I’ve been reading a lot about this topic recently. Brands, Brand Worlds, Brand Experience, Engagement etc. etc. I’m exhausted rather than energised by it all and whilst in some respects I understand how to make the simple complex I prefer to do the reverse.
This is why I like the quote above.
I think branding processes should be at best both simple and fun – if you start by considering the above statement you’ll find that you end up somewhere exciting rather than predictable. It also truly reveals, through the answers you give yourself, whether you see the glass as half full or half empty….. and will challenge what you think may be obvious.
On September 7th, 1982, Ogilvy sent the following internal memo to all agency employees, titled “How to Write”:
The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather.
Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.
Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:
1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualise, demassification, attitudinally, judgementally. They are the hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
6. Check your quotations.
7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning – then edit it.
8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
9. Before you send your letter or memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want your recipient to do.
10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.
I picked up James Webb Young’s classic - A Technique for Producing Ideas - yesterday. It has been a while since I’ve had the pleasure. For such a short book it is intellectually loaded and when I finished my commute I found a deeper sense of calm and curiosity in the small things happening around me. In truth, the book made me pause and remember that creativity is more or less about making connections. It’s the raw material that feeds this that you need to be in constant search for.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
This is the century in which you can be proactive about the future; you don’t
have to be reactive. The whole idea of having scientists and technology is that
those THINGS YOU CAN ENVISION AND DESCRIBE CAN ACTUALLY BE BUILT”
Alan C. Kay
It’s staggering how much of what we do today is last generation’s science fiction:
- Scuba Diving as imagined by Jules Verne in
‘20,000 Leagues under the Sea’ (1875)
- Test Tube Babies as imagined by Aldous Huxley in
‘Brave New World’ (1932)
- Robots as imagined by Karel Capek ‘Rossums
universal robots’ (1920)
- CCTV as imagined by George Orwell in ‘1984’
- The screensaver as imagined by Robert Heinlein
in ‘Stranger in a strange land’ (1961)
- The internet as imagined by Mark Twain in ‘From
the London Times 1904’ (1898)
- The video ipod as imagined by HG Wells in ‘When
the sleeper wakes’ (1899)
I’ve always loved this letter press poster by Anthony Burrill. I first saw it over a decade ago on my first day at a new job. The simplicity of it is as striking as the words.