We would just like a horse that goes a little faster...

In my particular track at the BRANDcenter thus far, I have been inundated with research methods and ways to test for an ad's potential. I've learned how to test ideas, concepts, comps, drafts, ads, campaigns and I've learned to do it in groups, with individuals, with friends, with just random people on the street. And always, after the results are in, opinions formed and decisions made- do our professors throw in the side note that we should be careful in the way we use research.

I rarely look at things in black and white (or deal in certainties) and am way too much of a novice at this point to conclude the professionals who are passing on vast amounts of knowledge to me are missing something- but I have begun to see more of the dangers of research.

Creativity, in itself, is newness. An idea, thought, concept no one (hopefully) has seen before- different. And what are most people afraid and wary of? Anything different.

So how does an industry based on creativity, go out of it's way to choose individuals who inherently fear change to decide on the merit of new thinking? Is it because deep down we want to keep things safe? So if test subjects like it, are we staying within some imaginary safety rope? I hope we (and I mean "we" as aspiring advertising professionals) plan on building an industry that doesn't continue to provide the same offerings in new packaging, but will innovate to the point where we scare ourselves...Then we'll start marketing.

My thought is this, and as Ad...excuse me Brandcenter students, we've all read this a million times, "If I'd asked the consumer what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse." Henry Ford.

Create without the fear of rejection by those who think they know more than they actually know. Because if the idea is directed towards the right group of people and the story told just right- whether the consumer knows it or not- it just became a "want".

To Illustrate my point: (Yes it's long but it really wraps my rant nicely)

This was Arnold's intro to the 2007 Hatch Show

Look at that shark's teeth...

This movie is going to be funny and all that, but I want people to watch this trailer simply for the end. Tell me it's not funny enough to make your abs burn.

Step Up to Get Your Rep Up

Neil Strauss, The Mystery Method, The Pick-Up Artist

Over the past couple of years there has been an underground movement in the single male population lead by the aforementioned people at the top. These so-called "experts" are explaining a new way to pick-up women. Being a long-time member of the single club, I've known of this movement for some time and, most out of curiosity, have kept abreast of this sub-culture.

Last year it moved mainstream when one of the Founder's "Mystery" (all professional pick-up artists have a "pick-up call sign" got his own show on VH1 called "The Pick-Up Artist". In the show Mystery took average looking, socially awkward, single men and turned them into game spitting pros.

The method is simple- dress up in the most ridiculous clothing you can find and then head out to any social gathering. Once there, don't show women the attention they typically receive in bars to make yourself stand out, use subtle, humorous insults to show you really could be doing something better, then close by using a string of memorized high-participation lines (i.e. telling a story about a fight in the parking lot to garner emotion and then follow-up with a personal question. All of this can be learned through the various books the individuals write or you can take an actual class for the small price of about $2000.00.

I found this video that parodies it and pretty much sums the system up.

(Notice the Paul Rudd cameo)

This Is Brandcenter

For those who are about to enter and for those who have no idea.

A Road Rarely Traveled

I spent some time this break in New York and among a hundred other memorable experiences, I was lucky enough to find a Jack Kerouac exhibition in the New York Public Library.

For a couple years now I have been actively chasing the original manuscript of "On The Road" as it has been being displayed around the country. The original manuscript is on one long roll about one hundred feet long. It was there. I saw it. (There is no photo unfortunately as the squatty security guard yelled at me).

Kerouac has been somewhat of a personal guru to me for a long time and I do my very best to look at things from a "Kerouacian" perspective.

So this prompted a thought...

In about a month or two, internship fever is going to sweep through our little school. Everyone will no doubt be clamoring for a coveted spot at a place we all think we want to be. And the truth is, for most it will be a huge learning experience, a great opportunity to network and to possibly find the place you will spend your time post brandcenter.

But here's another thought: Do agencies want new people who already know how an agency operates and understands the social politics found there -OR- do agencies want people who have made a conscious effort to experience and observe life and humanity.
What if, rather than an internship, you took a page from Kerouac and simply hit the road come May. Take your three months and work in a waffle house, work on an organic farm, work trade shows in Chicago, do a dirty job...anything as long as it's a departure from what you typically do. At each job, talk to the people whose lives actually exist in what you're simply sampling. Learn from them and then bring all of those insights back.

Sitting in the interview chair one year down the line, would you rather have the internship under your belt or be wearing a belt you picked up in Lindsborg, Kansas in exchange for moving boxes?

Judd Knows Viral

Judd Apatow is phenomenal on all fronts...