Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 7th, 2012

Success brand names tell mythic archetypical stories?

Brian Collins, chief creative officer at Collins, said in an interview with Debbie Millman: “A great brand name must embody mythic archetype stories, stories that remind us of eternal truths to navigate through our lives, archetypes like “KING”, “MAGICIAN”, WARRIOR”…that need not that much explanation to project the picture and the message.

For example, the Apple with a bite taken out symbolizes the seductive-rebel Eve who tempted Adam to cross over to conscious thinking, like Apple ad of a woman throwing a sledgehammer at the screen showing Big Brother…

For example, yesterday I watched a bunch of kids playing a game of pick-up basketball, and the next day you have Nikes displaying its orange banner with the “swoosh symbol” spanning around the court.  Nike is the goddess of victory, and there is no doubt in my mind that the kids felt the meaning of that symbol and the participants are playing with more vigor, as if they are called upon to unfold their power for winning and achieving…”

We don’t experience the world through information, but through stories.  That’s why brands are meant to create belief systems.  Brand designers construct frameworks so we may better understand the world…

Designers should be “problem makers” because they are great with pattern-recognition skills and should seek companies with problems not explicitly known to them.  Designers are not necessarily brought in as “problem solvers”, but to observe the various latent problems within the community of the corporation…

Great brands continue to emotionally resonate from the grand parents to the children to the grand children, like with Disney. 

Brian Collins stretched the envelope a little too thin when he claimed that great brands, like Coca Cola help connect people around the world. How? A kid from Afghanistan drinking a Coca Cola can or bottle would connect with an US kid…I am wondering: How many kids in the US have the background knowledge that the successive US administrations landed over 100,000 Us troops to fight in Afghanistan, that the US drones are killing more civilians and kids than Taliban “fighters”?…Maybe it is the Afghani kid who is connecting and saying: “Are the kids in the US aware of what’s going on in Afghanistan…?”

Peter Drucker wrote: “Securities analysts believe that companies make money. Companies make shoes.” Does anyone believe that financial multinationals make shoes, or produce anything? All they are good at is shitting all over the place!

Collins says: “People are looking for more than the product: They want to know the company’s relationship to the local economy…” That would be fine for local companies, I think.  How many international corporations are laying a framework of letting local communities adhere to their message, if a plausible message is credible.

Note: Post inspired from a chapter in “Brand thinking and other noble pursuits” by Debbie Millman

A task scheduled in the “daily achievement program” is not a chore…

Do you think that the task of dish-washing requiring an hour of labor is the same as if the quantity to wash is less than half an hour?  Which task is easier to carry out relevant to the duration for washing dishes?

Last month was unusually cold for Lebanon, especially for those not able to afford “fuel” for their heating systems.  Mother didn’t feel like washing dishes since we lacked running hot water, and her hands and fingers would freeze and ache.  I decided to schedule an hour after my late supper for that task.

The process is that I heat some water, donned the plastic gloves, empty the dirty containers in the toilet, add detergent in a special plastic bucket and start slowly but surely to wash dishes, utensils and pots and pans.  One item at a time and the huge pile in the sink would dwindle. I made sure to clean the entire kitchen, floor and oven.  The kitchen didn’t need any “retouch” for mother as she wakes up.

As the weather warmed up, mother returned to her old habit of washing dishes three times a day. I told her to let the sink fill to the ream, and I will take care of the task late at night, but she would not listen.  We have enough dishes, utensils, pots and pans to fill half a dozen large sinks, but habit prevails.  I know mothers who would immediately wash any single dish as it is deposited in the sink!

I had started to consider the task of dish washing as another relaxing scheduled period in my “daily achievement program”: I could focus on this task and relax…

With fewer dirty dishes in the sink that would not require that much duration, I don’t bother with the washing.  I could schedule this shorter task into my program, but it feels more of a chore, a harassment than anything else. I am not doing dish-washing unless the sink is almost filled.

Obviously, if we had warm running water, mother would be very thrilled to dip her hands in the warm sink, and alleviate the aches in her arthritic hands.

A task scheduled in the “daily achievement program” is not a chore: It is a task well done, with contentment.

A bonus story: I know people who are smart enough to quickly discover the shaky premises in their passions, and thus, they are unable to sustain a passion for long enough to bear fruits.  They invent an ingenious excuse like: “I am genetically prone to periodic mood swing and depressive phases”, and they promote their condition.  Soon, they start deeply believing their created excuse: They cannot function normal unless they exhume or discover a temporary passion to drive their days…In few instances, they participate in long protracted benevolent projects and carry the project through, only to relapse to the “depressive mood” after the project is over:  The tedious and demanding well done project was sort of compensation for having dropped out in so many programs and projects…They are seeking a new passions…another round of depressive phases…




February 2012

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