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Managing Marketing: The power of words, creativity, education and diversity

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Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Jane Caro, author, novelist, lecturer, mentor, social commentator, columnist, workshop facilitator, speaker, broadcaster and in her own words, a jumped-up ‘award winning’ copywriter and Walkley Award recipient. She chats with Darren on her love of words, her passion for people and the role of education, empathy and diversity in creativity.

You can listen to the podcast here:

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Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and today I’m with Jane Caro who is the author, novelist, lecturer, mentor, social commentator, columnist, workshop facilitator, speaker, broadcaster, and in her own words, a jumped-up award winning copywriter and Walkley Award recipient. Welcome, Jane.

Jane:

Thanks, Darren.

Darren:

That’s such a mouthful and such a testament to the fact that clearly you are just a person who has amazing curiosity.

Jane:

Yeah, I think I do. I also have a very low boredom threshold. I have to be doing something different all the time.

Darren:

It’s such an amazing body of work and such a diverse range of communication channels but what is it you really love? What is it that you love most doing?

Jane:

Words have always been my stock in trade. That’s what I’m best at using. In fact, when I was at school I was absolutely appalling at maths, I was a very average student in every way except in English. I was really good at English. So, I was lucky, I was a specialist from an early age, not a generalist. I knew what I could do and it was words. It wasn’t much use wasting time on anything else because I couldn’t do any of those other things.

The other thing that I’m completely, obsessively interested in is people. I’m not interested in machines, technology, that kind of thing. I’m really interested in people; what makes them tick, why do they do what they do, behave the way they behave? What is going on really on a deep level that motivates us all?

I’m always digging away, trying to nut out what’s really going on here. I don’t like skating along the surface.

Darren:

Get deep under the skin.

Jane:

I basically believe that people are originally good. I’m the opposite of a Christian who believes in original sin.

Darren:

And we need to repent.

Jane:

My view is the exact opposite. I think that people are originally good and basically motivated well and want to live cooperatively in the world and that things happen to them as they grow up through this world that can thwart and warp that, bring out the worst of them or bring out the best of them.

And most of us get a little bit of both of those. The people who go horribly wrong get too much of the stuff that brings out the worst in them. People who end up being exceptional probably end up getting more of the influences that bring out the best in them. But I’m always interested about people.

Darren:

One of the things I’ve noticed generally about people who are interested in people is that almost invariably there’s an incredible ability for empathy.

Jane:

I think empathy is the most important thing on the planet, really. I often notice, and this is indicative of my own biases, that the right (the increasingly hard right, not your old-fashioned conservative necessarily), the authoritarian right, they love to be in judgement. They are very hard on people.

You know, the poor made their own bed. They can always find the fault in the person who is suffering. And it seems to me that quite often those who are on the soft left (not the hard left who I see as being quite close to the hard right) actually operate more in a compassionate universe. They’re always looking, even in the worst of people, what went wrong for them.

I have enormous admiration for people who work with those that the world despises. I think that’s very important, very admirable, and it’s all about empathy. It’s all about saying there for the grace of God go I. And I suppose at the basis of my own philosophy is the only bit of Christianity that made a whole lot of sense, which is the bit about hating the sin but loving the sinner. So that you can separate the behaviour from the person.

Darren:

It’s so funny you say that because I was thinking that at the very core of the teachings of Jesus Christ is of being there for the most wretched and downtrodden and yet the way that religion has been interpreted. And I read a great book How to be a Christian without being religious because what it said was that at the very core of Christianity is an amazing set of values; it’s just that the human interpretation has made it about control, guilt, and shame to control people.

Jane:

Yeah, all of that. I’m not remotely religious; I’m a third generation atheist at least but I do still have this sense always of pity for even the very worst. It is an empathy. When I was younger I certainly had my own struggles with mental illness and anxiety neurosis. I think those kinds of experiences make you realise that none of us have got it all together.

None of us understand our own motivations at all let alone fully and therefore to stand in judgement is to an extent foolish.

Darren:

It is incredibly easy for someone who is interested in people to turn the lens on themselves and almost become completely obsessed with trying to understand yourself and the motivations. And often you learn the best lessons about humanity by being aware of your interpretation of other people.

Jane:

That’s true but I do think that to know yourself is very important.

Darren:

But not to the point where you’re obsessed about it.

Jane:

No, narcissism is a waste of time. We have a narcissist in charge of the U.S at the moment and it’s terrifying. But narcissism is the opposite of understanding yourself. Narcissism is living a pretence. I often think of Donald Trump who is the exemplar narcissist of our time as being most like the Wizard of Oz.

He’s behind the curtain, a wizened little man making a big fuss and he doesn’t understand himself, he has no self-awareness at all. There is a difference between self-awareness, knowing yourself, your own weaknesses, being prepared when someone challenges you about something to think ‘oh they’re right, it does reveal more about me than it does them. What’s going on in me that I’ve had that kind of reaction?’

That’s a completely different way of being interested in yourself than being interested in just your ego.

Darren:

Being self-aware is certainly healthy because you start to understand your biases and the framing that you bring to the world either because of your upbringing or whatever or the values you’ve picked up from the society you live in.

Jane:

It’s also where empathy starts because if you’re self-aware you recognise your own mistakes, foibles, weaknesses, sins.

Darren:

But also, your strengths. I always think it’s important to get the balance right because sometimes we focus too much on our weaknesses.

Jane:

I often think, and this maybe a difference between male culture and female culture, that women bond through weaknesses. We bond with one another by talking about what we get wrong and I’ve noticed that men tend to bond more over their successes, their strengths, what they got right.

It’s an interesting thing to me because I’m always more comfortable with the weakness side of the equation but at the same time I do think that your greatest strength is also always your greatest weakness. They are actually the same thing. Just one of them is a strength when you use it in the right situation with the right motivation and intent but it can be a terrible weakness.

Darren:

So not even two sides of the same coin as some people would say but actually one attribute that depending on how it’s framed can be a strength and a weakness?

Jane:

Yeah, almost everything can be both positive and negative; they’re almost the same thing. For example, I’m an expressive person, I like to talk, I’m good with words. That is often a strength of mine but sometimes it can be a real weakness of mine as well. So, it just depends on where it is.

Darren:

And like determination and stubbornness.

Jane:

Exactly, all those things.

Darren:

Very interesting. Obviously, your love is words and using words and communicating. What’s your passion? What’s the thing that drives you to do the things you do?

Jane:

I think a lot of it is empathy actually. I have a passionate belief in the right of everyone to participate as fully as they can and contribute as much as they are able. I was brought up to have that view. I was brought up to understand that I was an extremely privileged person from a very educated background and I was brought up to believe that my duty, therefore, was to expand that privilege to others as much as possible, that the only worthwhile reason to have privilege was to increase the number of people who can have privilege.

I often watch the privileged these days doing the exact opposite. They seem to want to exclude others.

Darren:

Build a fortress. It’s a bit like that idea of plenty in that you generate more by actually sharing more and yet there’s this incredible sense that you get from the world now that those who have it feel like it’s a limited resource so they need to protect it from everyone else.

Jane:

They have to hang on to it. I have been, not quite, called a class traitor but I have certainly had some indications from people who disagree with me, that they feel it is bizarre that a relatively privileged white woman living on the North Shore should argue for disadvantaged students in public schools. Particularly that, that seems to really annoy people and I’m often told you should leave the North Shore blah, blah, blah, you’re just slumming and virtue signalling.

And I always just say to them, ‘so you’re arguing that the only people who should advocate for the poor and disadvantaged have to be poor and disadvantaged themselves’, which is a really neat way of making sure that nobody advocates for the poor and disadvantaged because people who are poor and disadvantaged are too busy just surviving to be able to take up cudgels.

Some of them do and I take my hat off to them but by and large it’s hard and also they’re poor and disadvantaged because they haven’t been able to advocate effectively and so that is a neat way of keeping them forever in that position.

Darren:

Because there is an underlying delusion that actually society is a level playing field, that somehow if you don’t make the most of it…

Jane:

It’s all your own fault.

Darren:

I came from a working-class background. We went a long time in childhood without anything but had great parents that gave everything. And the lesson they taught me and my brother was to make the most of every opportunity.

Jane:

And that’s wonderful but that means, in a way, that you were privileged because you had really good parenting.

Darren:

I get that but on the same superficial measures that people look at you and say ‘oh, leafy suburb, privileged background, why are you doing this?’ there are people who look at me and say you’ve achieved all these things but they don’t know the background that I’ve come from and the fact that I’ve made the most of every opportunity.

But I also appreciate all of the people I grew up with that didn’t necessarily either have the same opportunities or the same ability to be able to position themselves in that place. I think there is also a certain amount of luck in the presenting of those opportunities.

Jane:

I think that’s exactly right. I get very annoyed with the libertarians because the libertarians are the prime movers of the ‘it’s a level playing field; everything you get or don’t get is entirely your own fault’, which is a really neat and convenient way for people who have been fortunate to justify their own good fortune; ‘I earnt this’.

Really? Then how come so many of you are white, privileged, ex-private school men?

Darren:

A friend of mine calls them male, pale, and stale.

Jane:

I’m driven by the view that we don’t have a level playing field and I have benefited from that lack of a level playing field unfairly and therefore it is my job to try to make the playing field more level.

Darren:

Or at least create the opportunities for as many people as possible to see that through.

Jane:

Correct.

Darren:

One of the things for me was creativity. And I love the idea that all human beings have the capacity to be creative.

Jane:

Absolutely they do; look at any small child.

Darren:

But there is something about the process of growing up or being educated (and we’ll get onto that) that actually takes away from people or suppresses the most fundamental joy that you can have as a human being and that is to be creative.

Jane:

As soon as we start deciding that our children have to be little achievement machines, they’ve got to live up to certain benchmarks, even this thing of what age they ought to walk or talk. Suddenly, we are setting them up, not to be themselves, but to tick a box, to pass a marker. And we continue that throughout their life.

And we are all so obsessed with compliance. Australia is particularly obsessed with it. We used to call it obedience. That’s not a very fashionable word now so we call it compliance instead but it means the same thing. And we are very into control, particularly young children and young people.

In the 70’s, when I was at school, there was a bit of a fashion for a much more open and free and expressive environment and creativity was much more emphasised. And I actually blossomed under that. But we’ve gone very hard the other way now.

When I taught advertising and creative at the University of Western Sydney I would see in certain cultures in particular very rigid ways of approaching things. I would give them a brief and the students would say to me ‘do you want margins?’ I don’t give a shit if you send it to me scribbled on the back of an envelope. If it’s a really good idea I’ll be really happy with it. Presentation is not the point here; it’s the substance of your thinking that I’m really interested in.

And a lot of them would just give me the brief I’d given them kind of reworked. I’d say why would a client pay you a whole lot of money just to represent what they’ve already given you? You’ve got to add something, something different, new, unusual, out of the box, something they’ve never seen before. Surprise me, shock me, horrify me, make me laugh; I don’t care.

I’d say, moving me means take me from one emotional state to another emotional state. That’s what move me means. So, if I go from a little bit bored to shocked you’ve done your job.

Darren:

So, it’s this culture of compliance.

Jane:

Obey the rules.

Darren:

Which means they want frameworks. I was really surprised and delighted when I saw an interview with Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, in China making a speech where he said the Chinese education system has been knowledge-based where we’re spending years and years getting our students to cram as much knowledge into their heads as possible.

He said, the era of knowledge is over because it’s all available to you.

Jane:

Hit Google.

Darren:

There it is and that the Chinese education system has to change to encourage creativity, problem solving, lateral thinking. This is one of the most successful business leaders in China telling his own government that they need to tear up 1,000s of years of educational philosophy and catch up with the 21st century.

Jane:

Unfortunately, we are doing the opposite of that. We are throwing away what was a very creative and innovative education system and turning it into an eins, zwei, drei, thou shalt do what I plan in year 1, 3,5, 9.

Darren:

Especially standardised testing.

Jane:

Standardised results; standardised kids. It’s just a really bad idea and just not the kind of thing for the kind of era we’re going into. But fortunately, one thing I did notice at UWS was there is a streak of larrikinism in Australians, which is still there, particularly perhaps at the University of Western Sydney, which has got kids that wouldn’t get into a university anywhere else.

75% of the students are the first ever in their family to go to university, which is a fantastic achievement.

Darren:

It’s an opportunity.

Jane:

It’s a levelling of the playing field. A lot of them weren’t your typical, studious Sydney University, aiming for a PhD kind of students or corporate law, living up to somebody else’s idea of what their life should be like. And I found that often the larrikin kids, both boys and girls would be the ones who did the best job. It was because they kept a little bit of subversion, a little bit of the why should I do it the way you say? That’s what creativity is.

Creativity does not live in ‘oh, master, tell me the right way to do things’. Creativity lies in rebellion and subversion. It lies in the person with that little niggle that challenges authority all the time, challenges what’s said is the right thing to do and the right way to do things.

Darren:

Yeah, pushing boundaries, looking for new ways of explaining the world or giving us new perspectives of the world.

Jane:

It can be slightly aggressive, no, I’m not going to do it your way. And the larrikin kids had that. They would come in with something surprising, funny, angry; it had an emotion in it. And I’d respond and give a good mark. I remember a few of them coming up to me at the end of the course and saying, ‘thanks for the great mark –it’s the first time I’ve got more than a C for anything’.

Darren:

Yeah, encouraging them.

Jane:

It’s because their thinking is fresh. You may not get high marks in the more academic subjects because they don’t want you to be fresh thinking but let me tell you, you think in a fresh way; that’s a good thing.

Darren:

We’ve both had careers in advertising and advertising is certainly one of the areas where creativity is put into a commercial context. What do you think of the state of the creative industry today?

Jane:

Fortunately, I’m not in it anymore.

Darren:

So, you’re an external observer.

Jane:

It doesn’t look to me like it’s doing particularly well and that doesn’t mean it won’t recover. All the creative industries at the moment except interestingly enough drama, which I think is going from strength to strength with Netflix and that kind of thing, and also books and novels and long-from journalism are pretty terrific but again for a rebellious, subversive reason they’ve got a lot to analyse and protest against.

But I think commercial creativity is very poor and I think it’s because we’ve fallen in love with the hammer and the nail rather than the house we’re meant to be building. It has always been my experience that people get distracted by bright shiny objects so they think that the internet or social media or podcast or some new innovative method of delivery is the creative idea and it never is.

It is always the content that is the creative part—always. And my judgement of what I see of the majority of commercial creativity at the moment—you can see how the content has been relegated. Once upon a time my title would have been copywriter or writer; now it would be content creator.

That gives you an idea of where the status of those people who know how to connect with others have fallen to. And I think that’s a real problem and we can see it in a lot of the dull, old-fashioned, boring messages that we get exposed to all the time.

Darren:

I just want to pick up on something, there, Jane, which is you started off comparing the other creative industries and how they’re thriving. And I’m wondering if it’s because technology has made it more accessible to create films, write online, to publish your thoughts online. And so, what we’re getting into is an increased diversity.

This extra accessibility is actually allowing more perspectives and voices to be heard and therefore participating in than we see in commercial activity. One of the things the industry has flagged for itself is the lack of diversity within the advertising, marketing area.

Jane:

Unfortunately, too, advertising is stuck in an old paradigm. The old idea was you came up with the idea and somebody else had to approve it and pay for it. And that’s still what happens in advertising. Unfortunately, that always had a negative effect on creativity but occasionally you could slip one through to the keeper.

As you correctly say, the whole shattering of the media landscape has led to the exact opposite happening in other forms where it’s been how I’ve managed to completely diversify my career by taking my core skill of writing and speaking and communicating and putting them out there without necessarily having to get anyone to approve or accept what I wanted to say.

My view is that things like feminism have come roaring back onto the agenda because when I was first trying to get articles up about women and what they were doing and how they felt about the world I would often get male editors who would say ‘oh, we did women last month’.

Darren:

No one’s interested.

Jane:

Who cares about that? We’ve seen that before; it’s old news. So, when social media came along women just started putting their stuff out there and they were the people whose voices really impacted and they went round the gatekeepers.

Same with the LGBTQI people. Who could possibly have believed even five years ago that Ireland would legislate for gay marriage and also repeal their anti-abortion legislation? That is revolutionary and it is because when people stopped having to get approval, particularly people in out groups, to get their voices heard, the richness of the diversity of voices out there created an explosion of creativity.

Darren:

The technology makes it so much more accessible for people. The barrier of not having money, almost anyone can gain access to some sort of internet.

Jane:

That’s why the women of India are holding them to account over those rapes. They can get in touch with one another.

Darren:

More importantly the whole business model has changed because you don’t need to generate a lot of money out of it to actually find your audience. It’s amazing that you can have a huge fragmentation of perspectives. You don’t have the mainstream anymore because the mainstream is a collection of a whole lot of diverse ideas, thoughts, and opinions.

Jane:

Which it always was but now we can see it fully. You’ve absolutely hit on something there about there are all these different voices but also if you come up with a message, and we do still see this, thank goodness, where there’s a commercial that gets the emotion right, it doesn’t matter about the rationale or all of that bullshit we used to go on about, suddenly all that diversity coalesces because we’re actually much more the same than we are different.

We police our differences but actually we are so similar and everyone knows what it is to feel pain, joy, surprise, so when you go to a film, a blockbuster comedy, people don’t laugh according to their demographics, socio-economic status. They all laugh at the same moment at the same joke because we’re all human.

I think the really interesting thing about social media is that it has this shattering and coalescing effect at the same time and that’s what’s so incredibly powerful about it.

Darren:

I love the fact that when something works it works. But the other thing is because of the ability to access it and with less financial or material investment you can also, as a true creative human being, just do lots of things.

One of the things that worries me about advertising is the amount of time trying to make it right and often in the process of making it right we get it hopelessly wrong because we lose all of the humanity, uniqueness that would create a response in a person.

Jane:

A person once explained to me that if a butterfly lands on your hand and you try to grab it you’ll kill it. You just hold your hand open and still and let the butterfly sit there. I used to think that when I’d write a script for an ad and I’d know it was a really good script and then the client, planner, the researchers would all come along and want to grab this butterfly and try and improve it.

And it wasn’t perfect. Nothing’s perfect but if it was 80 to 85% there it was probably going to a bloody good job if you just let it go but they couldn’t bear it. In the desire to make it 100% they made it nothing. They killed it because they lost the spontaneity.

I remember Les Gock who used to run Song Zu telling me that they could now (this is a long time ago) make music that’s perfect, that doesn’t have any mistakes but the problem is nobody wants to listen to it because it’s cold and inhuman. So, now when we do music we dial in the imperfections because that’s what people like.

Darren:

Rather than a drum machine they use sampling of a real drummer because it’s just so slightly off. It’s a bit like the revival of vinyl. We’ve got digital recordings that don’t have the crackle but people actually like the warmth and the crackle that you get from a vinyl record.

Jane:

Warmth goes alongside empathy. It is the most important thing in life. And warmth is always about that moment of recognition of our shared foibles, vulnerabilities, and fragility. That’s always the moment where we relax and go yes, I can take the pressure off.

Darren:

Here you go again with weakness, Jane.

Jane:

It’s a wonderful thing. I love faults, mistakes, weaknesses, failures; they’re the interesting parts of life. I like problems. I often say to my students. ‘never let anyone say to you this ad is too negative—just realise you’re dealing with an idiot’. We are hard-wired to pay attention to problems for perfectly obvious reasons. They are the taste of life. You have to solve problems to survive.

We’re not interested in solutions. We don’t need to spend energy on solutions.

Darren:

You’ve made me recall an article I read recently that said success stories are basically propaganda.

Jane:

And they’re boring and not motivating. They’re the opposite of motivating.

Darren:

Yet so much of society, how many times have we heard about an overnight success when the person spent years and years struggling but that just disappears and they’re the overnight success. Every business is looking for the next billion dollar unicorn.

Jane:

Every stupid investor is looking for it. Something that goes up real quick let me promise you it, it comes down real quick. I’m a bit of a maverick about a lot of business-speak. For example, that pernicious term, continuous improvement, which I just think is nonsensical and infantile because nothing in life continuously improves and anyone who is alive with their eyes open ought to realise that. It’s just not the way life is.

After all there is only one final conclusion to life for all of us and that is to die. That is not an improvement but that is the end. It’s an infantile measure to say we have to go through life continuously improving. And far from inspiring people to try harder it actually makes them feel exhausted and hopeless.

I’m always going into conferences to give speeches and my motivation is I want the audience to come out feeling better about themselves and what they do than when they went in, not worse.

And I do that by basically telling them that they’re doing a fine job. You’re not perfect, I say to them, you’re not amazing or fabulous; none of us are. Even those people who get up in front of you and say, ‘I’m fabulous and amazing and you can be too’. No, they’re not fabulous and amazing, none of us. Let’s drop that, relax and be ourselves in all our warped, pathetic, bored reality.

Darren:

When you reach that level of comfort suddenly so many more opportunities open up because you’re no longer there with this filter saying I can’t do that and I shouldn’t do that; you just open yourself to ‘o.k. we’ll give it a go’.

Jane:

I remember many years ago when I was on Gruen and Lou Anderson said to me, just before we were due to go on and film an episode (and it was almost an accusatory tone) ‘you’re not nervous’. I said ‘no, I’m not’, and he said, ‘how come?’ I said ’well, I’ll go on (I’ve done a bit of preparation), it’s a business I’ve been in for about 30 odd years, you’ll ask me questions, I’ll give the best answers I have. You’ll either like me or the audience will like me or you won’t and if you don’t like me you won’t ask me back and that’s the worst thing that’s going to happen’.

Why would I be nervous? I’m not trying to be the best on the panel, the most brilliant. I gave that up a long time ago. And I think one of the problems with advertising is it is obsessed with who’s the best, the greatest, the hottest? And unfortunately, that is just a false measure and I think it actually restricts creativity because it makes people aim for false gods, which is to be the hottest, the best, the greatest, the most creative and actually that’s not your job.

Darren:

It also limits the way people in the industry interpret what is creative and what isn’t. And we see this time and time again especially in Asia. We do a lot of business in Asia. The creative people in Asia; Japan, China, Thailand, they feel that they will only ever get recognised in creative awards if they do what the westerners do, that somehow their ideas aren’t good enough because they’re not like the English or American school of the clever headline or the twist of the idea. I’m sure you’ve seen the 10 basic ideas you should be aiming for to be creative.

Jane:

In my era I suffered very much from the same feeling as a woman because I would often be the only woman on an awards panel and ads would come up that I really got, that were aimed at women, written by women, and they were absolutely right and I’d put the red dot on it and I’d say to the guys this is terrific. And they’d go ‘I don’t get it’ and I’d say, ‘but it’s not aimed at you, you’re not the audience.’

Darren:

And supposedly you’re getting the big bucks to understand the audience.

Jane:

Like 80% of ads are aimed at this particular audience that you don’t get but believe me when I tell you this is a really good one. But I couldn’t get through to them. What happens to women, and I’m sure this is what happens to creatives from different ethnic backgrounds as well, is that you get on this track where you never get ahead because you can’t win awards, which is the only way you get ahead.

And because you’re writing ads that are absolutely right for your audience and expressing something that those narrow schools of what is regarded as hot and creative don’t get and it’s the same for women authors, filmmakers, and directors, they get marginalised because their voice isn’t the same and their way of looking at the world isn’t the same as the dominant group’s way of seeing the world.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with the way the dominant group sees the world and wants to run ads. It’s fine but it’s not the only way and it gets very restrictive when it is seen as the only or the best way.

Darren:

Even worse, from my perspective, is that there is this unconscious but deliberate pressure on people. I had this argument with a couple of award organisers and they said ‘we’ve got judges from many different cultures’ except that all of the judges were selected on their ability to win awards primarily in the west. So even though they had come from a different culture they had adapted to the technique to win the award to get the recognition so they were now judges on panels that were judging with the same criteria that they had adapted to so it became self-perpetuating.

There’s nothing new. Everyone is just trying to find a different way of doing the same thing rather than saying there are an infinite array of ways of moving or influencing someone or getting them to engage in something other than this particular technique. And that technique’s been around since the 60’s. The think small which is still held up as the classic.

Jane:

And Lemon, which is all good.

Darren:

That clever juxtaposition but it’s not the only way to communicate.

Jane:

It’s not the only way and I do think it’s one of the reasons why advertising, which was in the 60s, 70s and even to an extent when I was in it in the 80s, booming and highly regarded and a really interesting way to work and a good way to earn a living and all that kind of stuff, it’s lost its clout, it’s not important anymore.

The industry now is only important to itself, is what I observe.

Darren:

It attracted the sort of talent in the 60s, 70s, and 80s that would then go on, having made a career or reputation, and become amazing filmmakers.

Jane:

Be Fay Weldon or Salmon Rushdie.

Darren:

And be artists. All of these people came out of this background. We’re not necessarily seeing that. I mean time will tell but maybe that’s where they’ve lost the plot.

Jane:

I went to a conference (this is a while ago so it’s probably moved on) about new media and how to use it and people getting up with case studies where they’d done this amazing thing and got audiences involved and they sold 25 pairs of jeans.

I’d be thinking ‘my god when I worked at Toyota if I wrote a campaign that didn’t sell 10,000 cars I was in deep shit. I’d have to answer for it and now everybody’s really impressed and they’ve put enormous energy into getting people involved in some sort of treasure hunt they did with apps. And I thought this is so complicated why would anyone do it?

Darren:

There’s your empathy coming back; why would you do this? Why are we making it so hard for everyone?

Jane:

The one thing I understand about my life and a lot of others is that life has become much more demanding. Everybody wants a piece of you all of the time so the easier you can make the interaction between you and your customer the more you’re going to sell.

The harder and more complex you make it. People don’t want to have a relationship with brands. They really, really don’t want to have a relationship with brands. Half the time they don’t want to have a relationship with members of their own family. Why would they want a relationship with a fucking brand?

I want to say to people get back in your box and know how big you really are because the definition of insanity is thinking you’re more important than you really are.

Darren:

Jane, it’s been fantastic. Thanks for making time.

Jane:

My pleasure.

Darren:

One last question. What is next for you? What’s the next big thing that you’ve got coming up?

 

Thank you for your support in 2018. We look forward to sharing and working with you again in the New Year. If you need to contact us over the holiday period we can be reached here

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Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com

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