether that is amateur artists buying a Mona Lisa painting when they really want the frame or

And the beauty of that is it liberates the possibilities of creativity …

Whether that is an actor who lets the paparazzi see them every night to avoid being photographed by them to the Chinese Government adding a mini ‘scratch card’ on till receipts to get customers to ask for it so it forces the seller to put it through the till and the government can ensure they get their tax through to a beer that is an act of love.

I’ve been talking about the power of devious strategy for years … and while I’m not claiming it is anything extraordinary, when you compare it to what so many think passes for good – I’d choose it any day of the week.

Not just because it leads to better work, but because creative ridiculousness is becoming a far more powerful way to drive commercial effectiveness than corporate-appeasing, logic.

16 Comments so far
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Who needs a horn when your voice is one?

Comment by Bazza

Hahaha … asshole.

Comment by Rob

The chinese tax scratch card is brilliant.

Comment by Bazza

The problem with large organisations isn’t that they don’t have people who can think this way. But their hierarchy values consistency over the unknown. Even R&D departments are impacted by this approach. Hence success is a degree of improvement.

Comment by Pete

You don’t want this seen by your bosses.

Comment by Bazza

That is until another company is successful with a more radical approach and then the hierarchy fire people for not thinking that way. Even though they did … but either had is smashed down or had been trained to not even bother presenting it.

Comment by Rob

It’s not about ridiculousness, it’s about not being boring. That’s not just my opinion, it’s what the guy who wrote the V&A line said in his comment on that link.

Comment by John

I agree. But you could say ridiculous ensures you are not boring. An extreme approach to counter mainstream tastes and experiences.

Comment by George

stop fluffing campbell. doddsy is right.

Comment by andy@cynic

Absolutely. But actively encouraging ridiculousness can lead to all sorts of rubbish.

Comment by John


Comment by DH

I love this post Robert. Bar the Chinese Government, the examples you have used are organisations with small approval processes. The reason I like this is you have inadvertently highlighted the failings of agile conpanies, because they don’t produce ideas like the ones you have listed either.

Comment by George

Agile is a bit like communism.

Brilliant in theory, often terrible in practice … or should I say, what many companies end up making agile, which is full of hierarchy, just disguised as ‘feedback sessions’.

Comment by Rob

I think what you are saying is what companies find interesting is rarely what the public find interesting. This is amplified by research companies who have based their business on satisfying their clients hunches rather than providing them with insight.

Comment by Lee Hill


Comment by John

Oh yes, that’s a better way of saying it.

It also reminds me when I did a presentation with Martin Weigel and he reminded clients that if you’re putting your trust in a ‘for profit’ research company, you may be putting your faith in the right person.

Which was doubly awesome as the person who had presented before us – and was at the front of the audience – was the CEO of a ‘for profit’ research company.

Comment by Rob

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