Well, Max (PHD’s resident photography whizz) and I were talking yesterday about the implications of apps for the more professional, heavy duty software like Photoshop.
This is a screengrab of Photoshop Elements, which I’m trialling at the moment; since switching to a Mac, I don’t have a copy of Photoshop anymore, as I was using an ancient version (PS7) on my old Windows laptop. I do have CS3 at work though.
It costs £80, it’s very much the stripped back version of Photoshop, designed for the home amateur. To be fair, I’m not found that much I’m missing from the full version, but there’s the odd thing here and there that bugs me when it’s missing.
I’m not sure I think it’s worth £80 though, and that’s probably because my internal perception for the value of ‘mucking about with images’ is being pulled down by various things.
Firstly, of course, there’s the phone apps.
QuadCamera, Hipstamatic, CameraBag, TiltShiftGen… they all do a small element of what Photoshop can do, and in comparison they are just one-trick ponies.
There’s a Photoshop app too, which I’ve got, but only use it infrequently for the cropping tool.
But having the suite available wherever and whenever has meant that I never do what I used to with snappy phone photography, which is go back to a computer and touch up the best ones in Photoshop.
I have the instant ability to either take more interesting photos, or adjust ones I’ve taken already, right there in my hand.
Then there was Sumo Paint, which Michael drew my attention to yesterday… it’s basically a cloud-based version of Photoshop (and feels very like Photoshop too).
As long as your connected to the web, you can use it. If you’re offline a lot, you can buy the download for about £14. That seems a lot better value than Photoshop Elements…
(Suneil pointed out the irony of something that challenges Photoshop so directly running on Adobe’s other big ‘ting, Flash…)
It’s all made me think that the ‘photo manipulation’ market if fragmenting in much the same way that the print market is.
Imagine Photoshop is the original newspaper; it sells you everything in one big package, you can’t strip out just the parts you want, because originally it couldn’t be served to you that way… and it was just the model they continued with when the interweb came along.
Then something like Sumo Paint is the news website… it gives you most of the content you used to have in a paper you paid for, but for free. The catch? You’ve got to be online to use it. But that actually suits a lot of people, so they stop buying the newspaper…
Finally, the apps are… well, the apps. They take one specific element of the paper, do it REALLY WELL, and sell it to people for a small fee.
I guess Adobe are heading down The Times paywall approach with photoshop; big fee, small audience.
Personally, I’d like to see them playing more in the app end of things… let their imagination run wild, and use their excellent tech to make many small, cheap, wondrous things.
…the ‘sunset of print’ as Madi Solomon of the FT referred to it as:
Solomon says the FT is committing to “less print” and says the FT sees
a five-year trajectory for having exited print in substantial part.
“They’re not saying that, by five years, they’ll completely stop it,
but they do see that the sunset is going to be in about five years.”
Now, five years probably seems like a long time… after all, five years ago there was no Youtube.
But now that the newspaper industry in particular is in the mindset that they will stop print (perhaps they’ve moved through the Kubler-Ross model… denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), I wonder if it will be even quicker…
…after all, if it’s losing you money, you know you’re going to stop, and you’re developing alternatives, the logical thing to do is switch over as quickly as possible.
Which goes back to the Vanishing Point for media I talked about a while back. Whilst we may expect the ‘vanishing point’ of media vehicles to be a little while after the returns from things like advertising (blue line) have dropped below the costs (red line)…
…the real vanishing point comes a lot sooner… as soon as costs exceed income, and there is a viable alternative model to jump to (which is what makes the iPad so attractive for newspaper publishers), then newspapers don’t make economic sense, so production stops…
…even though there will still be advertisers who would have spent money with those newspapers.
I guess it all means it’s not just newspapers that need to be experimenting with new ideas… existing advertisers need to be willing to help find new and better ways of connecting with people through these news organisations.
Which needs less ‘prove to me that this will definitely work’ and more ‘let’s give this a go and see what we can do…’.
…the honourable Rupert Britton, Dark Lord of Content Strategy here at PHD, has had a tweet picked up of his thoughts on the new Chris Morris film Four Lions, and it’s been used in an ad.
It’s the second one down…
He’s not the only one though… they’ve used about four or five, mixed in with reviews from proper journalistic organs.
Oh, and the Evening Standard.
Anyway, it’s really interesting, for several reasons.
Firstly, if you were a little short of good write-ups of your film (which I’m not suggesting Four Lions is, it’s just a hypothetical ‘if’), you could just find the tweets by people who did like your film, and use those.
Secondly, it highlights the fact that we increasingly trust (or at least marketers believe that we trust) the opinions of other people at least as much, if not more so, than those of the so-called ‘experts’.
Thirdly, if you are going to use someone’s tweet in a review… is it polite to ask? The first Rupert heard of it was when a friend called him up and told him…
Rupert says he wouldn’t have minded at all.
So why not just ask?
(If you’re listening, Four Lions folks, the very least you could do is send him a poster or something…)
I got my mitts on an iPad for the first time yesterday, thanks to David at The Guardian.
We worked with them and Canon on the Guardian Eyewitness app (now the SECOND MOST POPULAR free app for the iPad… FTW).
So we were understandably VERY eager to see the fruits of our labours.
(Apple, ‘fruits’? See, it’s a pun, geddit? Oh, never mind…)
Anyway, I took the opportunity to create a little video run through of some of the ‘media’ properties on it, just to get a first feel for what ‘worked’ on the iPad:
So, that was yesterday. My thoughts today?
All in all, whilst newspapers and magazines (and of course comics) can do some wonderful creative things with the iPad, having used it you realise what a great in between step between ‘lean back’ and ‘sit forward’ it is…
…which is perfect for just watching TV on.
Ben Malbon points out that the posters they’ve put up are like a giant user manual… “this is how you use it”.
Looks like a great way to watch content, yet still have access to everything the web offers at the flick of a finger.
And sure, as a device it has the potential to do untold amount of wonderful things, depending on the apps developed for it. And it may revolutionise many markets (news, games, work, healthcare…)
Yet given the amount of ‘watching’ people still do (television, films etc), and the quality and flexibility of the iPad for fulfilling that need, I believe that for mainstream take up it’s the viewing capabilities that will be key.
People LOVE watching TV, as we all know. This represents a different, flexible, personal way to do that, wherever you want. TV has a mass appeal that opens up the interest in the device to a wider audience than would be interested in more early-adopter tech (the iPhone, for instance).
Finally, after part I & part II, we reach the final part of the Guardian Changing Media Summit thoughts…
Part III – The BBC of the past, present & future… the all powerful Timelords
So, the BBC have been getting a regular kicking over the past year…
Back in August, James Murdoch’s MacTaggart lecture left no doubts about his thoughts on the BBC…
“The corporation is incapable of distinguishing between what is good
for it, and what is good for the country… Funded by a
hypothecated tax, the BBC feels empowered to offer something for
everyone, even in areas well served by the market. The scope of its
activities and ambitions is chilling.”
Then you had the cost-cutting review announced by Mark Thompson, which included the axing of 6music and the Asian Network.
It was nothing but a self-mutilating act to try and head off the inevitable calls from what an incoming Conservative administration might demand of the BBC in terms of cuts & sell-offs… this poster from mydavidcameron nicely encapsulates Tory thoughts on the BBC…
So, under all this pressure, it was always going to be really interesting to see what Erik Huggers, BBC Digital Chief, would say about the BBC’s new, pared down service.
I thought what he gave us was a great vision for what BBC online should be; precise, focus, less sprawling, better value….
“The BBC’s online strategy has, for many years, been to play a
supporting role to our broadcast output. Programme first, website
later. This is not the best way to deliver our public purposes in a
digital age. We are moving away from the disparate approach of the
past, and to create a single coherent BBC Online which is greater than
the sum of its parts.”
They’re cutting over 200 websites, being more focussed, leaving space for competition… which on the face of it is of course what the Murdochs and the Conservatives want…
(…though I’d like to echo David Mitchell’s sentiments from his Guardian column – “the BBC is the envy of the world. Why are we letting its competitors,
and the politicians they have frightened or bought, tell us that we
can’t keep it as it is?”)
But something struck me as Huggers outlined the vision…
The BBC has been forced into a corner. Its tormentors are prodding and poking it…
…’yeah, be more focussed, yeah, take away the license fee, yeah, let’s see how you survive in the competitive landscape… ‘
If I was James or Rupert, I wouldn’t be quite so sure that this is a great idea.
(Given the announcement today that The Times will charge £1 a DAY for access to their website, I’m less and less convinced that they’re big on great ideas…)
Firstly, the focussed vision of the digital element showed just what happens when someone makes the BBC concentrate, think a bit more about what it’s delivering, how to make it lean, mean and effective.
It’ll be brilliant at it.
I mean, it’s really good now, but not very joined up, a bit haphazard and bumbling… but given drive and focus the BBC will be terrifyingly good at the online offering bit, and joining it up with the TV & radio bits.
Which doesn’t exactly sound like great news for the Murdoch Empire.
Secondly, this whole ‘take away the license fee’ movement. Think about the strength and depth of the content, public trust, ability, talent, experience all wrapped up in the BBC…
…and then saying to it ‘you’ve got to make all your money from commercial routes’…
…so like advertising, paid for games, apps, archive content, pay-TV platforms, news services… and on and on?
If the BBC is forced by its competitors into a place where it has to focus, react, become more commercial… it will simply eat those competitors alive. Think about how good BBC Worldwide is at making money from around the world.
The episode goes as follows… there’s a parasitical family of aliens chasing the Doctor, as they want to feed off his life force and live forever.
The Doctor hides his mind away so he thinks he’s human and doesn’t know who he is, in order to prevent them from doing so. But they keep chasing him, hunting him down, until they find him, and force him out into the open…
…but they don’t get exactly what they bargained for…
I guess the moral of the story is ‘be careful what you wish for…’
Thanks, Foxtrot… ending the day with a suitably geeky joke 🙂
If you don’t get it, it’s about that fact that…
…oh come on, where’ve you been, the iPad doesn’t support Adobe Flash.
Seriously. Keep up…
Mind you, I don’t know if the iPad is going to be in the magazine/newspaper/comic saving business so much. Some things we’ve been looking into recently suggests that what Apple have created is actually a brilliant way to watch TV content & play games anywhere…
For me, it achieved what great science fiction should; no matter how far the story goes, it’s rooted in something entirely plausible & believable. I’m currently reading his novel Makers too (which Faris sent me after my social production thingy), which pulls the same trick of expertly extrapolating a future from things currently happening in technology.
I’ve talked about Sci-fi before, of course, but in the context of ‘Story’, I think there’s two interesting things that happen in technology because of science-fiction
Firstly, both writers and engineers start in the same place (what HAS happened, and IS currently possible with technology).
But the writer is then free to speculate about the future without being held back by the real world constraints the engineer faces. They’re both heading in similar directions, but it takes the engineer longer to get there…
Secondly, it becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophesy…
…the engineers of the future, just by dint of who they are (geeks) what they like (geek stuff) and so on, grow up reading the science-fiction of the present. They get ideas and inspiration of the path to travel from the writers… and so naturally follow that path.
…but just reading a few pages of the stories is teaching me more in a sticky way than endless Wikipedia or lectures would about the same subject.
Comics like this should be on the curriculum. And my mum’s a teacher, so I’ll sort that out then, yeah?
5. Audience participation is all about clapping & chocolate
Russell Davies was an excellent host; genial, funny, generous, and most crucially of all, he knows the power of interaction… especially when it comes to throwing out chocolate treats into the audience (which brought back memories of being at the panto)…
I caught a Kinder Egg, which is why I’m now the proud owner of an ISG (Interplanetary Space Gallivanter)…
6. Some stories stick with us for a long time
Now, Kat Akingbade (co-star of C4’s The Science of Scams) was there talking about how a lot of people tell stories around the occult for quite selfish and nefarious purposes, because the stories resonate with a lot of people in a certain way…
…and the photos she was using to demonstrate this though were a series of the ‘classic’ ghost photos:
…which to be honest I’d forgotten all about, but on seeing them again remembered that as a kid I’d absolutely pored over books like this Usborne one filled with these photos, stories and more…
…which now, thinking about it, is probably where a lot of the inspiration for the Gamages Model Train Club stories I write comes from. I’m not weird; just conditioned…
So, some stories can stay with you and act as a formative force on your life for a long time it seems.
Which is maybe why one of the most powerful forces at play in marketing at the moment is nostalgia; reminding people of something in their past is easier than trying to get them to believe something completely new in the present.
7. I’ve utterly wasted my life (compare to Jody McIntyre)
Sam Coniff from Livity didn’t tell his story, but that of Jody McIntyre – who, after going travelling around South America on his own, scaling Machu Picchu solo, and winning acceptance to Oxford, has now decamped to Palestine to campaign and report on everything that’s happening there.
Oh, and did I say that he’s got cerebral palsy, and his parents were told when he was born that he would never walk, and probably never talk?
When the podcasts are up, I’ll post Sam’s telling of Jody’s amazing tale (so far)… in the meantime, follow Jody here and here
8. All the great storytellers need is the suit of clothes they’re standing in…
Last up, David Hepworth of Development Hell (who produce Word & Mixmag) stands up and tells us the most wondrous, evocative tale of suits, fathers, styles, eras and generations…
David was a brilliant mix of entertainer, sage, comedian, co-conspirator, humble, confident… he just stood on a stage for twenty minutes and took the audience with him on the journey.
But something he referred to himself helps the rest of us… he’s been telling and retelling the story, working out the moral, the important bits (and no doubt the bits where he gets a good laugh).
It’s only when we practice telling stories that we get better at telling them.
So there you are, The Story.
The post is rather a long one, I know… so, if there’s a shorthand version, it’s this:
1. Tell stories that inspire others to do great things
2. Build depth into your stories, so people can dive deeper
3. Use your story to push against the expectations of the audience
4. Educate through entertaining stories
5. Get the audience to participate in the telling of the story
6. Tell stories that resonate with things from the past
7. Tell the stories of others generously
8. The more you retell your story, the better it’ll be…
The what? The Apple whodjimmy? The iPad? What, you hadn’t heard? Oh, they did some launch thing over in the States on Wednesday…
OK, so you can hardly have missed it, but here’s what I think are the headline points to bear in mind…
…but firstly, a quick overview of the device itself:
It weights 1.5lb (680g or so) so it’s pretty light, it’s half an inch thick, 9.5 inches high, and 7.5 inches wide…
…it comes with either a 16gb, 32gb or 64gb solid state drive, all models connect with Wi-Fi, you can upgrade to 3G (so you can use a phone network, though you don’t need to have a contract, it’s pre-pay)…
…it runs all the existing iPhone apps, there”s a bespoke version of iWork (Apple’s ‘Office’ equivalent) you can buy as apps too…
…and it works just like a big iPod Touch or iPhone, really.
Seriously though, of all the things mentioned yesterday, this to me is the thing that makes me think it’ll take off.
At a mere $499 for an entry model iPad, it’s already positioning itself as a device between a smartphone and laptop.
It’s not aiming to replace more expensive laptops, but to do something different in between. And I think that $499 is low enough for people to go and get one ‘just to see’.
Of course, netbook manufacturers, who led the way in producing small cheap machines whose purpose of existing was the access the internet wherever and whenever, are sitting this morning wondering where to go now.
Intel doesn’t yet have a proven track record in mobile chips currently (though have just contributed to their first Smartphone, the LG GW990), so Apple needed another option for the launch of the iPad…
However, it’s interesting news that the chip was made in-house, rather than sourcing another supplier. Yet perhaps it’s a move as you’d expect would have been the eventual step for a company who likes to do it all in-house.
Maybe at some point in the long term, they expect to make all of their own chips… which might cause a wee headache to some chip manufacturers…
3. Bye bye e-books
…though not as much of a headache as the e-book boys have right now.
But to save you the trouble, the reasons ‘not’ are pretty lame. So the future’s not looking great for the Kindle, but what about the much vaunted thought that…
4. “…it’ll save the newspaper industry!”
Let’s be honest; Apple haven’t exactly made it their mission to save the existing media industries.
Just look at music… it’s not like the iPod & iTunes did anything to preserve the existing model for the music industry; if anything, it hurried the mass population into a new way of behaving that could only hasten the industry’s model decline…
“I can pay much less for music, and only pick the songs I really wanted”.
In that light, can you really see the iPad preserving the income levels that the newspaper industry like to imagine a daily read of their paper is worth?
No, neither can I.
Sure, there will be a subscription model that’ll make a little money. Micropayments too, maybe, through iTunes.
But it won’t be anything near the level that newspaper owners think it should be; people will think…
“I can pay much less for news, and only pick the bits I really wanted”
5. It’ll have a big impact on TV
We like having lots of TVs in our home. Living room, then bedroom, then kitchen… the family could quickly disperse to the different rooms around the house to watch whatever they wanted.
The iPad is reportedly an excellent TV & movie device (it’s HD quality, of course). You can sit with it on your knee wherever you are (at home, on a train, in an airport, in the back seat of a car)…
…so watching content will be great; using a service like the iPhone TV Catchup anywhere you’ve got wi-fi would be a joy, much more so than it is on the iPhone.
But despite the ability to watch live TV like this, I think it’s still bad news for traditional linear TV viewing, and advertising by implication.
People will have another option to watch whatever they want wherever and whenever. It’ll encourage more use of downloading programming, which may have all the pre-rolls and whatever you like, but will not replace the money brought in by the traditional ad-break on TV.
And if content creators think they’ll switch to a revenue stream funded by ‘pay-per-show’, then they better be prepared to sell it cheap; already Apple clearly want to half the price of TV content on iTunes.
Finally, of course, we know that ‘two screen’ viewing is really coming into it’s own of late; sitting on the couch with your smartphone or laptop, with the TV on at the same time.
But if the device you hold is bigger. brighter, better, easier to surf… then less of your attention is going to be pointed at the screen in the corner of the room. The TV may be on, but the advertising will be increasingly ignored.
6. A new era of gaming
The iPhone was a huge success when it came to games. So much so, that it kinda caught Apple by surprise (they’ve never been that good on gaming, let’s be honest).
What was apparent that people really did want to play more intricate, complex games on a touchscreen platform…
…but in such a cramped space such as the iPhone, that made it hard; at times it seemed half the screen was taken up by virtual buttons.
But with a bigger device, you get more ‘game’ screen, and less pressure to squeeze in fiddly virtual buttons. Control gestures can be bigger, more natural.
And of course you’ve still got the accelerometer to control things by tipping and turning the device.
When the first iPhone launched, sure, there where a few things you could do with it.
But it was only when the thousands of developers populated the iPhone with the 100,000+ apps that everyone’s really been able to make it their own personal, perfect device. And now you can get all the iPhone apps on the iPad.
(BTW – Letting those developers in, whilst maintaining a level of control to keep quality at a decent threshold, was the smartest thing Apple may have done with the iPhone, IMHO)
But now there’s a whole new device to play with.
The gestures are based on hands, not thumbs. The viewing can be for many eyes, not just yours. The holding position is more book & magazine, less phone and iPod.
As Bryce says here, the iPad is about “packaging a new user experience which really comes down to the
software’s gesture interface, the SDK and the underlying hardware that
powers it all.” (HT David Cushman)
It’s not just a ‘big iPhone’; I think that’s just a lazy (if not snarky) observation to make.
When the developers are let loose on it in anger and start releasing proper iPad apps will we understand exactly what it’s capable of…
…and where it’s going to be of most use, like in…
I think there’s terrific opportunities to adopt the iPad (and the new generation of devices it will no doubt spawn from competitors) more in a work scenario.
Which Apple do too, given that they’ve launched special bespoke versions of the ‘iWork’ tools (Keynote, Numbers and Pages) as $9.99 apps for the device.
Now, as John Griffiths points out here it’s really at odds with the Microsoft Office charging model (who every time charge hundreds of dollars to upgrade to the next version of Office).
Though Apple of course want you to buy the new sausage, so give you the sizzle for virtually nothing.
But I was talking to Mike at Made by Many about this, and we agreed there’s huge potential for a device like the iPad to move into healthcare, education as well as traditional business.
It could represent a new way of accessing, creating and sharing information. Of course, you wouldn’t expect to walk into an NHS hospital and see all the Doctors accessing patient information on iPads, but there will be alternatives that are cheap enough to make widespread rollout possible.
The iPad will change the perception of what is possible & desirable from a device in the workplace, creating opportunities for many other manufacturers too.
9. Some folk are pretty disappointed
It’s well known that techy, bloggy types want the moon on a stick. For over six months, speculation has been rife about what the iPad ‘may’ be able to do.
Of course, when it doesn’t arrive, people get all disappointed… and start making (inevitable) Downfall versions of Hitler being told about it…
Sure, there’s no camera, no Flash support (Apple are clearly trying to kill Adobe’s Flash too, just for kicks), no multitasking (so you couldn’t run Spotify at the same time as a Keynote app, for instance)…
…but the overall disgruntlement is, I think, misplaced. Take this for instance…
“I still can’t believe this! All this hype for something so
ridiculous! … I want something new! I want them to think differently!
Why oh why would they do this?! It’s so wrong! It’s so stupid!”
It’s not a reaction to the iPad this week. But to the original iPod, back in 2001 (via ReadWriteWeb). The first generation iPhone, when announced, faced similar disappointment and derision from within the techworld.
And look how they turned out…
10. The Market and Stephen Fry are impressed
Have a look at the Apple Share price over the last 6 months or so, ever since the rumour machine really started cranking up…
Not bad, huh? The market clearly thinks Apple are onto a winner…
“There are many issues you could have with the iPad. No multitasking,
still no Adobe Flash. No camera, no GPS. They all fall away the minute
you use it. I cannot emphasise enough this point: “Hold your judgment
until you’ve spent five minutes with it.”
No YouTube film, no
promotional video, no keynote address, no list of features can even
hint at the extraordinary feeling you get from actually using and
interacting with one of these magical objects.”
I can’t wait to try it.
So there you have it, the Apple iPad. Personally, I think it’s going to cause big ripples across many markets, and you know what, that’s how I like things. Change is good. The iPad is great.
I’ve read two interesting things on agency integration this week, both from ex-PHD stalwarts…
Justin Gibbons, founder and chief brainy chap over at Work Research, wrote this piece here, an alternative guide to integration.
It makes some great points about why the good ship integration so often breaks upon the rocks of reality.
The point I perhaps like most is we should ban presentations “…because PowerPoint destroys compromise. It’s like trying to edit the Book of Kells. Nobody budges and without compromise, any hopes of integration vanish”.
Secondly, Katy Lindemann, who’s now thinking/doing excellent stuff over at Naked, has written this which highlights “we often fail to achieve because we’re so focused on trying to make sure we get the credit”.
Now, there all sorts of prisoner’s dilemma stuff at work in the integration & co-operation of agencies, and sometimes it works really well, more often there’s elements of suspicion and protectiveness, and occasionally it goes really sour, no one shares anything, and it takes months to create some very average things for clients… and nobody wins out when that happens.
Of course, the economic realities of the present day don’t help much… the business-minded folks in agencies are increasingly eyeing up pots of money on spreadsheet allocated to other projects, and start thinking about how to get their hands on it.
It’s not anyone’s fault… and it’s everyone’s fault.
It’s the model we work in. And we haven’t changed it. As Katy points out…
“…we work within a model that doesn’t really reward collaboration, and in
practice rewards singular ownership of ideas. Sure, awards entries may
get jointly submitted, but the winner will always claim it as ‘theirs’…”
The model demands a Big Idea. Something to align behind, work towards, collaborate in. Creating the ‘matching luggage’ of communications, as Justin refers to.
It goes back to a little bit of what I touched on at the beginning of my Battle of Big Thinking presentation… this notion of ‘Big Ideas’.
Do we really need ‘Big Ideas’ for everything nowadays?
Sure, there are still some great examples of where one big idea informs every part of a company’s communication architecture… let’s call it the Meerkat approach, to use perhaps the most successful recent example.
But there are so many other interesting examples of companies where yes, there’s a central philosophy and core belief at play, but beyond that there seem like endless amounts of smaller, niche ideas that are just really well thought out…
…Lego, Nike, Dell, maybe O2 & Orange… there’s probably many more you’d add on to that list too. The companies that do the perfect little things that make smaller groups of people think ‘wow’…
In order to create lots of interesting ideas, you don’t need agencies fighting over the ‘big idea’… just a culture where great ideas are given an appropriate level of resource to happen.
If one agency wants to lead that project, fine. If they need some help from others, equally fine.
Because at the end of the day, I don’t think that in the vast majority of cases that the general population notice the ins and outs we do when it comes to the companies and brands they know.
In this day and age, people increasing miss ‘the big idea’.
Look at the hard time that companies nowadays have trying to change the slogans in your head. Someone asked me the other day what The Sunday Times’ slogan was. “…is The Sunday Papers” I thought. Of course it’s not that, it turned out, and hasn’t been for over eighteen months.
But despite being target market, and working in the media industry, the ‘big idea’ failed to take hold in my head…
And yet if you take someone like Lego (yeah, I know I do bang on about Lego, but they really do have one of the most interesting communications approach going, IMHO), they’re not trying to align you into their ‘one big idea’.
They’ll do some things that you, specifically, will find interesting. And some things you won’t.
And you’ll piece it together, and make your own unique interpretation of Lego from (fittingly) the hundreds of blocks of communication they’ve got out there. Because, as Justin points out, “…punters find integration really easy, it’s only the industry that finds it difficult…”
There’s no reason that The Sunday Times shouldn’t have found as many compelling, interesting communication ‘things’ to create as a Lego would, especially given the breadth and depth of their offering.
But at the heart of our industry is a compulsion to search for one big idea, one silver bullet to end all woes.
Well, I don’t think things work like that any more.
But if we embrace that notion, and create working relationships where many great ideas can be created, nurtured and flourish, I think everyone’s going to be better off; agencies, clients, and most importantly the people we wish to interest in the first place.