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The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Life lessons are generally intended to lead us away from risk. But what happens when the risky decision is actually the most risk averse?

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Posted Monday August 18th, 2014 by in Analysis + Strategy.

Life lessons are generally intended to lead us away from risk. But what happens when the risky decision is actually the most risk averse?

If you ask your friendly neighborhood entrepreneur, she will tell you that the risky decision would have been working in an unstable corporate environment with layoffs lingering around every corner. By contrast, taking destiny into her own hands carried little risk, and conversely much reward.

It is with this frame in mind that we must examine the prospect of advertising, here defined as breaking down barriers between brands and consumers. For a brand to achieve a startling discovery in the eyes of its audience, most would agree that a high degree of shock and awe is necessary. Examples abound (look to Old Spice and WestJet) of campaigns that entered what any boardroom would certainly label as “risky” territory.

However, as in entrepreneurship, the truly risky path is to exercise the norm, releasing asset after asset of unassuming, ho-hum content that bores the living daylights out of the intended audience. Worse still, most safe campaigns are entirely ignored, which ires the likes of the finance department, which promptly labels the campaign a giant flop.

All told, there is no such thing as a safe and effective advertising campaign, despite what many boardroom occupants might think. When it comes to advertising, be an entrepreneur of your own brand – strike out on your own path and do something bold. You may perceive it as a risky move, but nothing could be further from the truth.


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