So no, this is not hot off the press at all. In fact it’s at least two years old – but that’s how I roll. Joshua Bell, internationally acclaimed violinist in a DC subway station. I came upon it just recently and it’s more evidence of how the presentation, the packaging, really makes a difference. A huge difference. Joshua made $32.17 after 45 minutes.
Here’s a quote from the Washington Post article:
“It was the most astonishing thing I’ve ever seen in Washington,” Furukawa says. “Joshua Bell was standing there playing at rush hour, and people were not stopping, and not even looking, and some were flipping quarters at him! Quarters! I wouldn’t do that to anybody. I was thinking, Omigosh, what kind of a city do I live in that this could happen?” © The Washington Post
According to Dynamic Logic, an online marketing research company, ad size, placement, frequency, targeting, and so on and so forth are all trumped by just plain good creative for online effectiveness. I’m oversimplifying a bit to help me feel better – but the point is made: creativity matters and produces results. And yes I do feel validated… at least for a while. Here’s a clip from the AdAge article:
… the No. 1 factor of ad effectiveness, according to Dynamic Logic, is creative. “In the digital world, lots of time is spent optimizing targeting and campaign frequency, but the most important factor is starting with a good ad,” said Mr. Mallon. “Just about any size will work better than a bad ad that’s huge.”
© AdAge, Abby Klaassen
Turns out that even ‘left-brained’ careers benefit greatly from exposure to that crazy ‘right-brained’ stuff. Here’s a portion of a post from the Wharton School of business:
“Doctors have to be able to ask the right questions,” said Pink. “That calls for extraordinary observation skills — the observation skills of a painter, of a sculptor. So, medical schools are taking students to art museums to make them better diagnosticians. And, lo and behold, doctors who receive this type of diagnostic training are better diagnosticians than those who haven’t.”
Pink calls the results of these experiments “a great irony” for the educational system as a whole. “We want to prepare kids for science-oriented careers, so we cut out the arts. Meanwhile, people who are preparing for science-oriented careers are bringing in the arts.
© Daniel Pink
Feeling more than a little overwhelmed about how, what and where to use all the different media channels out there to make connections, I came across this article on AdAge. It was good to be reminded what really makes social media work – or any other marketing for that matter. Here’s a brief quote:
What if we got really bold, and focused on creating products and services so inspired that “social” media does all our storytelling for us? Remember, this remains a predominantly analog world. Most people are still looking for real things: experiences, connections, value, stories, emotions.
© Matt Jones & AdAge
Here’s an insightful post from Seth Godin about the paradox of creating what ultimately is an artistic thing (an ad) and basing it on proven formulas and stats. There’s a point when your creation really can’t be explained and verified (at least not in the scientific mind). But the account person is sure as hell gonna try. Here’s part of Seth’s post:
Some marketers are scientists. They test and measure. They do the math. They understand the impact of that spend in that market at that time with that message. They can understand the analytics and find the truth. This sort of marketing works when it works, but it usually doesn’t. That’s because we’re dealing with humans, the wild card in the system. The other marketers are artists. They inspire and challenge and connect. These marketers are starting from scratch, creating movements, telling jokes and surprising people. Scientists aren’t good at that.
The problem is caused by two things: 1. Outsiders are confused. Which are we? When we’re artists sometimes and scientists other times, we often seem like charlatans, because we’re associating scientific results with artistic endeavors.
Having been through layoffs myself, it’s a hard gut-check to your ego and how you think your employer sees your value. However that fits or doesn’t fit in the truth as to what kind of creative/employee you are, here’s a post about ‘A’ players being harder to find in the midst of more and more ‘C’ players out of work in a down economy.
That’s right … hiring in tough economic times can actually be much harder than when times are good. In a downturn, the amount of resumes from C-Players massively increases while the amount of resumes from A-Players probably remains the same. © Summation, Auren Hoffman
Making sure your value is glaringly clear is obviously vital. Here’s the post
Here’s a video clip from TED (ted.com). The legendary Milton Glaser talks about breaking down an idea and his process of creating something new. Questioning your normal processes. About 15 minutes long (includes a full drum kit on stage behind him — so that’s nice).
It’s not just your imagination. An article from AdAge points out the dramatic change in expectations for creative’s workloads in the past twenty years. The article is centered around managing expectations and fees in this down economy.
Wake up, CMOs. This is more than a tough year in the market: It’s another in a string of very hard years for Madison Avenue. In the 20 years between 1988 and 2008, according to research by Farmer & Company, agency fees for an average unit of work have dropped by about 40% when adjusted for inflation. Over the same period, creative workload for U.S. agencies grew by more than 60%. Fee levels have dropped while workload has grown in volume and complexity.
View the entire article
©AdAge, Michael Farmer Feb, 2009