Friday, January 30, 2009

The need to know about people still hasnt changed

I think with a month away in the sunshine I seemed to have simplified everything considerably to my somewhat lazy brain can comprehend it.(Life is simple in Australia and maybe a month there has done that to me). But I read an article in this weeks campaign called 'Is insight more crucial than creative'?. Why does someone have to win this game. Insight is freaking important. Creativity is freaking important. Its like the rant I had about planners and creatives over at amelia's blog. We need to work together, stop trying to fight

Once again I think we are over complicating something that is really simple. Clients pay us to understand things they don't and do things they can't. Some of the best clients I have had have simply said. Mike give me a real life run down of the audience. Not a 90 page presentation. (even though I had written and read about 8 of them) they wanted for me to explain it like it was a they know person. It seems the bigger the client the less they know. I have sat in huge business parks where I sometimes question whether they ever leave that place and also what lives they live outside of that bubble. But that is a huge role we have and always will play. I know its a cheap trick but a couple of vox pops on the street still does wonders for the drama of selling your argument.

INSIGHT + CREATIVITY will always matter. Some clients will care about one more than the other. But that's business and that's people. Where the interesting bit starts to happen. Is when your insights start working outside of advertising and into the business. Insights that started for an ad and ended up creating new products and services. But this can also happen with creativity. An idea can sporn as an ad and end up being far greater. I think that HP's Hype Gallery is a prime example. The other interesting part I feel is moving away from what I deem 'boardroom understanding' I have written here a few times about empathy and how there are new ways that we can address to gain a better understanding of people. Lets treat them as people. Not as images on powerpoint or numbers of data. My research department always say to me 'the only reason you like ethnographic research mike, is cause you like following people around'. Its true. I am fascinated by people. Their differences, their similarities, everything.

In light of this my sister is starting a therapists course on sexual offenders this year. I bought her a computer for Xmas , but she hasnt used a computer in years so it should be interesting. In less than a week she has already stated that she is going to start going into forums and chat rooms to find and get a greater understanding of these people for her own research.(must be a family issue) Simple but so useful. These simple things are what people do to find out about each other. Why cant we just do simple things to find out about each other.

Anyway I have had my rant. So in summary. Insight and creativity are like the left leg and the right leg. Without both ... you're in trouble. But I believe that we need to progress our insight development and processes away from the boardroom into the real world... with a little more empathy. Bringing all the information together for a client I am a huge fan of telling a story of something I have seen in real life... turning it into an analogy of the clients problem. Then linking it directly to some really expensive research they conducted. Usually works a treat

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