A herd of black sheep – By @Aaron_Furman1

By Aaron Furman


A herd of black sheep


I find advertising a little hypocritical. 


We are told we must be different, go against the grain and do work that pushes the intangible boundaries.


BBH has a motto – “when the world’ zigs, zag”. Their logo is a black sheep. This idiom is used to describe the one that won’t change to compromise their beliefs and values.


I can subscribe to that line of thinking. A world where we can be ourselves and get rewarded for our quirks and foibles. Free of judgement and persecution. Free to think of outstanding ideas.  


This goes against our subconscious wiring.  


What happens when you behave outside the normality of our societal construct?


Our ancestral monkeys override our thoughts and we denounce these individuals from the group. We stamp these people with prejudice because they aren’t like us. We don’t listen to their opinion and we usually aren’t trying to win their favour. 


Advertising is supposedly made up of these black sheep. 


At least that’s what we are told. 

I believe this to be half true. In the confines of my experience, our school brings in black sheep as mentors and speakers. 

However, I’m positive that there are plenty of people working in our industry that feel sanctuary in the herd. 

My conflict occurs when SCA is a collective called Krak. A handpicked selective group of black sheep locked away in Brixton. 

A herd of black sheep. 

What would happen if we added a green sheep?

I expect they would be shunned out and told that they are not one of us. 

Will this lead to great work? 

I’m reminded of the famous ‘think different’ advert produced by our technological overlord – Apple. 


This communication tells us to reject everyone and stand for what we believe is correct to create sustainable change. 

Is this the only way? 

To isolate ourselves in the pursuit of world-changing powers. 

Society is telling me I should be the green sheep and challenge the challengers. 

I don’t want to be shunned from the group. 

Human nature dictates that we are sociable creatures and we strive to share our time with like-minded individuals. 

This contradictory is at the epicentre of my internal conflict. 

I have thought about some possible answers to my conundrum. 

Maybe the room of black sheep is instead an emporium of multicoloured sheep.

The answer is probably a shade of grey and lies in-between the lines. 

To be a black sheep or a part of the group? I feel there is a balance to be made. We must compromise where we can but stand up for what we deem necessary for our work. 

This battle is akin to the immovable object opposing the unstoppable force. 

If the answer is indeed that of the green sheep amongst the black, you must be outside all your bubbles to push your work to new frontiers.

I believe the answer will arise with experience. I’m sure this road will come to a junction and a decision must be made. 

Will I go with the herd or stand up for what I believe is correct?


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