Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The rise of the Truth Junkie

Image from Kapungo

This is part of a piece we wrote for Scott Goodson and strawberryfrog during a collaboration last year. I’d noticed the term ‘Truth Junkie’ being used in the media and thought it would be interesting to go back over its provenance. As far as I know, this was its first appearance...

“Our trust in monolithic sources of information (the boss, the 7 o'clock news, the advertiser, the president) has taken a beating in the last thirty years.

Our growing skepticism was held at bay, because there was nowhere else for us to go.

Then, along came the internet, and suddenly, we had a much more reliable, trustworthy source of information: each other.

With a million different media outlets came the realization that there are a million sides to every story, and that the only way to deal is to canvass opinion and find our own truth.

Where once this was the strange obsession of a small, Consumer Reports-reading minority, it is now an everyday matter of control and self-definition for a booming portion of our population.

Truth Junkies are taking over the world, revolutionizing industry after industry.

They have eclectic tastes in music, they don't go to the same old place for vacation, they know the out-of-the-way restaurant.

By its very nature, the search for truth is all about exploration and discovery.

Truth Junkies have a new control of their lives because they have the power of knowledge.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The irresistible allure of shrubbery

Image from Troy B Thompson

My partner Mark tells a story that I find illuminating and frustrating all at once. Dark, knowing laughter is the general response.

He was creative director on BMW for the longest time. If ever there’s been a brand more meticulously crafted over so many years, I’d like to know its name.

He once met with the dealer body from Florida, one of whom was the leading dealer in the entire country. In fact, this particular guy’s success was enough to turn heads and raise eyebrows.

“Your sales are three times anyone else’s? How do you do it?” asked Mark.

“Well, Mr. Creative Director, I take your beautiful ad, and I snip the bottom off it.”

“Yeeeesss…. Go on.”

“And then I add my own message.”


“My message says - Free Shrubbery With Every Test Drive.”

Funny how, on the road to a consummated persuasion, the smallest things, even actions seemingly at odds with your carefully constructed plan, can make the biggest difference.