Thursday, February 26, 2009

My dinner with Juliette


I had dinner with French actress Juliette Binoche last night. She made some very interesting remarks on creativity.

(OK … I was the guest of a TV exec. friend, at a fund-raising dinner where Ms Binoche spoke and dined. We never actually conversed.)

Best known as an Academy Award-winning actor, Juliette Binoche, has taught herself to dance and is travelling the world with dancer Akram Khan doing a very physical and emotional performance.

In an after show interview Binoche talked about risk. She said that all creativity requires risk, otherwise you just stood still.
As an actor she could easily have made a complete fool of herself attempting to dance. But she didn’t. The performance was extraordinary. The risk paid off.

This reminded me that in marketing communications we too need to take risks in order to reap greater rewards. A risk in our industry could be as simple as not copying what the competition are doing – I’ve mentioned before how most automotive ads look the same.

Another risk might be to commission original music rather than buying an existing track. Maybe next time you are judging a piece of creative work, it would be worth asking, where is the risk? Could it work better with a little more risk taking? Will a small risk give me the jump on my competition?

Here’s an example of a risk that I believe pays off big time. And it’s for an automotive brand!

The agency and marketing department of Skoda Cars could have taken the no-risk approach and just said ‘quality for less’ like all their competitors. They would have been on brief. And most consumers would have forgotten them instantly.

Instead they took a risk and cast a clown! I repeat ‘a clown’. Personally, I’ll never forget this ad … ever. How many of us can say that our last ad will stay with consumers for life?

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