I was judging at The Beautiful Minds Event last weekend, a wonderful BBH-sponsored celebration of the life of Griffin Farley, and was struck by how rose colored my glasses have become. Not sure if it’s all the find the pain point pop marketing books the kids read in school or what the media hath wrought, but most of the young were wrapping their strats around problem solving. (Beautiful Minds, BTW, is a competition among tyro brand planners.)
The brief the competitors were chasing was about Citibikes. Imagery of sweat, commuter angst, cramped subway cars and ornery taxi drivers abounded. Where was the happiness factory? Readers know I love Coke strategy and have been a little contrary when it comes to the happiness strategy. Growing up at McCann and seeing how “refreshment” can be optimized for Coke sales, I’ve not been “feeling” the happiness thing. But then I watched the lovely “Small World Machine” video designed to bring closer together Pakistani and Indian youth. I cried then said to myself “that’s refreshing.” A different kind of refreshing.
With all the negativity in the world, all the cop/killing TV shows, movies about aliens eating cities, religious wars and hate mongering, it’s not hard to stick out with some positivity. Let’s not just fix problems with our strategies, let’s surround and celebrate the good. And let’s teach the youth to do so as well. Check all your briefs at the door people. Peace.
RIP Aunt Irma. The Poppe matriarch.