David Masterman asks us to pause to celebrate the heavy lifting a good idea can do.
As Cannes draws to a close, let’s spend a moment to appreciate those tiny, beautiful, incredible ideas with the power to pull ever-bigger juggernauts.
It’s dangerously easy to forget that at the heart of most of the winners sits a thought, a conceit, a previously unseen combination powerful enough to touch a nerve, or alter our view of the world just one degree.
The lightning captured in the jar, the what if?…
At Graham’s conception, (and I don’t want to imagine his parents) there was a beautiful, embryonic thought; how the human body would need to change to survive a car crash.
In a wonderful way, it reminded me of the world’s first natural born smoker:
But where, in the ’80s, there were limits to how he could be brought to life, now we can build him, we can meet him and the roads are a safer place because of him.
When Bill Hartley and Giles Hepworth first talked about their idea of giving the charcoal from the debris of the Glasgow school of Art to artists, and then auctioning the resulting art to rebuild the school, I thought it was pure and perfect.
And then, as it took hold in the art world, and one famous artist after another got involved, it started to pull a convoy bigger than all of them. And suddenly, as the Christie’s auctioneer brought his hammer down, Glasgow School of Art was £700,000 closer to being rebuilt.
Our appetite for the industry to do good seems to know no bounds. And the scale of ambition grows with each year’s new toys. Can we really use iPhones to do sperm counts?
Case study films have become mighty biopics of the ideas they describe. We celebrate them like proud parents at a graduation.
But let’s not forget that while the juggernauts might get bigger and bigger, the ideas at their heart are as pure and simple and magical as when Julian Koenig said Think Small.
David Masterman is creative director at JWT London