February 22, 2010

The Best Idea Is No Idea

Back in the middle ages, when I was a creative director, there was a period in which I used to hear stuff like this...
"We're going to shoot this over-cranked..."
"We're going to use stop motion photography..."
"We're going to take stills and hand-tint each frame..."
As I broke the storyboards over the creative teams' heads, I would explain to the them that production was not an idea.

Then there was a period when editing became the substitute for an idea. Then attitude became a substitute for an idea.

Now the favorite excuse for not having an idea is technology.

In fact, in the world of web marketing there is a growing movement among techno-dolts to try to marginalize the very idea of having an idea. A big idea is no longer necessary they say.

The web (i.e., technology) has made ideas passe, they say. Instead, we'll just throw a million little tactics at the problem.

You see, according to these guys, ideas are too risky. They sometimes fail.

The shocking thing is that there are marketers so frightened and timid they have actually bought into this. And there are marketing "experts" who take it seriously.

This point of view, of course, is the ultimate hiding place for people with more confidence in pie charts than in talent or judgment.

New age marketing madness has reached the point where the best idea is no idea.

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