Saturday, August 05, 2006

It’s different

When I say ‘I dread the word DIFFERENT’ I am sure my brothers and sisters of the creative fraternity across the globe are nodding their heads vigorously in acceptance. I mean…what is it with this word that is so “different”? What is “different”? What exactly does it mean to be “different”? I am sure the one who unravels the mystery of “different” would rule the world.

How many times have you heard these random requests?
“I want something different”
“Do something different”
“Let’s differentiate ourselves from them”
“Do a different take on the subject”
And on and on and on the requests go.

Does different have a definition that one can confidently put a finger on? I don’t think so. It’s just an easy word to say that you don’t approve of something and that you want something else. In other words you don’t know what else you need and hence you get away with the most obvious explanation…different.

I cant tell you how many times I’ve felt like strangling a client servicing executive or a client even, when I heard them say “I want something different”. People why don’t you go do a research on how you want to be different and explain it to me rather then just blurt out “different”? I am telling you, if I ever got diagnosed for ulcer or blood pressure or depression it’ll only be because of “different”.

Well that kind of helped simmer the steam a bit. So here’s my take on “different”. To me being different is to be me. I am myself and that’s what segregates me from the crowd. I know what I am and what I am capable of and that’s what makes me a unique being. If I wanted to smear my whole body with jello and run naked around the block shouting “ooga booga boo”, that’s different. That’s what separates me from the other homosapiens in the world. And just like me every brand or product has a unique differentiator. That’s what separates it from the clutter. That…is different. Why do people not understand it? Why in the hell do they go about ranting about “different” without a clue what they mean? Different isn’t outside the box, rather different is something within the box that just needs a little probing to understand. And I am shocked to know that many don’t really care to understand it. I mean think about it…how much we could do as creative people if only the brief was “here’s what’s different, now say it creatively” instead of “do something different”.

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