Neha Saraiya | Delhi | November 4, 2011
‘New’ is the new passé! It is being replaced by the notion of ‘Now’. This was the hypothesis put forward by Robert Senior, Creative Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi, in an enlightening session on ‘The pursuit of Big Ideas in the Age of Now’.
While the era of ‘New’ focused on ‘attention’, ‘Now’ was about ‘participation’. Earlier, it was all about ‘information’ and ‘interruption’; today they have been substituted by ‘inspiration’ and ‘interaction’.
Senior raised a few questions pertaining to ‘Big Ideas’ like, ‘Do I want to see it again?’, ‘Do I want to share it?’, ‘Do I want to improve it?’
Emphasising how ‘now’ is the time of having an instant following, Senior said, “On a utilitarian level the features are covered in a brand.”
He then mentioned the example of ‘Prince William & Kate Middleton’s wedding’ viral film for Team Mobile that fetched 9.9 million hits on YouTube. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kav0FEhtLug&feature=player_embedded)
Senior emphasised that we all live in a ‘VUCA’ world, wherein ‘V’ is for ‘Volatile’, ‘U’ for ‘Uncertain’, ‘C’ for ‘Complex’ and ‘A’ for ‘Ambiguous’, and this makes planning incredibly difficult. But now it has a new meaning: ‘V’ for ‘Vibrant’, ‘U’ for ‘Unreal’, C’ for ‘Crazy’ and ‘A’ for ‘Astounding’.
Talking further about how fear destroys the ideas that can make history, he explained, “Fear is toxic, we let fear into ourselves and we give up.”
Considering creativity as a science that needs to be experimented, Senior said, “Ideas are not born big. Any moron can kill an idea. The real skill is to see value in an idea and then to build it and nourish it with speed, agility and perpetual beta.”
He illustrated the power of a strong idea, through the ‘Swagger wagon’ campaign by Toyota Sienna that generated a 9.8 million YouTube hits. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql-N3F1FhW_)
Lastly, he stressed on the power of ‘dreams’, expressed by all visionaries of the world including Steve Jobs, John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King. His parting words: “Have ideas to move people, if nothing else our children will be proud of it.”