Simon Gill, executive creative director at LBi.
Friday 21 September was World Peace Day, a day that seeks to draw attention to the many damaging conflicts in the world today. It encourages individuals to become part of wide-scale community action and creates a window of opportunity for aid organisations who carry out life-saving work.
It is also the chosen charity of the inaugural D&AD White Pencil – an award created to recognise a creative idea that changes the world for the better – one that galvanises the community around a single pressing global issue. This initiative has inspired many in the global creative industry, resulting in plenty of campaigns, websites, social experiments and posters being released in the lead up to the day. Congratulations to all those agencies, creative teams and students who got their ideas live in time.
I know plenty of people in our industry had, in their words ‘a brilliant idea’ for it, which as it transpires didn’t make it. My agency included. It just didn’t happen. It’s easy to blame it on the day job, having too much to do, struggling to get help on the implementation, not being truly happy with the idea, even struggling with the choice of font…
Originally in the writing this article I’d tried to connect this missed opportunity to a number of topics: not wanting to release something you don’t feel proud of, or bemoaning our decreasing ability to really critique ideas, or somehow connecting it to the indecision and evils of multivariate testing, or to use it as a way of railing against the oft heard phrase ‘fail fast’, or to be disparaging about ‘sophisticated iteration engines’ that seek out the best performing ad copy for a niche target market. All of these are valid ‘rants’ for a creative director to make, but none of them bring us to a suitable conclusion.
What can you say about why your great idea didn’t go live? Well I’ll resist, but you can add your own sporting cliché here.
If you had a good idea, a good intention that didn’t come to pass for Peace Day, what do you do?
Well, you can do your upmost to support the ideas that did. Champion your favourite, promote what you can, share it in social, stick it on your blog, tweet it and help the wider community learn from their very existence.
You see, this isn’t about winning an award, it’s about getting involved with important action, in using creativity to make a difference. I’m reminded of a book title and quote from a learned man: ‘Changing the world is the only fit job for a grown man’ (or woman, of course). This is our mission, time and time again.
Note to self: Try harder next time.