22 August 2007

Planners as Idea Thieves: A new model for network creativity

Another recent Atticus winner, William Charnock, JWT Planning, New York writes about global and local creativity. "What’s wrong with global creativity is that we create a culture of can’t.The output of our process is invariably a list of reasons why creative ideas cannot work (a list of global considerations only the global team is aware of and can solve for). The victims of this process are the central creative teams who are fed a list of impossible demands. “No humor, it will not be understood in Germany”; “No use of language”; “It will not translate”; “No use of sports”; “No reference to numbers, as they have religious meaning”; “Colors too have secret meanings”; “Hand signals are out, as are animals”; “No sex, it will never be allowed on the US networks.” Anything people feel passionate about is deemed out of bounds for global creativity. But the internet and global communications have eroded the boundaries between local and global to the point where everything we create exists on a global stage. Whether we like it or not, advertising agencies are no longer in charge of what gets distributed to where—the consumer is. Global ideas are no longer the ones designated global by a global team; they are the ideas that have broad appeal and touch a nerve withconsumers in many parts of the world. Global ideas are simply the best ideas in the world that rise to the top and get circulated and distributed by the people who consume them. Global ideas are local ideas with world class potential."

He advocates a new model where planners should be ideas thief and idea modifier. 'Such a model changes how global teams work... their global role should be one of “idea thief” and “modifier.” As “idea thief,” the planner takes the best, most successful ideas and tries to identify why the idea worked so well locally and what it would take to replicate that successfully in different markets/cultures. As ”modifier,” the global planner takes local ideas and adds their own interpretation/execution of it, often merging or combining ideas from different markets that touch on a similar territory.'

Read the full article here, http://networkcreativity.com/

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