The one sentence summary
Modern creative people need to ignore the conventions of advertising, generate broad-ranging ideas, and prototype them fast.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
- This is a compendium of essays by members of Creative Social, a forum claiming to represent advertising’s next generation.
- It is loosely grouped into sections on advertising, creativity, culture, education, innovation and the future.
- Taking the title at face value, modern creative people need to generate a wide range of ideas fast, prototype them as often as possible, not be afraid to take ideas from one place to another, and then pass on the good work.
- As a broad theme, most of the authors seem dissatisfied with the industry in which they work (but not dissatisfied enough to leave it, it would seem).
- Themes include:
- Close the commercial gap: the industry remains too self-seeking.
- Put real people at the heart of things: there’s too much art for art’s sake.
- Experiment more: too many agencies just resort to TV ads.
- Rediscover a healthy disregard for advertising: look to other media.
- Think of a small budget as a blessing, not a constraint.
- Use small guerrilla teams and move fast.
- Don’t be afraid to copy, so long as you move to a more interesting place.
- You can be afraid and confident at the same time.
- Punch procrastination in the face: get on with it.
- Embrace your area of incompetence: in the interests of learning something new.
- Make things people want and make people want things.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- Author themes coalesce quite well in the Room 101 appendix. Things they would like to get rid of include:
- Advertising itself
- The distinction between ATL and BTL (above and below the line)
- The word consumer (try people instead)
- The words brand, innovation and ideation
- The provocateur label
- Testing and focus groups
- Real time marketing
- Bad internships
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- Diversity in a collection of essays can be both a strength and weakness. It’s stimulating overall, but there is no central point.
- The title is apparently a play on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the 1974 novel by John Le Carre, but it wasn’t obvious to me.