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Rigidly Sticky – By @LagoonLynx

Rigidly Sticky

Today I’m sharing some struggles I had the work processes, that I am becoming aware of and trying to understand. 

The first thing I find myself often wrestling with is that STICKY is different from ACCURATE. As in, an idea doesn’t have to be true to be remembered. And I wondered where my reluctance from stickiness, despite its effectiveness, may come from. Is it because I’ve had past experience in fields that require being aware of exceptions to be able to recognize them, and where missing the exceptional case could be harmful ? 

In general, I notice that I have an innate reluctance to anything that is « applying a process ». I believe I might fear getting into the habit of only seeing through a certain lens, where the use of certain tools become habits that you’re not even aware of. I fear that with time that turns into rigid thinking, especially in an environment where everyone has the same habits. Is it my frustrated 6 year old self that heard « It is what it is » and « That’s how it’s done » too much, that creeps in ? I do see the value of such techniques in time management, how they make us more efficient. In a field like advertising where possibilities seem overwhelming, they are also a great way of testing the core of your ideas. Theory and processes brings a form of reassurance in an uncertain industry. 

The constant insistence of the necessity of an insight, weirdly, as I have a background in psychology, weirds me out ?

I’m not questioning the power of that concept, but does it always have to be there to make a piece of communication memorable, that people will enjoy, that will make people buy the product or service ? And maybe all the examples of good ads nowadays fit that frame because people are taught that it is THE way to go. But that might put aside other solutions that could work ? 

And do people really need to enjoy ads for them to work ? Of course it feels much more fulfilling to produce work that people like, so fighting for that cause makes sense. Who would enjoy create displeasing content that would still make people unwittingly buy stuff ? 

But for instance, ads that really play on fear are frowned upon by many creatives, but if they are set up the right way, for the right target, they’re proven to work. 

I found Paul Feldwick in The Anatomy of Humbug really insightful (haha) in his way of detailing other mechanisms that make advertising work. 

An other thing that made me tick and made me realize the importance of self-confidence in advertising : I found that many people working in creative industries, not necessarily advertising but also design, graphic design, encourage creatives to brand themselves as problem solvers, to put forward their ability to solve a business problem through design and not only be the « one that makes it look pretty ». 

This is the main argument for some, to get a bigger pay check. The value of that skill is undeniable. But I find it hard to see how I could ever sell myself as such, as I feel more confident in my ability to make something that will look good, than in my ability to solve a business problem through art direction and branding. How can I be certain that my work will improve somebodies business.. even if my work is thought through, I still find it hard to be confident that it will work ? 

Hopefully, by the end of the year, I’ll gain confidence in my solution-finding capacities. 

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