[singlepic id=145 w=130 h=130 float=left] One of my favourite books is Cloud Atlas by the British author David Mitchell. It is a fascinating story of six individuals whose lives are intricately linked even though time and history separates them. Before I fly in to full book report mood, the reason I bring this up is because I read recently that this book didn’t win a book prize because the judges had the suspicion it was just too intelligent for its own good. I had to ask myself, when did intelligence become a negative thing?

My question is should David Mitchell have diluted the complexity of his novel?  Should he have made it more straight-forward, so it is potentially understood and ultimately read by more people?  We all have to make a living and although not all of us do this by writing books, at some stage in our careers we have to convince people to engage with whatever it is we’re selling.  Engagement and interest is linked to comprehension, put simply, you have to get your customers to understand what you are selling to actually buy it.

Companies spend a lot of money determining who their target audience is and what the most effective way to reach them is.  Marketing departments organise a party with a specific vibe in the hope that the right potential customers will turn up.  I am trying to be diplomatic, but what I really want to say is that the content and complexity of a marketing campaign is determined by the type of audience they are targeting.  Everyone on this planet is different, and has a different level of intelligence, so a campaign has to have the correct content to ensure comprehension.  I can think of some incredible campaigns, for example the Cadbury’s Drumming Gorilla, which incite so much more thought and enjoyment than your bog standard ad selling Toilet Duck.  I am a great believer in campaigns being engaging and I want them to provoke excitement about a brand, otherwise what is the point? [singlepic id=146 w=640 h=427 float=center]

I have come to terms with the fact marketing is all around us and we are constantly bombarded, so I feel we should be bombarded with amazing, cool, and intelligent messages that inspire us and make us think. To be frank, campaigns shouldn’t be “dumbed down”!  Inspire, make us think and raise the bar.  If a product is boring or mundane, companies should work that much harder for our interest.  Hey, I may be a bit out there in saying this, but with the constant invasion of our lives with advertising through TV, social networking sites, mobile phones, radio, etc I am of the opinion that companies have a social responsibility to challenge and stimulate us. I know why they don’t, they want to blanket as many people as possible with messages a lot of people can digest, which = potential customers = sales = money. But ENOUGH of the inanity, if you are going to invade our lives, don’t dumb down.  Inspire and challenge, and that my friends will lead to brand love.  Contrary to popular opinion, LOVE, not money, makes the world go around!