Monday, 27 November 2017


One of the liveliest sections of the Mumsnet Forum discussions is the section entitled 'AIBU?' - for the uninitiated that's 'Am I Being Unreasonable?' There's everything on here from the trivial to the traumatic, and the answers rarely stop at a simple 'Yes' or 'No.' Ideally, I'd guess, one would like to be regarded as a touch unreasonable, but with justification.

On the subject of unreasonableness in the world of marketing and advertising, here is a short article in Campaign from Mick Mahoney, Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy & Mather, London. It's entitled Being Unreasonable in four easy steps and starts by quoting George Bernard Shaw:

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

It's implied that being unreasonable is a harder job than being reasonable. The reasonable man 'adapts' where the unreasonable one 'persists in trying.' And not only is unreasonable harder, but you're likely to be met with more resistance at the end, too. If something 'seems reasonable' it'll probably be accepted. It'll do. The boxes will be ticked and we'll move on. (Ugh.)

But will anything change? Probably not.

These days, our obsession with 'seamlessness' and 'consistency' means that we'll feel more comfortable with reasonable ideas. It's about fitting in and following. It's about looking at the past and what worked there to generate ideas for the future.

It's actually about not needing people at all - reasonable, unreasonable or otherwise. It's how AI works.

But shouldn't our ideas be more about standing out, being unique, leading, being first? Using our innately human ability to put things together to create something new?

To quote George Bernard Shaw again:

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.

No comments: