Here is one question to whet your appetite to click through - I'm really happy with it and people seem to be enjoying it.
You have a very interesting section in the book about the emergence of street artist Banksy. What can advertisers learn from the Banksy phenomenon?
Banksy is an attention hacker like no one else in this generation, a modern day Warhol.
All of his work is designed to invite debate, to get into the news, to hack culture. Every stunt, every collection, is differently delivered, wrapped in mystery, laughing at and with society, advertising and the art world.
His concerns almost always reflect concerns of the time, he has clear values and well established viewpoints, he appropriates culture as much as creating it, leveraging old schemas to explain new ideas. He utilizes technology but never fetishes it.
He manages the almost impossible balancing act of being one of the world’s most commercially successful artists but without any hint of corporate acquiescence or sense that money is a motivator.
He easily traverses media, from art, to film, through PR, events, carefully curated digital spaces, protecting his brand by being utterly distinguishable in whatever he does.
It’s hard to imagine a better role model for a marketer, but that of course doesn’t mean it’s easy to steal his genius. -
I"m going to speak about some of the ideas in my book, some of things we've learned as an itinerant consultancy, some of the ways that emerging technology have allowed and encouraged to be entrepreneurs, and some ways in which I think we misunderstand what media are.
Then we'll discuss a Genius Steals generative approach to ideas, and highlight cognitive and web tools for having better ones for yourself and your brands. This special event will only be available to registrants.
If the date or time do not work for your schedule, a recording will be made available for a limited time to registrants only.
When I was a kid, my parents had a rule whereby they would never say no to buying me books or comics because reading is awesome and so are they.
I have kept this rule myself as an adult, because reading is awesome.
This, when coupled with the fractured attention span I have because Internet, Twitter, Amazon Prime, and Kindles, means that I now read in a different way than I used to.
I used to reading linearly, book by book. Now, because I buy a book that looks interesting as soon as I come across it so I don't forget, I have stack of books, physical and digital, that I'm reading, sometimes many at once.
This is probably a terrible way to read but it suits me. I sometimes find interesting synchronicities and connections between things I'm reading - hyperlinks in a way.
It means that sometimes I don't finish books, especially if they don't hold my attention, which was something I used to consider anathema, but I no longer do. So many books, so little time.
My attention is the most precious resource I have.
A couple of times before I have posted an Ex Libris of things I've been reading, and people said they liked them, and someone asked about books recently, so here are some things in my current stack that I think you might enjoy..
All of these books came through reccomendations, mostly on Twitter, some in person.
He has a very tight writing formula, he's a craftsman. This one is about a billionaire who uses ancient sex secrets to create a line of highly addictive sex toys as part of a seemingly sinister plot. I've only got one chapter left and I'm saving it. IT'S FUN.
My mate Billy gave me this, and it's hilarious. Narrated by Misha Vainberg, aka Snack Daddy, a 325-pound disaster of a human being, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia. Delightfully self aware and poignant in its analysis of US foreign policy and the causes of war.
It's an entirely predictable cycle. When the economy slows and things become austere, extremism rears its ugly head in seemingly civilised societies. This 1935 novel is a satirical exploration of how a dictator could take over the USA, riding such unfortunate sentiments. Obviously it's impacted by the rise of Facism in Germany, and the USA's sense of isolationism at the time. I've just started this, the introduction was fascinating.
Minor King by Jim Mitchem [not pictured - got it for Kindle.]
I've known Jim [online] for a few years and have always enjoyed his writing - his passion is raw and intense and beautiful. So I've bought his novel, which I've not read yet but have high hopes for. You can read about how he wrote it on his blog.
I'm a few chapters in on this and it's fantastic. Adam writes in a very clear and charming way - because, as he points out, saying smart things simply has been proven to be the most persuasive mode of writing.
Adam is a trained psychologist and this is heavily rooted in behavioural psychology - how to actually change behavior, through intervention and understanding, and how advertising can understand that. It pretty much over turns most of what we intuitively practice in advertising - actions change your behavior, not rational or emotional persuasion.
In EatingTheBigFish Adam literally wrote the book on challenger brand behavior. This book demonstrates how constraints are crucial to creativity, and how businesses and brands can look to make their constraints beautiful, that is to say, a source of innovation and strength. The ABC method of making contraints beautiful is clear and smart, and it's full of examples from across a HUGE range of ideas, from their 15 years working with challenger brands.
I've just started it and there are already loads of bits I want to steal.
Pitching is a fact of life, especially in advertising. Peter has been doing it for a long time and the book is full of useful tips on pitching, that so often get forgotten in the heat of an actual competitive pitch. Peter interviewed me and 13 other advertising people on our thoughts and pitch experiences and tips.
I'm starting a regular column in Admap this month but I've been a reader and fan of WARC for years.
So I've not started either of these books yet - but they both came from good sourced reccomendations. I am very interested in understanding how we understand ourselves, especially when it contravenes "common sense". I'm very interested in meta-cognitive errors - errors in how we think we think - that have a dramatic impact on how we behave, especially in advertising.
He used to be the poet laureate of the USA. I'm interested in what it's like being old. I hope to be old one day. He also has a great beard.
I haven't started it yet. I like the idea of a book of essays. Essays were invented by Michel do Montaigne. The word means try or attempt. I like the idea that writing is only ever an attempt at exploring an idea.