STOP MAKING SENSE
The highest price of attaining adulthood is probably losing our insensibility as a child. As we grow up, our parents will tell us over and over again, “Don’t be silly!”, “It does not make sense!” Along the way, we learn to observe rules, to obey the “logic” laid down by other people, and constantly not to look stupid by conforming to what is accepted by society as “sensible”.
Yet, time and time again, we see that progress is achieved and history is rewritten by those who challenge the norm. Those who don’t just accept things that should be, but imagie things that can be. Those who answer to cynical “why” with “why not?” Those who “don’t make sense”. In short, it’s the people who reconnect with their inner child, who are not afraid to be silly again.
All great enterprises, business innovations, creative ideas were born insensible. Time magazine early this year featured a cover story about the new sharing economy. Why would you let a stranger sleep in your apartment or ride in your car, even if he pays for it? It does not make sense! Yet this is the concept behind Airbnb, currently valued at $13 billion, and Uber, at $41.2 billion. The sharing economy did not make sense at the beginning, because it did not conform into any existing and established business models. But something that does not make sense is not necessarily a bad idea. And now traditional hospitality and taxi operators were caught off-guard. Even governments are still scratching their heads trying to adapt to this innovation.
Advertising industry also consistently shows that great ideas often do not make sense, as demonstrated by the recent Cannes Lions 2015. These are ideas that will make us go “Huh?”, before realizing their brilliance. Like ordering Domino’s pizza with emoji. Or how Samsung improves drivers’ safety by innovating on the trucks they need to overtake. Or how your advertising cost can be shared by many brands, like Newcastle’s Super Bowl ad.
At the times when global economy is facing uncertainties, it is the ones who refuse to play by existing rules and write new ones who thrive. “Doing the same thing and expecting the same result is the sign of insanity”, a quote by probably the smartest person ever lived, Albert Einstein (whose masterpiece Theory of Relativity did not make sense initially to people!).
The need to see beyond what is, and imagine what could be, is always at the heart of advertising and marketing communication at large. This year, Citra Pariwara celebrates our inner child, our silliness, our imagination, our stubbornness to play by the rules. Our prominent speakers from brand management, media, research, and digital will demonstrate how they challenge the norms, rewrite the rules, imagine the unthinkable, and make the impossible possible. In these fast changing times, how can we build stronger brands, connect with people better, and do good to society? Perhaps, it makes the most sense to not make sense!