Thursday, July 3, 2008

Disruption - a planners delight

The best thing about "disruption" is that it is as simple as it seems complicated.
TBWA owns one powerful planning tool thanks to the genius of Jean Marie Dru
I really enjoyed dabbling with it during my stint with TBWA, Mumbai.
Truth is that anyone who cracks a successful brand campaign is consciously or unconsciously applying disruption.
When I say successful, I mean one that is "effective with the masses" AND "loved by the elitist advertising fraternity."
A R Rehman uses disruption constantly. In his latest movie, 'jaane tu ya jaane na' he has actually introduced Jazz music to Bollywood! I love him. Click here to listen to the song.
What is disruption?
My favourite way of explaining disruption is the 'dashed lines' method.
You'll need a plain piece of paper, a pencil and an eraser for this.
Begin with making a dash, anywhere on the sheet of paper. Now, add more dashes next to it to form a line of dashes.
You should have something that looks like this:

Here's when you use the eraser. Erase one dash off. Any dash. This will leave you with something that looks like this.

When you hold up this piece of paper, you will notice that your eye can't help but look at the gap.
Human attention will always fall on the spot, where the monotony is broken.
That's what disruption is all about. Breaking monotony.
Some people are born with the ability to automatically apply disruption in their creative thinking.
For others, Jean Marie Dru invented the disruption process. The art of first laying down all the conventions that exist and then carefully figuring out which of those conventions can be broken and how.
Every face-cream ad features a human face. Now for the sake of disruption you can't decide to show animal faces instead.
Every face cream ad also features an unnaturally "beautiful" woman. Now, that was a convention broken by the Dove commercials. Watch this one.
That's disruption. Its beautiful.
Any planners delight!

PS: The Dove work is not done by TBWA. That's just a good example of 'disruption in action' that came to mind.


Anbuchezhian said...

Good one pooja. But at the end of the day communication is about being simple. Simplicity is what is the final end product every planning tool aims at.And somewhere down the line we have given it different names and claimed intellectual rights.

And I am sure in most of the great insights we have come across finally what we would say is This is a very simple idea. Why the hell we never thought about it" And sometimes we ponder over the process so much that we fail to see the solution in front of us.

meraj said...

'Some people are born with the ability to automoatically apply disruption in their creative thinking.' and Rahman is someone, who has always done so...right from the introduction of a strong base in the Indian film music in his debut, Roja.

on another note, Rahman has used very subtle shades of Jazz in some of his earlier songs too. try noticing them in 'Ae Udi Udi' (Saathiya) and 'Ae Khuda Hafiz' (Yuva)

waiting for more posts...

POOJA NAIR said...

Agree on the simplicity part. people are usually so busy being complicated, that when someone comes out and dares to be simple, it inevitably gets noticed!

Meraj...should have known i was treading on unchartered territory when i discussed music..whoops...but yeah thanks for those inputs...interesting