Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

As you know, user-generated / consumer-generated content has been all the rage over the last year. Many pundits have gone so far as to claim that traditional advertising agencies' days are numbered. But the agencies themselves have lumbered forward, continuing to support hundreds and hundreds of creative staff (not to mention a sizable chip on their shoulders), with the confidence that no one can produce high quality creative the way they can.

Earlier this year, the Doritos Super Bowl ad proved otherwise - at least with regard to concepting. The agencies and production houses still have the expertise in execution of the 30-second spot. I think in the end, the creative juice will be found somewhere in the middle - the agencies and their ability to navigate the supply chain, along with active input from consumers, will together create some pretty powerful stuff.

But in the meantime, the takeaway message is the old cliche - don't judge a book by its cover. Agency execs pooh-pooh ideas because they come from "the people," and that is a huge mistake. Good ideas can come from anyone - on your team, from a client, from an agency - hell, stop and ask a few people on the street while you're at it.

Case in point: Paul Potts, a dubious-looking mobile phone salesman goes on ITV's Britain's Got Talent to attempt to sing opera
You have to see this video. I think it's one of the best moments in the history of reality TV (okay, okay - not a huge honor, but you get the point) and a great example of how we humans like to judge based on superficialities.

The judges rolled their eyes when they saw the contestant, clearly expecting another feeble performance on this grown-up talent show. In the end, Potts had the audience on their feet, people were crying, and Simon Cowell - yes, the Simon Cowell - was clapping, exclaiming "you are absolutely fantastic."

Using a feedreader that doesn't embed video? Click here.

Take a moment and think about the many assumptions you make on a daily basis - about vendors, clients, colleagues, people you pass on the street or sit next to on the train, the guy you get your coffee from or your newspaper man. The next Pavarotti might be closer than you expect. Have you given him the chance to sing for you?

Here's some context on the aria, "Nessun Dorma," as well as Pavarotti singing it for comparison.

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