Aristotle’s Relevance To Experiential Marketing

In this guest post, group account director at GPJ Australia, Dylan McLaughlin (pictured below), is summoning some of history’s greats in his take on the 2018 experiential marketer…

Extraordinary ideas are rarely serendipitous or eureka moments. They are the culmination of shared thoughts and notions that have been twisted and turned, built on and built from. They are the product of many minds from many different points-of-view who have collaborated, even indirectly, and in reality, this takes time.

While in retrospect the outcome might appear simple, the journey and the process are often far from it. If you are reading this on a mobile device just think about how it came into existence. Long before Steve Jobs and even before Alexander Bell generations of innovators had ideas and created technologies that all led to it coming to fruition.

The power of collective knowledge makes us seemingly unstoppable. From the evolution of our species to us reaching for the stars we continue to confront the impossible because of an ever-present desire to do more and do better.

In experiential marketing, extraordinary ideas are based in empathy and evidence, created with insight and imagination, they challenge and change perception, are informed by expertise and they inspire.

The brief is crucial. Briefs come in many forms but fundamentally the more information the better. It should not prescribe a precise outcome, the value lies in the background information, the why?“Why” defines purpose. Time spent conducting in-depth review and discussing a brief is extremely important. It is part of our responsibility to dissect, scrutinise and question a brief to ensure the outcomes are aligned to a purpose. Assumptions, on all fronts, are counter-productive and they waste time.

The other key element is insight – the framework. The benefit of an agency to draw on a diverse range of expertise and the collective knowledge of many different people brings a broader view in approaching a brief. This coupled with research and a detailed understanding of the client’s objectives is a sound platform for a creative journey.

Brainstorming plays an important role. From the sublime to the ridiculous it is a place where dreams outweigh reality and where impossible is irrelevant. An environment that fosters a freedom of thought without judgment or prejudice. This is the space that magic happens. This is the space where, like the example above, one thought sparks another and with time for rumination a collective epiphany occurs. Then through the lens of purpose and framework an idea becomes almost tangible.

Ideas are not just plucked from the ether by agencies. They are the result of many minds working together, as history proves innovation favours the connected mind. As Aristotle famously said: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

There is a fantastic TED Talk by science author and theorist Steven Johnson (see below) in which he talks about some of these ideas and his book, “Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation”, is an entertaining and insightful read – I highly recommend it to anyone.

Be part of the journey and share insights. We are smarter, stronger and faster when we work together, and the outcome is much greater than the sum of our parts.

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