Sunday, December 03, 2006

"No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better"

Right, I said I'd try and write something to justify my credo. This is it, and I apologise in advance if it's not up to the same standard as Beeker's.

I think my credo could be misinterpreted as Zen-like rubbish. It's strange (and I'll come onto explain this in a little while) but I think it tries to combine diligence and effort with being free spirited, if that makes sense. One thing is for sure, it's not quite up to the standard of this Caddyshack clip about Zen:

I've always lived my life from the perspective of someone who has realised that I don't have the natural ability to instantly be the best at everything I do. Sounds obvious I know, but hell, I think credos are inherently simplistic.

For what it's worth, I like to think I'm a pretty good writer (although this blog may be proving otherwise), someone who is fairly well read, an adequate sportsman (ok, ok, a poor sportman in everything barring golf, football and badminton) and generally a good bloke to be around. As I've mentioned before, I'm a useful trivial pursuit player - I know a little bit about a lot of things.
This lack of innate natural ability (unless I have some fantastic tiddlywinks ability lurking in the background) has always meant that I've had to push myself harder in order to get the most out of my talents.

*Cue thoughts on interestingness, a la Beeker*

Like Richard and Jon Steel say, these are good ways to judge an idea and an advertising execution. But I also think, like Beeker, that these criteria can inform on people as well.

Beeker has chosen the second, beauty, to inform on her credo. Yet I think the first - truth - informs on my credo, if I'm honest.

Watch this:

Now, how does knowing the truth have anything to do with failure? Well, my argument to that is that it's incredibly important. Knowing who you are, or where something is coming from, is the cornerstone of how I think and act. It's not to say things cannot change. They can, and frequently do. But knowing the now, as much as is possible, means that you can 'fail better' and improve.

Beauty and rationality are both important, but I feel that the middle ground, the truth, better informs on who I am.

I can take leaps of faith, but equally, at times, need to believe something to see it, and my perception of beauty changes with the day. The truth changes as well, but of the three, it seems to me to be the most tangible, and as such, the heart of my thinking on life, brands, the universe or indeed, the Dalai Lama.


Paul H. Colman said...

Interesting. While philosophically I'm not a relativist, I think I might be in a marketing sense – I’m not sure there is any real ‘truth’.

beeker said...

No, I'm not sure about the truth part either for the same reasons. But I do love the credo. And I think it works with truth or without. Nice word WAM.

Will said...

I try to apply my world view to whatever I do; from a marketing/advertising perspective, I've found ideas the best when they are simple - be it Yakult's print work, The Economist, Famous Grouse's TV stuff etc.

Perhaps I'm a reductionist at heart?

Paul H. Colman said...

I think our (Yakult's) press is simple, but at the same time quite complex (there is actually quite a lot going on). I'm playing around with an idea of high resolution at the moment (not sure 'resolution' is the right word); the idea that something can appear simple, but actually contain a lot of dense information.

As you can see - the idea is not making a lot of sense at the moment.

Will said...

Do you mean resolution as in a promise, and 'High' as in high culture?

The Yakult work has some very involved strategy, in my opinion - albeit with straight forward execution. Again, a sign of my favourite work.

Perhaps dualism would be the best summation of your thinking?

Paul H. Colman said...

No sorry, not being very clear. I'm meant high resolution in the sense that a digital file is high resolution - as a measure of detail; in this instance cognitive detail.

I'm certainly not a dualist philosophically. I guess what I'm trying to say is – when it comes to strategy I think there is more than one way to skin a cat, simple really.

Will said...

Right. Gotcha. It's an interesting perspective. Have you read any Roland Barthes? If not, read 'Mythologies'. Though a little dated, it's an interesting book on a similar theme to the one you are describing.

Oh, there's no right and wrong way for strategy... damnit, I wasn't going to use Philosophy when discussing advertising, but there we go.

Look out for a Utilitarian critique of the new Boots ads...heh.

Amelia said...

Wow - deep stuff for a Monday morning (and I have been up for hours queueing at India House to get a visa so my brain has turned to cheese) I am not even sure if I am qualified to add anything at all.

So I will give you a thought from an old wise man of Advertising: The people who succeed in advertising are those who find something genuinely fascinating in every single section of the Sunday papers.

Have a good Monday!

Will said...

"The people who succeed in advertising are those who find something genuinely fascinating in every single section of the Sunday papers."

Interesting. Was that Ogilvy? Bullmore?

I like trying to know a little bit about a lot of things.

cheap viagra said...

One thing is for sure, it's not quite up to the standard of this Caddyshack clip, even if the guy should have been a lot of time there there's no way that him knows a lot.

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