I’m one of the survivors. I went through the 87 crash and I’m still here. I observed the transfer of bromide machines to computers and I watched my beloved marketing profession cartwheel from importance to novel in the space of just thirty years. I’ve been fortunate enough to watch over an industry which moved ahead of others because it had to, and it had to because if it hadn’t it would have died.
Many of my colleagues have left us for the great creative suite in the sky and some have just quietly faded away. A few, like me, just can’t give it away. It’s in the blood; it’s as addictive as ‘Harry the Horse’ and ‘Smack’. Advertising, marketing, promotion it’s like a comfortable old suit – you feel so good in it you simply can’t take it off.
And so here I am! Old enough to be slow at typing and as fast as anyone else in the thinking department. Surrounded by young, clever people I’m the ‘Senior Strategic Writer’. What about that, “Senior”. I always thought that was a title reserved for my Dad.
As a matter of interest I happen to relish the title ‘baby boomer’ because it’s the only reference to me that doesn’t imply that I’ve just stepped out of the ‘Home for the Bewildered’. But really I have to say that being in the professional world and with such a great team is a real pleasure for me and a testimony to those young, clever people with whom I work.
If you’re contemplating marketing don’t entrust your precious campaigning to the old, staid traditionalists in the business, look to the young and virile minds of today because they’re something else. I work with them and despite what they, and I say about the ‘Y’ gen, they’re intelligent; creative; strong willed; purposeful and above all else they are prepared to expand their minds beyond the ordinary and go to places others will not. Simply put, I think they’re just fabulous!
Sure I’m the old mentor, who’s got some guiding ideas, but these guys are filled with vigour, smart and they’re decent to boot. They tolerate my idiosyncrasies, listen to my ravings and learn from my experiences willingly. They also do something else that they don’t really know they’re doing – they keep me young and energetic, and for that I am eternally grateful.
So, you are saying, “What’s the point here Tony?”, How can this help my marketing? Well, it might be a long bow but the message is clear. Ideas are the lifeblood of marketing and ideas are too often placed in the hands of the ‘experienced’, as if they are the oracle. That in itself is a major mistake, because real ideas stem from fresh minds and especially young, fresh minds who boast ‘intelligent ignorance’.
Intelligent ignorance is a powerful brew. It combines the unknowing with the brilliant and that is a potent formula for creative success. To my fellow youthful colleagues; Vickie, Aoife, Scott, Lee, Matt and Vaughan, you are the ‘Intelligently Ignorant’ and we desperately need you. Not just here at Jack in the box, but the whole world needs you. So why do I call you ‘Intelligently Ignorant’? ‘Intelligent’ because you have the ability to recognise what is needed and assess its elements and ‘ignorant’ enough, thank God, to ignore the people who look at your solutions and say “You can’t do that!” To you all, it’s my great pleasure and honour to work with you.