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January 15, 2015
Brands Need Meaning, Know What I Mean?
Citizens United and the Supreme Court said that corporations are legally "people" in the USA. Ad agencies everywhere say they want to make brands "more human."

Okay then. Let's. Let's be human. All the way.

So, for brands, marketers, what does being human mean?

Let's begin with you, human being.

Have you ever wondered about the meaning of life? Who you really are, where you came from, and where you're going? What the point of this life is? What the meaning of death is? What the meaning of love is? What is the meaning of work, money, education, sex, religion, violence, war, dreams?

What's important and meaningful about being human?

And why is meaning so absent from 99% of all branding? (99%? — I'm being kind.)

Because taking one tiny experience of a brand and blowing it up in a comedic way, over and over, might be funny, it might be an idea, but is it really meaningful?

Are brands and agencies afraid of saying something meaningful?

Does anyone know how or why creating meaning could be profitable?

We say we want deep connections between brands and people. Emotional, passionate, enthusiastic engagement. We say we want our clients to be meaningful to the world.

Wait, are we really saying that?

So think. As creative professionals, do we seek to create that kind of deep public connection with the brand or with the work we do for the brand? When clicks and sales are up, do we tell a client that "the world loves you"? Or that the world "loves the new work"?

Is it about us?

What does that mean?

Yes, I'm doing my part on this matter. I'm arguing for meaning in every new client meeting and work session.

Because I truly want to see brands and people thinking about, talking about, the things people really think about. I want to see a world where brands and agencies actually engage on a deeply human level, talking, debating about life, death, love, sex, pain and sorrow, dreams, mysteries, religion, the things that have real meaning. I want us all to produce work that makes human beings think about what it means to be human.

Not just another new front grille and EPA gas mileage number. Not just another slam at the other provider. Not just thinner, lighter.

Though I do like the Axe Peace Spray ad. A lot.

What is truly meaningful to you and your brand?

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As a strategist, writer, designer, producer, director, actor, musician, performer, teacher, trainer and speaker, creative marketing was a potentially ideal career for Paul. Yet after years of winning dozens of global creativity awards with various agencies, Paul gave up the awards pursuit and became a professional human being.

Paul launched the1101experiment in 2001, focusing on bringing top-level strategy, creativity and multi-dimensional success to global brands, but with an added emphasis on positive ethical and social opportunities. Paul's thinking has been published worldwide and has predicted many global cultural shifts long before they happened. 
Paul leads a mastermind network of friends, colleagues and multi-talented professionals from around the world who are strategists, writers, artists, web, social and interactive specialists, who are involved on all client work.
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