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Where are the crazy ones?

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These words are part nostalgia, part belief that some things never change. They are about the death of salesmen with apologies to Arthur Miller. It is what Hegarty talks about in his latest interview. We have to become about persuasion again rather than just promotion. It is about strong beliefs versus polite process.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The square pegs in the round holes.

This is the beginning of that ad every creative knows. It is also the great-grandfather of the bane of our existence. The manifesto.

It is a strange quirk that things that were once fresh become a cliché. Especially in our business.

Here’s a stat. In 1982 all the top ten movies in America were original scripts. In 2010 most were sequels.

It would seem with the speed of the world a sure thing and a safe bet are a necessity.

Music is no different. Take the packaging of Idols and The Voice.

These are big machines designed to create certainty.

Would Nirvana have got anywhere as a band if they started today?

Perhaps, I am committing the cardinal sin in advertising, I am getting older. And as I get older, I seek out individuals far more than collective thinking.

In my defence, I will say this. A couple of years ago at Cannes, George Lois and Lee Clow took the stage.They are strong individuals and strong persuaders. The audience hung on their every word. They are some of the greatest salesman our industry has ever seen. And they sell because of their slightly unvarnished personalities. People believe in them as much as in the work or idea they have. If you don’t think that is important, you have never tried to sell something that people cannot physically see. An idea.

They are the kinds of people that through their imperfection and humanity can sway a room.The kind of person you want in your corner when you are in that meeting. You know, after all the other non meetings before it.

These are unpredictable men. They are the crazy ones. The ones in these kind of presentations that have the balls and the bravery to say what needs to be said.

They don’t hide behind words and they speak about what they believe. They don’t care what the other 20 people think. They back themselves. They have the rarest commodity in advertising. Conviction.

To do something truly great, something nobody has ever done, you have to be one of the crazy ones. You have to be willing to go where nobody else will go. The alternative, go where everybody has already been. Safe, full proof and the definition of creative insanity.

Crazy might just be another word for brave. Or, another word for truth.

Perhaps the crazy ones still exist. If they do, we should protect them and cherish them because I fear they are a dying breed.They are the ones that have your back.They are the ones you want to follow. They are who you want to become.

When all is said and done. When every pie chart has been eaten and every graph points in the right direction. When the data and analytics tell you what to do and all the work integrates seamlessly I still get this feeling. Perhaps, desire is a better word.

A desire for craziness and messiness. The creative equivalent of running, screaming down a hill into battle with a massive axe and painted blue face. It’s not going to be perfect but it is going to be interesting. Today, is the fucking day.

That’s what the crazy ones make me feel. That is why they are important for agencies.They make me believe I can win. They make me believe I can go to places I didn’t think I could go. I guess this is just about how I wish there was more of them.

No matter how hard you try, the world doesn’t make sense by just making cents. The crazy ones know that.

Find a crazy one or become one.

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2 thoughts on “Where are the crazy ones?

  1. Pingback: Where are the crazy ones? | Damon's Brain

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