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    All sparks, no fire

    Whatever you may think of the advertising industry, there's no denying that the ad-men of old had fire in their bellies. They were brave, they were bold and the word 'idea' really meant something. Ads punched you in the gut, made you cry and folded you over with laughter.
    Now, not so much.

    At the agency where I work we see a lot of portfolios and the thing that has struck me most over the last year or so is how deliberately light a lot of the work appears to be.

    Bright 'ideas' are specifically designed to be small pretty sparklers at the social media party. They're fun, sometimes surprising, often highly aesthetic moments. They come and then they go, each trying to outdo the next in pursuit of the Holy Grail 'going viral'.

    So why is that?

    Are we chipping away at the old model for good reasons? Does a new generation need a new approach? Are we, as people, responding on a more superficial level? Or are we as an industry under so much pressure to achieve 'shareability' that we offer up novelty as a substitute for thinking?

    This next paragraph was written by our ECD in the early days of RADAR, designed to instruct junior creatives:
      Completely understand your audience. Walk with them, breathe with them. Live their lives, know what they want. Then figure out the single truth about your product or service that will resonate with that audience. Then, and only then, present it in such a way that it cannot be ignored. Craft a message that lingers in the heart and brain. Until, eventually, your consumer has no choice but to take it out, and examine it. Maybe talk about it with their friends. Pouring over it. Until eventually it becomes common knowledge, part of the cultural landscape. A rich, burning fire of brand authenticity.
    I like this way better.

    About Tahier Variawa

    Tahier Variawa is head of conceptual design for RADAR which is really an excuse to think about everything and anything. RADAR is a before the line, beyond the line, outside the line kind of agency, which is why he likes it.

    Let's do Biz