Welcome to another episode of the Ideasicle Podcast, where we attempt to untangle the mysteries of the elusive idea.
Get this. This episode is our first live Ideasicle Podcast ever! Mechanica and Ideasicle are in the North Shore of Boston, so we got together over lunch for this interview. It’s like the “Napa Valley” up here for non-traditional agencies.
I’ve always admired Mechanica because they were one of the first to break from the traditional advertising agency mold. I wanted to have these guys on the show because, with their model, as with Ideasicle’s, they have found a way to rise above the overwhelming world of fractured media. And they’ve conducted a new study with Fast Company called, “Branding Forward,” that has huge implications for all of us.
Ted Nelson is a very hands-on CEO, and one of four founding partners who conceived and launched Mechanica. His responsibilities include contributing to the building and management of a next-generation business model and organization, as well as general strategic oversight across Mechanica’s clients and businesses.
Jim Garaventi is a copywriter by trade, and has written and/or been the creative director on many award-winning advertising campaigns over the past decade. Boxes of national and international creative awards notwithstanding, his contributions have extended far beyond the traditional creative realm.
- Ted begins by explaining the very-different Mechanica model.
- He then explains his view on the evolution of branding – from limited tools to a constantly expanding universe of solutions.
- He answers how Mechanica is designed to remain unbiased when it comes to its ideas – “infrastructure predetermines solutions.”
- It’s all about open collaboration between organizations, including with clients.
- Then Jim Garaventi talks to us about the evolution of the creative person in this new model, but warns that it’s still the genius of people vs the genius of models.
- He uses a recent Mechanica client, American Heritage Dictionaries, to make the point that it all starts with the big brand idea.
- Even though the nature of creativity is clearly changing (see my own views on this that my Mechanica friends seem to agree with, “Creativity Is Moving Upstream”), Jim councils creative people in the marketing world to figure out what you’re best at and go do more of that.
- Ted then gave us some final words of creative wisdom, a consistent theme in these podcasts, and that is: “Stay open to discomfort.