One thing I definitely don’t want to ditch is making sure we as an agency get out and about as often as possible. I once heard a great quote from Martin Weigel that the biggest problem in advertising is that so many in adland ‘breathe in the exhaust fumes of their own rhetoric for far too long’.
This applies to everyone. It is never a good idea to spend too long wrapped in the cocoon of one’s own industry and peers. Aside from the fact that you quickly lose grip on reality and the lives of actual normal people, your anecdotes in meetings & at parties quickly become extremely tedious. Trust me, the day I mentioned the substrate on a box of chocolates whilst out to dinner with mates was the day I realised that I needed to get a grip.
So in the spirit of such enterprise we marched to Selfridges to see what their ‘No Noise’ exhibition was all about. Exhibition is actually to stretch it a bit far, there is a small boutique on the ground floor selling a range of de-branded and badged clothes and products, and then within the main store you find pods dotted around to give you respite from the headache of the experience of shopping.
The principle is simple: de-clutter and make the world a more stress free place as a result.
This is an idea that is blindingly obvious but no-less powerful as a result.
When asked about the idea of choice, most consumers will tell you than they always want more choice. It is the founding principle on which our society is based – democracy and capitalism are all about the freedom of giving you the purchaser power by allowing you to decide.
But this is not always a good thing, as Barry Schwartz has commented in his book ‘The Paradox of choice’, the overwhelming choices most of us face in every aspect of our lives actually makes us feel depressed, creating ‘self-doubt, anxiety & dread.’ Choice is powerful in the right context but this does not translate well to the supermarket where you are confronted with the choice of 300 breakfast cereals, 10 of which are simply different variations on Cheerios. Quite frankly no-body needs that many Cheerios options.
So in the spirit of getting out and seeing the world in order to do our jobs better, think about the consumers that stand in front of your fixture and think instead of doing more this year lets do less. You might just find you get better cut-through and a less stressed consumer to boot.