Some people are passionate about cities. The energy, the opportunities, the neverending social and cultural carousel a city provides gets them buzzing. 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.
Rightly or wrongly, they believe for any of that to happen they have to be at the centre of things.
And precisely where is this “centre of things”? In the BIG CITY, of course.
It’s easy to imagine the BIG CITY as akin to 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? Not necessarily.
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.
Because, like a black hole, it draws you in and holds you there. Afraid to move an inch.
- Fear of failure
- Fear of being left behind
- Fear of being left out
- 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 and 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.
It’s liberating. It’s creative freedom. It’s all the colours of possibility. Finally, for once, you don’t have to be where convention says you should.
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. However, people don’t do things because, mostly, they’re afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid 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, 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.
Greater value, greater meaning, greater possibility lies at the outskirts. Closer to the unknown. Closer to the new. Closer to HOME.