- Steve Jobs
It carries such power.
It can offend a whole race.
It is a trigger to a memory of years of hate and anguish.
I listen to a lot of rap music.
They use the word. A lot.
The majority of artists in rap music are black.
So, why do they use a word that carries such hate?
Because they have changed the nature of the word.
They have taken everything bad about the word, and made it something good.
A nigger is a friend.
Listen to any number of rap albums to see what I’m saying.
People give words power.
But, the people also have the power to change how a word is used.
How can a black man be offended by being called a nigger, if there is no power in it.
It’s like firing an empty gun.
Nigger is the one of the most powerful words in the history of language.
Perhaps, no longer.
“Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer.” - Rick Pitino (US Basketball Coach)
That is not be the best at everything.
That is not try and be good at everything.
It doesn’t take long to work out what we’re good at and what we’re not good at. Focus on what we are good at, and everything else should fall into place. It is impossible to succeed in everything. No one is superhuman. But those who you think are have only succeeded in a very narrow line of work.
This is why schools and the education system full stop is backward. They try and make us better at everything we’re not. They forget what we’re already showing promise in. We’ll only get better at that. Lets make the child better at maths, or english, or art. They’re not very good at that at the moment.
Let’s see what the child is good at from an early age.
Be it english, maths, art, dancing, singing, football. Whatever it is. Stop trying to make the child average at a collection of things. Make them excellent at whatever they’re already good at.
“Genius lasts longer than beauty.” - Oscar Wilde.
Oscar Wilde wasn’t talking about advertising. I will.
In advertising, too many people think that ‘creative’ is the process of making an idea look pretty. Wrong. Creative is coming up with the idea. And an idea is what sticks in people’s minds. Not the artwork that accompanies it.
A good idea, whatever it may be, is transferrable over every media, in every country, and understood by everyone that is meant to understand it. That (loosely) is my definition of a Big Idea. So, as you can imagine, in my opinion, there’s not too many around. And certainly, defining any concept you come up with following a brief as The Big Idea is ludicrous.
A good idea will stick. A good idea is far more creative than making it look pretty. A good idea is what sets apart fantastic advertising with pretty advertising.
Genius lasts longer than beauty.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
I wasn’t alive. But I can only imagine the incredible feeling that must have surged around the world on that day. We had successfully taken man off Earth and on to the moon. And even now, 12 men have only ever had the privilege of setting foot on the moon. But a hell of a lot more helped, and were responsible for getting those 12 men there and back safely. Neil Armstrong can by no means claim all the credit.
Before the Apollo 11 launch, some reporters were conducting interviews at NASA HQ at Cape Canaveral. A cleaner was walking towards them, broom in hand. The reporters thought, why not get some footage from him.
“So what’s your job at NASA?”
“It’s my job to help put a man on the moon.”
Think about that. It’s the cleaner’s job to put a man on the moon. Yeah right. He’s a cleaner. His job is to make sure the toilets are clean, right?
We are all vitally important to one another’s successes. And failures.
Never look at yourself as just a cleaner.
Instead look at yourself as part of something great, even if you aren’t the face of recognition after it all.
In life, we’re always making decisions. Decisions define the path we choose. Door A or Door B? When I was at school, I had to make an awful lot of decisions. Decisions that apparently would define my life. What subjects do you want to choose at GCSE? What about A-Level? What Universities do you want to apply to? Which offers will you accept? And in the middle of all of these was a load of smaller decisions to make. Day to day decisions. Decisions you were told make no difference to your life. What should I have for lunch? Should I tuck my shirt in or leave it out and get told off?
Where am I going with this?
Well, I have always been told, and somewhat believed until recently that some of the ‘bigger’ decisions would define your life. Life lesson, no they wont. You define your life. The GCSEs I took, the A Levels I took. They mean nothing. But still I was told that I was closing doors in the future. No, in fact, I was told by some that by not choosing ‘proper’ subjects, I was slamming doors closed in front of me. Throwing away potential.
I’m glad I ignored them.
There are very few decisions that will define your life. Because remember, there are an infinite number of decisions coming up, so you’ve just taken a scenic route perhaps?
In life, you can do and achieve anything you want. Anything. If you work hard enough, both in your chosen field, and hard enough at ignoring all the people that tell you can’t do it.
No doors are closed.
I was often asked this question when I was younger.
“Jack, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
As if to suggest your job defined who you were as a person. It has never bothered me. Ever. Until I just started to think about it.
What do I want to be? A person. A nice person. A person who has true things to heart. Someone who looks after their family and so on.
A better question to ask is: “What do you want to do when you’re older?”
From now on, my answer to this question is, as much as I possibly can.
I want to see, do, get involved in, and experience as much on this planet as I possibly can, not to be limited by my chosen profession.
I want to do as much as I can, and hopefully, compared to a lot of other jobs, a career in advertising can hopefully help me achieve that goal.
Things are only ever something in context of something else.
“What does stilton smell like?”
“It’s a bit like smelly socks, or a sweaty t-shirt.”
Nothing is just.
EVERYTHING only makes sense once it has been put in to context with something else.
You cannot describe the smell of stilton, without comparing it to a smell you already know.
I’m not just talking about stilton.
This is everything, and in my case, this is advertising.
Products mean nothing to anyone unless they have something to compare it to, something to draw comparisons from, something to use as bearings.
Remember that you can’t just put something in front of someone and expect them to like it.
It has to be in the context of something else.