Last week, I served on a panel of volunteers for Thayer Academy's annual Career Day. During this event, junior and senior students have the opportunity to attend three separate panel discussions concerning a possible career choice.
The panels included: Architecture, Construction, Project Management & Design; Journalism; Arts; Law; Education; Finance; Government; Public Safety & Military; Medicine; Non-Profit Fundraising & Engagement; Real Estate; Marketing & Communications Design; Technology; Business; Science; Sports & Sports Management
I sat on the Marketing Communications Design Panel with four other senior-level professionals who were extremely friendly and eager to discuss their careers and the steps that were involved in reaching their current position. During each of our three, approximately 50-minute presentations our stories were slightly tweaked but always ended with sage advice regarding life, work, family, and holding it all together.
As it turned out, of the five panelists, I was the sole creative professional in the room. Instead of discussing creative innovation and outside-the-box thinking, we were discussing brand essence, ROI (Return On Investment), algorithms, and how our habits are tracked and targeted by social media.
I accept this approach and realize that we have the means through technology to measure nearly every morsel of communications thrown to the masses. However, we also need to consider opportunities for rocking the boat, making a unique impression, and allowing our brand to stand out in the crowd.
This year's bland Super Bowl advertising is an example of how we have taken the foot off the creative gas pedal and are searching for the means to appeal to everyone.
Sure there are plenty of risks but in the cases of such brands as Apple, "thinking different" has caused nearly everyone to reach for their iPhone when the conversation becomes boring. –Doug.