When’s the last time you tried something crazy with a project?
Yeah, I can’t remember the last time I did something crazy, either.
This AdAge post (hat tip: @frankmartin) — about Apple’s now-legendary Think Different ad campaign and one of the lions of advertising, Jay Chiat — got me to thinking about how tame and timid much of our marketing, PR and advertising ventures are. How much we settle for the timorous and the mediocre. How much of our work is the product of compromise and committees.
And how unfortunate that bloggers have to reach way back to the 1990s to find a single example of an ad that celebrates going against the grain.
It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs, isn’t it.
And I know I’m part of the problem. Hell, I had a hard time accepting the incorrect grammatical structure of Apple’s famous campaign, so you have to know that the wild and crazy stuff just doesn’t come naturally to me.
Maybe there are daring, beautifully subversive marketing campaigns in the works somewhere out there. But I don’t know of any — certainly not in the realm of higher education. Do you? (Well, okay, there’s this one, but it’s from the University of Phoenix, and they didn’t get where they are by playing it safe, so you expect something that goes against the grain.)
What do we need to do to bring crazy back?
Bart Cleveland, the guy who wrote the AdAge blog post mentioned above, point in that post to another article that says “the secret to staying relevant in advertising is twofold: mess with culture and help make companies successful.”
So, how are we messing with culture?
Cleveland thinks the script to the Think Different commercial “should be the mantra of our industry.” He’s talking about advertising. That’s true. But shouldn’t it also be the mantra for education?
Read the script and decide for yourself.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them. Disagree with them.
Glorify, or vilify them.
About the only think you can’t do, is ignore them.
Because, they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to change the world,
Are the ones who do.
Now, go forth and get crazy with it.
P.S. 6/25/09 – I meant to work this recent Seth Godin post, On the road to mediocrity, into this post but forgot. It’s worth 30 seconds of your precious reading time.