“Fear is a powerful depressant.” Random connections + the rise of creativity

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Random connections between seemingly very random things are sometimes so startling. What energy do we tap into about people and things that makes us stumble (seemingly) coincidentally across the same or similar/connected things in rapid succession?

Examples: I randomly quoted tv show Arrested Development when talking to my mother the other day. The very next day, my ex-love and I were talking, and he used the very same quote from the show.

The other day, a friend recommended that I watch the show The Take. I did not take the recommendation very seriously and did not know anything about the show, but given his vague description of it, I started thinking suddenly about the film Bronson, which I had not thought of once since I had seen it ages ago. I thought about how Tom Hardy plays psycho a bit too well. I had no idea that Tom Hardy plays the psycho anti-hero in The Take until I did end up deciding to watch the four-part series.

I started thinking a lot about branding and marketing, about which I wrote in previous blog posts. Just after writing about brand loyalty, I watched the documentary Art & Copy, which was all about these same issues. I did not expect much from the documentary, but it turned out to be fascinating. I enjoyed the manner in which it chronicled the shift to the emphasis on creativity, which was missing from early advertising and marketing endeavors. Creative employees did not matter, and at some point things shifted and the creative people “rose up” and made their value known. With the rise of creativity, the quality and shape of advertising changed significantly. Concepts and ideas began to be elevated over concrete “show and tell” style advertising. An idea could be created and planted in a potential buyer’s head, inspiring them to imagine the possibilities. It became more vague, not necessarily selling anything more than potential. The film discussed brand loyalty and the meaning people assign to brands and what they say about lifestyle. So many other random connections.

Advertising maven Mary Wells, discussing her own legendary status in the advertising field and her fearlessness, said, “Fear is a powerful depressant.” Too true.

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