Monday, July 19, 2010

only the scruffy and swift will survive

We live in a paradox. On the one hand we have the practice of branding. Of creating a perfectly sculpted piece of culture and business that we will protect. On the other, is the practice in society of acting upon our creative energy immediately. We quickly create cultural pieces that live to be spread, remixed and respread. These published rough drafts are left to be polished by remixers, or not at all.  Taking the time to perfectly polish something like Mike Relm's remix of the @OldSpice campaign would have meant rounds of approval from numerous sources and weeks of revisions. By the time the thing broke it would have felt like old news arriving to the scene.

Luckily, people get that every creative bit that hits YouTube won't be perfect. I'll never forget the advice that my art teacher gave me as a kid. She said "art is never finished." You could continue tweaking and obsessing over a piece of art for weeks or even years. But this is branding, it isn't art. Brands need to stop being overly precious and start getting swift and scruffy with their creative to be culturally relevant.