Ramsey Naja is chief creative officer, JWT MEA
It pains me to say it, but I often get the feeling that this business of ours is losing its magic. In fact, it is not just a feeling but a sad realisation. There is a host of reasons to support this, but the most important is connected to something I would like to call “the imperative of eliminating unpredictability”. Now this may be a sound business premise and one that makes for happy weekends for the corporate elite, but it does fly in the face of what is, after all, a creative business.
A recent study concluded that creativity and insanity are basically cousins twice removed, or thereabouts, which poured even more fuel into the already-established perception that all creatives are unpredictable madmen with a variable degree of psychotic behaviour and the potential to commit criminal acts. Arguably, combining this with the pressure to give accurate financial forecasts frequently and on a regular basis, is basically a recipe for boosting the footfall at hospital emergency wards. And yet this is the basis upon which our industry thrives. Logic and magic may not be natural bedfellows but, when Cupid strikes, their love child can be the kind of offspring that ends up winning beauty pageants whilst studying nuclear physics.
Indeed, this is what makes our business so much fun: it thrives on electricity between poles and on the paradoxical nature of its key components. Logic and magic or, if you will, method and madness are so interdependent but also so different, the long-term prospects of their relationship is dependent on a true dialogue and deep understanding between them.
Comes a point, unfortunately, when Mr Logic finds himself unable to bear Ms Magic’s mood swings and the unpredictable nature of the relationship, and starts asking her for an accurate calendar of her activities and to account for every minute spent outside the home. Worse, he will ask her to plan for them ahead. As any couple will tell you, this is time bomb territory. If you want your counterpart to behave exactly like you want them to, somebody will eventually have to leave the building.
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