Short-circuiting the creative process

Following on from the slide show about objects and their growing currency in a digital age, it begs the question – if we were to employ them as a communications medium – whether we might need to create them in a different way?

To understand the traditional creative process as practiced by most agencies, one has to consider that mass-media was the offspring of the invention of the print. (Pre)historically, objects were one of a handful of fundamental human communication mechanisms along speech, writing, drawing.  Gutenberg's invention pushed words and pictures to pre-eminence at the expense of objects, which were difficult to make en masse and distribute. Printing caused words and pictures to proliferate.

So, modern communications have always been about expressing ideas in words and pictures. And that's what agencies do. But, in more sophisticated times and for bigger brands who recognise the value of it, the goal is so often to create an emotional hook – a way to make people feel something for the brand. So, we end up with a long linear creative chain that expresses ideas in words and pictures that (hopefully) make people feel something. 

From brand to feel via words and pictures (hopefully)

From brand to feel via words and pictures (hopefully)

However, since objects already operate in the space of feeling and emotion – because of the HIFIHIF (How it Feels Is How It Feels) heuristic – there is no need to employ words and pictures to try and articulate a feeling; especially since the message is so vulnerable to the recipient's own interpretation (or attention). So, an object can articulate the emotional content of an idea directly as a physical experience – how it feels is how it feels – and make more immediate and intimate connections with consumers with greater certainty.

From brand to feeling via tactile sensation

From brand to feeling via tactile sensation