Patrick Scullin en Marketing, Advertising, Marketing and Communications Empathetic Adman • Ames Scullin O'Haire Advertising 19/10/2016 · 1 min de lectura · 1,2K

Curiosity Feeds The Soul, Improves Marketing

Curiosity Feeds The Soul, Improves MarketingThere’s a good reason most people hate politicians–– they’re full of crap.

Politicians assume know-it-all roles. They always claim to have the answer and sell it as gospel. It’s the absolute best way–– the ONLY way–– forward.

Until they shift positions and announce a new tact that is the absolute guaranteed perfect solution. For sure!

Amazing. Solving complex problems is easy!

Imagine how refreshing it would be if a politician acted human and occasionally said, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure. We’ll have to see.” Or, “Beats the hell out of me.”

Marketers often behave like politicians. They use status quo as a blueprint for future success. They dance with the one that brung them, and dance until their feet fall off.

Ad agency people usually do the opposite. When invited to pitch an account, we ignore the past. We’re convinced there’s a better way (why else would the account be in review?).

Long ago, I worked at a huge agency when the Federal Express account came up for review. Our agency was one of a few invited to pitch. The entire creative department (hundreds of people strong) began conceiving brilliant FedEx ad campaigns over a long holiday weekend.

And over three days, every team working on the creative exploratory felt it had the answer for how to make FedEx’s business really take off. We were confident we had mined the secret formula for turbo-charging overnight shipping success.

Imagine that!

Our agency didn’t get the account. The winning agency created a campaign that lived about as long as it takes a cup of hot coffee to cool down.

This business is apparently a lot harder than it looks.

But it’s like that in every new business pitch. Agencies swagger as they try and divine quicksilver golden success in them thar hills. Hey, it’s what we’re paid to do–– swagger, strut and dispense brilliance while you wait.

Of course, it’s preposterous. But it’s equally asinine for clients to expect agencies to have brilliant answers in new business pitches with the guarded knowledge they share and the cryptic feedback they give.

It’s like trying to guess a number between one and ten, and later finding out the answer is a fraction. (I had a feeling it was 4 and 7/16ths.)

The truth is that thinking we have the answer almost never leads to the answer. The best approach is to attack the situation with genuine curiosity, questioning things, maintaining our empathy and humanity in search of truth and illumination.

Don’t leap to answers, be curious and envelope yourself in knowledge.

Get lost. Good and lost. Hansel and Gretel without any bread lost!

Then, maybe then, we have a chance of finding our way.


Patrick Scullin is an empathetic adman and founder of Ames Scullin O'Haire Advertising (ASO), and has created campaigns helping Georgia Aquarium, The Coca-Cola Co., UPS, Golf Pride Golf Grips, Mitsubishi Electric, Delhaize America, Georgia Natural Gas, Mellow Mushroom and more.

He has two blogs:  Empathetic Adman (marketing pontification) and The Lint Screen (satire,  smartassery humor, pop culture ramblings, and advice for people getting hip replacements).

SUSHIL KUMAR 21/10/2016 · #7

#4 You are very true. Marketing people swagger about their past success and guarantee future success. History witnessed that business is more hard that it seems to and seen even very successful organisations failed due to arrogant decisions and without listening to market impulse.

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Randy Keho 21/10/2016 · #6

Great stuff, Patrick
This is what the Business Hub is all about. How about developing a campaign to market the hive?
Phil and I, a couple of straight shooters from the "Second City," appreciate your style of humor. You have complete creative control (we'll just pretend Phil agrees) How many times have you heard that before?
Take your best shot. I'm serious. What' do you thunk?

Phil Friedman 21/10/2016 · #5

Patrick, both @Don Kerr and @Jim Murray, two of my fellow Beezers who apparently forgot to take their Aricept today tried to share this excellent post in BUSINESS HUB, a topic-filtered hive for business ideas, opinion, and advice from real-world business people. The problem is we only allow the original author of a piece to post there because we want the author to be aware of the share and be available to engage with BUSINESS HUB members. So, I would like to invite you to share this truly excellent post into the BUSINESS HUB hive. Our beBee address is: . Looking forward to it, and to seeing much more of your work. Cheers! CC; @Randy Keho, Business Hub Co-administrator.

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Robert Cormack 20/10/2016 · #4

Yes, Patrick, and one day the swagger is gone. We realize our brilliant ideas were strategically lame and our funny ideas were funny for about as long as it takes a hot coffee to grow cold. In the really creative shops I've worked at, I've been amazed at how everyone talks about their brilliant work. To me they're like can-can dancers, going like crazy, but essentially doing leg kicks. I never really liked the creative shops because I didn't hear anyone say, "What will sell this product." It was always "What will sell this agency." The incredible difference between those two statements is where real advertising exists. We sell product. If the product sells, then we're doing great advertising. If we sell creatively, then it's magic. The rest is nonsense.

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Don 🐝 Kerr 19/10/2016 · #2

"The truth is that thinking we have the answer almost never leads to the answer. The best approach is to attack the situation with genuine curiosity, questioning things, maintaining our empathy and humanity in search of truth and illumination." A truly refreshing approach and if you can pull it off in the face of rampant client cynicism and shallow claims to authenticity you will be truly remarkable @Patrick Scullin. BTW: If you're ever looking for a well-used copywriter and brand guy give me a call! Will share.

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Jim Murray 19/10/2016 · #1

Yeah, been there, done that, seen that, laughed about it afterwards.Nice work, Pat. I'm reposting this in Phil Friedman's All Business Hive. Also in the third last line, you have an extra e on envelop. Autocorrect is the devil's playground. Yeah, been there, done that, seen that, laughed about it afterwards.