You often hear this in marketing and advertising, “boy, what a smart idea,” or “that was such a smart solution to blah, blah.” Smart is always better than dumb. Smart is something to strive for. Smart is good.
Smart, however, isn’t great.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still not nearly enough “smart” in advertising. But with all the fawning over big data and its promise to dominate the industry, we have to realize that being smart and calculated and efficient is helpful but, by itself, too rational. It lacks the ability to move and inspire.
That’s where the magic of a great idea, or a beautifully crafted execution or even an artful turn of phrase makes the difference.
Sir John Hegarty summed it up nicely in a recent article, “Selling,” he said, is “an emotional occupation. It’s an art. And therefore you have to have your sales messages constructed in such a way that appeals to people. And information goes in through the heart. We are emotional creatures. We are not logical.”
So as much as CMO’s and data wonks would really, really like for advertising to be a science, and even try their best to make it such…it is not.
Logic needs magic to be motivating. Magic needs logic to be effective.
And they need each other to be great.