Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Steve Henry on mischievousness
I reckon most of the great breakthroughs in the modern creative world have a sense of mischief about them - whether it's the early Beatles, or Malcolm McLaren with the Sex pistols. Damien Hirst's titles have got a sense of cheekiness about them, Gilbert and George are nearly always having a laugh. The Surrealists were poking fun at everything. Hollywood in the Golden Age was a bunch of kids making it up as they went along.
It's because if you're going to stand out, you've got to break the rules, and the people who do that tend to have a sense of mischief about them. Life is always like that. Think back to your school days.
The people who were obeying the rules were po-faced and serious, the people who were breaking the rules had a cheeky grin.
Look at the Gherkin. Fucking awesome - but it's just very FUNNY, as well.
It's doubly true in advertising - because only an idiot would take advertising seriously. I reckon most of Crispin Porter's work has got that sense of mischief about it. The "Burger Virgins" idea for Burger King has it in spades.
Most of HHCL's work was inspired by the idea of breaking the rules and having fun doing it. Look at the whole idea behind Blackcurrant Tango - make a 90-second epic about a letter of complaint.
I reckon the surest sign of success in any creative venture is the faint sound of a couple of people sniggering in the background.