By Duke Safo
Make Original Shit Happen
As you’ve all probably noticed, the #MissingType campaign has been a big success. I think its a great cause to promote and I hope that it encourages more people to donate blood.
I had this idea near the end of my time in SCA in a random discussion with Toufic, Marc (the dean) and Tom Baker about saving the bees.
My initial idea was to remove every B in newspapers around the world for a day, to highlight the issue that our bees are disappearing. It’s developed a lot since then and it has become what you see in the link above. In fact that’s my one piece of work which has never received any negative criticism. Every person I’ve told the idea to in or out of our industry has really liked it.
Olly Wood who’s a good friend and has been the creative Yoda to my Luke was on my case from day one to make this idea happen.
So after its conception, I spent the next two years trying desperately to get any agency I went to on placement to make this idea happen.
I went as far as to pitch the idea to John Hegarty, and he loved it. Especially because if BBH did it, it would have been just H for a day.
Some of the agencies I’ve been to have been interested in making it happen, until it came to actually making it happen. There were too many negotiations needed before they would even start thinking of making it.
Olly kept on telling me to just do it myself. He suggested that I create a page that people could download the code from to implement on their sites, or go guerrilla on it myself and block the Bs on any OOH ads. He even suggested that I contact Anonymous to hack big brands’ websites and remove the Bs.
Anyway eventually I decided to go to Friends Of The Earth to pitch the idea, and they loved it. However it never materialised because they wanted an agency to make it happen.
No wonder so many great ideas die or never get made. There’s either too much bureaucracy in making it happen, or the creatives are either not motivated enough or too scared to do it themselves.
I guess the moral of the story is that if you truly believe you have a great idea, I mean that ‘oh shit this could change the world’ idea, then adopt the Mark Denton approach. Be a DIY creative, because it’s always better to regret something you did, than something you didn’t do.
Otherwise one day you’ll receive messages from everyone that’s heard your idea, talking about an idea that’s recently been done which is identical to yours, that causes you to feel so shit that you end up sat there writing a scab at 2am about how you should have made your idea happen.