At the Night of the Adeaters last night, the audience was treated to a range of ads from all over the globe. This morning at Likemind, Mark, Amanda and I were talking about some interesting things we observed there. First, that there was some sort of weird obligation/brand superiority at play. The Sony Bravia Rabbits ad had many people clapping, but it wasn’t really all that great in our collective opinion – and then there was another ad which was based on the same rainbow concept, but people were booing it (I can’t remember which one, but I hope you get the point – just because it’s Sony, people have to appreciate it? As Mark said, what if the ‘plagiarisation’ of ideas was done by Sony, and not vice-versa, as everyone would expect?).
There was also a culture aspect to the responses from the audience. The Neo Sports ad from India, which a lot of us thought was quite good, didn’t have that many takers, though it was was based on some brilliant insight into the country’s consumers. Clearly, everyone didn’t get it. So that got me thinking: is creativity restricted by the understanding (or not) of different cultures? How far has globalization really come, if people in the so-called creative, multicultural world of media don’t really get talented ideas that come from other geographical parts of the world? How likely are global clients like Unilever or P&G, who are trying to create campaigns that can apply across cultures, going to be successful?
Isn’t the limitation to the understanding of creativity an obstacle that we should be actively trying to overcome, or discuss? I haven’t heard a peep about it so far.
8 thoughts on “Is creativity bound by cultures?”
i think about cultural differences a lot … was just at a pan-asian event in seoul, and this was talked about in the north-Asian context ..
the answer to your query
""So that got me thinking: is talent restricted by the understanding (or not) of different cultures? How far has globalization really come, if people in the so-called creative, multicultural world of media don't really get talented ideas that come from other geographical parts of the world? How likely are global clients like Unilever or P&G, who are trying to create campaigns that can apply across cultures, going to be successful? Isn't the limitation to the understanding of talent an obstacle that we should be actively trying to overcome, or discuss? I haven't heard a peep about it so far. """
can be talked about between us from a mystical point of view … there is an exortation in both the advaita vedanta world and in the sufi world, to "know that be which all else is known" and this actually has strategic value for advertisers and marketers …
…. the deeper you are in your own consciousness as a creator of content, the deeper and more widespread is the effect of what you create …
… have you ever seen an indian guru in the west, america or the uk? they know the local mind better than the local people do, because they know consciousness …
(and that neo-sport ad is pointless, given the product … an ad guy had an idea and could not actually stand back and look at it … it produces agitation, and not expectation for the india pak cricket matches … )
thanks for your time, enjoy,
typo … know that BY which all else is known … am spoiled by the disqus comment service, where i can edit …
hi gregory – i believe the neo sports ad was very good. it sought to convey the idea of ‘getting used to tension’, and that it did very well. when indians watch an india-pakistan match, there is typically a lot of tension. again, this goes back to my point of needing to understand other cultures in order to fully appreciate it.
i don’t think advertising is typically ever conceived as from a mystical point of view, but from your point i do believe that the value for marketers and advertisers can only really come from an audience that is culturally aware, as opposed to culturally passive. thanks for your comment!
i live in small-town india,… trust me, no one will watch the match because of that ad, it was a serial, makes no reference to the match, except for a quick text splash at the end, nothing in the content and the obvious drama of that ad has anything to do with sport … it might have worked better as an ad for compassion for stroke victims, or support for household help … even for middle-class english speaking sport fans the drama of the ad is completely at odds with encouraging people to tune into neo sports channel .. it was way over-done … tension is rarely an effective hook, because it does not create receptivity in the brain … the opposite in fact … i am surprised that you and your circle think it anything other than a cool intellectual exercise in illustrating tension …
and the second point, i am not trying to say that ad campaigns should be conceived from a mystical point of view … i am answering your question about how to transcend culturual differences as much as possible … and that happens when getting as deep as possible into the human experience …
did you see pangea day? where they gave video cameras to village people around the world and had them make stories about basic human emotions?? everybody understood everybody’s stories, no matter the culture …
on the surface it looks like one should be culturally aware, but there is a much deeper and more effective level, and most marketers don’t get that, as you illustrate ..
gregory – thanks for your comments. i did see the pangea day videos. in a way, you are right – marketers have a different way of thinking sometimes, and the human experience isn’t always a part of it. sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn’t.
so now we can ask, what is/could be/should be the “new marketing”?
which is where i imagine you want to position yourself ..
read this post by charles frith: http://www.charlesfrith.com/2008/10/charlies-angle-not-made-for-tv.html
that’s something along the lines of what new marketing should be.
thanks for the link .. he has a good intention, a kind of shotgun approach … i am looking for a higher p.o.v. … do you know umair haque in london? a brilliant mind, http://www.bubblegeneration.com is his original blog …
he understands the need for a new paradigm …
i threw out a couple of thoughts here http://www.gregorylent.tumblr.com in august about the changing nature of the audience with hyper-connectivity ..
there is another london media/marketer i like, david cushman, he blogs at http://www.fasterfuture.blogspot.com
i don’t think anyone in the profession understands what has happened, they are too busy earning a living and fine-tuning their old understandings … and the dislike for marketing and the ineffectiveness of so much of it, combined with a bit of an economic downturn and hyperconnectivity … the world is ripe for somebody with a new mind
the rarest thing on earth, i am fiding..
enjoy, thanks for your time, gregory lent