Why we need to make sure technology doesn’t stifle talent.
Two things that never used to be talked about much in the ad world, pre-recession: a general need for caution and the constant, almost paranoid obsession with measurement.
I read an interesting document the other day on what keeps marketers awake at night. Everything, it seems, from a frightening lack of confidence in understanding digital to a desperate fear of pie charts.
Of course, times have changed and in this post-recession/big data world we have incredible new tools to help us grow and succeed. But whatever happened to listening to your gut? Isn’t that the special ingredient that bakes real talent? An artist doesn’t require data to make a decision on what they believe will stir the emotions of their viewer. A musician doesn’t rely on fact to inform their melody, they rely on feel. And can you imagine a comedian basing his routine entirely on what he has seen work in the past for other comedians? You’d boo the bugger off stage.
Now, you could challenge some of the above examples. Artists, of course, respond to trends. Comedians use laughter as a form of measurement. And, having two daughters, I know only too well that One Direction songs are scientifically orchestrated to cause hormonal reactions in pre-pubescent girls. Yes, data, formula and measurement can all be ingredients for success but you have to ask yourself the question: would you rather go down in history as an originator or an opportunist? A John Lennon or a Simon Cowell?
So, this is a plea to the talent in our industry, agencies and clients alike. Remember why you got into this business in the first place – this amazing job of getting people to notice and respond to your story. Remember the buzz you got the first time your heart overpowered your head – and it worked. Be brave. Challenge the data. Take a calculated risk.
With the right agency and the right people supporting you, it will find you success.