Some people are passionate about cities. The energy, the opportunities, the never ending social and cultural carousel a city provides gets them buzzing. It’s why they’re a hotbed for marketing and advertising agencies.
Others value cities because it’s where they believe they have to be for their work, for their social life, or just for a greater chance of something/anything positive happening to them. It’s also why they’re a favourite of marketing and advertising agencies.
Rightly or wrongly, all of these people and businesses are after the same thing.
The Centre of Things
It’s easy to imagine a BIG CITY as a giant whirlpool or funnel, where money and opportunities swirl in and down and around and, eventually, filter out into the surrounding areas.
If you stand at the centre of that, with your hat out, something has got to fall into it, right?
In reality, it’s more like a black hole.
You can throw all you want at it, but it never gives back. It’s rapacious. It feeds on itself. And it devours everything.
In marketing and advertising, it’s almost an unspoken rule that the bigger your budget, the bigger the city you have to look in to find your solution. Hence why so many creative agencies are based in London – holding out their hats.
The trouble is, once you go there as an agency, or even when looking for an agency, there’s almost no escape. There’s no turning back. Or, at least, it can feel that way.
Business life in the big city is like a black hole, it draws you in and holds you there, afraid. There’s fear of failure and fear of being left behind. There’s fear of being left out and, worse, fear of being found out.
But, most powerful of all, there’s the fear that if you look beyond that big city horizon, a cold, dark, hostile universe is all that awaits.
if you’re here, you’re not there
Right now we’re sat in our place of work.
Our office is in a kick-ass Victorian terrace, overlooking the modern-yet-picturesque harbour of Torquay. Outside it’s dark, grey, wet and windy. Not great advertising you’d think. Not great for marketing or advertising, you’d think.
Yet, what might be a miserable day in a big city is nothing like that here.
One look, one step outside, is enough to tell us that “dark”, “grey”, “wet” and “windy” are just labels. Another, and it doesn’t take long to realise that “work” and “place” are just labels too.
It’s a brave new world we live in now. And it’s a digital universe. You can work for practically anyone, from practically anywhere. Finally, for once, you don’t have to be where convention says you should.
It’s a canvas of creative freedom with all the colours of possibility.
If you can daydream creatively, you can create anywhere.
blue space thinking
When you find your home, you find yourself. When you find yourself, you begin to discover what you’re capable of. And then, you open yourself up to synchronicity and chance and luck.
It’s then that work changes. It doesn’t feel like being strapped to a treadmill anymore. It doesn’t feel like breathing with broken ribs. Suddenly, it doesn’t feel like work at all.
It feels like play.
Yeah yeah, we can hear you now. The gravity of your tutting is causing ripples in our San Pellegrino.
(Not really. Only agencies in London drink that stuff. We prefer to drink natural spring water brought carefully to the surface in lily jugs by Dartmoor Pixies. Once above ground, it’s protected from impurity by the actual gossamer cloak of Mother Nature – which she gifted to the Faerie Queen who lives in our office kitchen.)
People do things for many reasons. People don’t do things because, mostly, they’re afraid. Afraid of failure, of change, afraid of different.
If you’re afraid of being different, you’ll always be the same.
If you want to be the same, go for it. That’s not us.
Huge costs and average work completed from afar by bottom-line behemoths, if that’s what you want, go for it too. That’s not us, either.
But stop and think. Just for a second slow down and look.
Is there the possibility of something else?
Does your budget allow for braver choices? For better marketing and advertising? Does your thinking allow for different? Because you don’t always have to be at the centre of things, you know.
If you ask us, the centre of things is just the middle, the average.
Everybody is already there.
If you ask us, greater value, greater meaning and greater possibility lies at the outskirts. Closer to the unknown. Closer to the new. Much closer to HOME.