Think Dangerously

Just came across a great post about dangerous ideas from Northern Planner.What is a dangerous idea? It's not something that puts people in harms way, it's a thought that challenges the way that people think. In 2006, the Edge Foundation asked industry leaders and their responses were quite amazing.

Northern Planner added a few with an ad-specific lens on them. Here are my two favorite:
  • It's true that old style advertising dinosaurs could learn a thing or two from the digital brigade, but that goes the other way too. 25years ago, ad agencies made a fortune because clients didn't really know what they did. It was easy too thanks to the hegemony of ITV. It's like that now with digital. There are some brilliant practitioners our there, who graft at finding good ideas that will work. Then there are the charlatans that blind others with jargon and get away with murder. For now, others don't quite understand the technicalities of what they do, but when they catch up, things will change.
  • Every agency and client should do a job swap once a year. Both would respect each other more for doing something the other cannot and wouldn't want to. The agency people be refreshed from the short hours, but glad to escape the boredom. The client would come back to the dayjob shattered, glad to escape the relentless pace and chaos, really pissed off at cancelling things at someone else's whim. The agency people would then appreciate that the client has their own internal clients and has to justify everything they do. The client people would be a little more patient, take more care to ask for what they actually want and less inclined to make impossible demands.
I really like the idea of trading places for a week or two. I think we get stuck in our roles and it gets harder - over time - to relate to the clients that we work with. I'd add one more dangerous idea to the list:
  • The closer you are to being a true consumer, the stronger you are in advertising (said another way, the less 'experience' you have, the more of a chance to have to be groundbreaking for your client)
Let the debate begin.