Archive for March, 2012

Blatancy and the #SocialObjectFactory

With apologies to @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) I described his latest venture as showing 'blatancy' on twitter.  I meant ...

March 21, 2012

With apologies to @gapingvoid (Hugh Macleod) I described his latest venture as showing ‘blatancy’ on twitter.  I meant it well*.

The first thing I meant is ‘authenticity’ – Everything he does is driven by exuberance for a belief system that he consistently advocates…

The second thing I meant is ‘simplicity’. Hugh has reduced the entire proposition down to an animated icon and a promise.  As someone whose ‘business’ is words, crafting “Stories about Strategy” I am in awe of the suggestive power of images to cut across our reservations.  Disagreements about words become a cause of demolition.  Disagreements about images are an excuse for construction.

The third thing I meant is ‘directness’.  There is a ‘buy my stuff’ abruptness to the execution which is disarming to a 19th Century Brit like me…

The fourth thing I meant is that there is an ‘aggression’ of conceptualisation. I have written elaborately in the past on memetic branding, along with Mike Cayley and also on brands as producers of connectivity.  In Hugh’s mind brands simply become ‘Cannons’ puffing out memetic cannon balls… the visual language removes the need for analytical and captures the essence of the idea.  More importantly, it is a productive, energetic and kinetic image, which makes brand owners feel as if they are in control.

Fifthly  I was evoking ‘commitment’. Hugh’s basic concept here, as I see it, is to move away from a typical agency focus on the production process, and also to move away from a consultancy focus on outcomes. Instead he confidently assumes the outcomes and trusts his track record for the production process, and focuses instead on the ‘stuff’ itself.

Any traditional agency could think this strategic insight but none that I know would commit to the idea so far as to name the business after the process.  They’d be too busy trying to define some much looser discriminator based on ‘modes of engagement’ – or just name it after the founder. Not Hugh.

So Blatancy rules. Underthink and Overcommit. This is the spirit of the age.

#SocialObjectFactory, is the ur-zeitgeist.

I’ll say it once more for effect: “Innovation is Simplification”.

*And on a related note, in my defence, I defer, once again, to Humpty Dumpty:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master that’s all.”

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