With Or Without You

Tips on creativity
Image: Michael Richardson

Throughout their lengthy career, the boys from Dublin have had to endure their fair share of flak. But for all the haters, they’ve also had their share of admirers. Enabling U2 to notch up over 170 million album sales and sell out venues in every Enormo-Dome™ around the world.

Not everyone likes them but that hasn’t stopped the band becoming one of the most successful groups in history. What a shame most brands don’t follow the same philosophy.

When judging work, you review it on the strength of the idea and how well it will resonate with your audience. But things have changed. Previously, clients also wondered; what will my boss think (one person). Now, they also consider; what will social media think (somewhat more than one person).

When you add this filter to the judging process, it makes the chances of making groundbreaking work extremely difficult. This extra box to tick doesn’t result in better work, it results in forgetful work. Trying to create a campaign that appeals to everyone only ends up being loved by no one.

Original work by its nature is divisive. Just Do It, Think Different, Every Little Helps… some of the most successful ideas in ad history all had their critics initially. But here’s the thing – so what?

Campaigns aimed at millions shouldn’t be decided by the thoughts of a few punters. There will always be negativity on social media about the work, whatever you do. Better to be loved by the majority, than be forgotten by everyone.

Sunday Bloody Sunday, Colorado, USA ’83.


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