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'You Wrote it On Paper?' or, Good Ideas Work Everywhere
By: Brian Keller
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At Marcus Bailey World Wide, there was a meeting. Beyond Madison Avenue was granted “fly on the wall” privilege.
Present: M.L. Lee (Worldwide Chief Creative Officer), Wendi O. Bluphin (Innovation Strategy), Turk 3.0 (Digital Engagement Senior Operative), and a Copywriter.

M.L. Lee: “That’s a nice idea. ‘Angel Paste: heavenly breath and cleaner teeth for now and hereafter.’ Great, great. For teeth…this has legs.”

Copywriter: “Thanks…”

Wendi: “Established companies have a reputation for being too bureaucratic to be innovative. So, we take our lead from start-up culture. We’re fast. We move. We get it done. I like your idea. Is it digital?”

Turk 3.0: “How old are you?”

Copywriter: “Twenty-seven. It's an idea. It can go digital.”

Turk 3.0: “Digital is a young person’s game. Do you get digital? ‘Angel Paste: heavenly breath and cleaner teeth for now and hereafter.” Where did you get it?”

Copywriter: “I did research. I read an article.”

Turk 3.0: “You read? Reading? We’re about absorption here. Where was the article?”

Copywriter: “A magazine.”

M. L. Lee: “Your idea isn’t digital?”

Copywriter: “It’s an idea. I didn’t think about execution.”

M. L. Lee: “It’s on paper?”

Copywriter: “Yes.”

Turk 3.0: “On paper? It’s not digital?”

Wendi: “We have to become more risk-averse when considering ideas that aren’t digital.”

Copywriter: “It’s a position. We can execute digitally.”

Turk 3.0: “You wrote it on paper, which I’m sure is analog. Now, because it's on paper, it can never be virtual. This could kill us in the digital space. Is paper analog?”

Wendi: “I’m sure paper is analog. Someone text research and find out if paper is analog. I can’t sell Innovation Strategy as an analog concept. What about real-time marketing?  What about its ‘tweetability?’ What if the power goes out at the Super Bowl again? Can we tweet like Oreo did with ‘dunk in the dark’? Can you brush in the dark? How would you find the toothpaste in the dark? This is a fiasco. You can’t brush in the dark. How would you find toothpaste? This is a CRM disaster.”

Copywriter: “I’m sure our social media team could tweet something good if the lights go off in the Super Bowl again. Maybe something on…by cleaning your teeth after all those snacks, your teeth will light up a room, or something like that."

M. L. Lee: “Your idea is on paper. It’s not digital. Have you thought of becoming a Podiatrist? No one gets well and no one dies. Did this idea come from ‘Big Data’?

Wendi: “We need to move the organization from an opinion-operated methodology to a digitally data-driven digital space that can convert to virtual in real-time, digitally. We need to start to use facts, and — science — as a method. Show us your digital data.”

Copywriter: “Well, it was an idea I had based on research."

Turk 3.0: “On paper, dude. Paper. You got your idea from paper and wrote it on paper. Where's the data?"

Copywriter: “I thought people might like it.”

Wendi: “You thought. We decide if people will like it. We have data, digital data, that tells us that we will decide what people like and when. We can’t do real-time marketing with paper. How would we get paper to the people? People can’t deal with paper unless it's virtual paper; you know, the kind on digital devices that look like paper. Wow.”

Copywriter: “I could put it on Evernote and send."

M. L. Lee: “But it’s on paper. How would you do that?"

Copywriter: “I could type it into Evernote.”

Turk 3.0: “That’s crazy enough to work.”

Wendi: “I could sell that.”

M. L. Lee: “I like. I think we have to go ‘Nixon’ and cover up the original analog space this idea started in.”

Wendi: “We do a white paper on white teeth and fresh breath when we go to Angel Paste. I can grind 1700 digital pages on a mobile device.”

Turk 3.0: “Social engagement will do a viral campaign planned to the second. It will be completely spontaneous and digital.”

M. L. Lee: "We’ll have digital Angels with toothbrushes and Angel Paste. Then, we hire street teams of Angels with toothbrushes. No, no toothbrushes, we use ‘Angel Paste Apps, digital toothpaste for virtually fresher breath and cleaner teeth for now and hereafter.’”

Copywriter: “Where will we incorporate the product benefits?”

M. L. Lee: “Benefits? We have an app. We have angels.”

Turk 3.0: “Digital Angels.”

Wendi: “We’re fast. Innovation is fast. We’re innovating right now this second. Can you feel it?”

M. L. Lee: "How about we send out blank apps? They would be like canvases, but in digital format with nothing on them but the word ‘teeth.’ People will create their own digital experience with Angel Paste.”

Copywriter: “How will they know to execute it as Angel Paste?”

M. L. Lee: “It’s digital, it’s virtual. It’s an app. What more do they need?”

“The medium is the message.” Marshall Mcluhan’s thought is resonating more now than it did during the early ‘60s. The digital space is fast moving and adaptable and can be used along with data and a plethora of tools, but the word “digital” is not a panacea, nor is it an idea.

Oreo’s tweet “You can still dunk in the dark,” executed during the Super Bowl (XVLL (47) 2012–2013) power outage, was a perfect storm of a great idea, fast thinking, and a great vehicle for the distribution of the great idea. The concept of "dunking in the dark" made the piece resonate and, in the end, good ideas and concepts translate across all media.

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About the Author
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.

Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.

He has built the creative departments at two agencies.

He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.

Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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