Harnessing Lateral thinking and the Luis Suarez Bite!

July 1, 2014

Lateral thinking, the term coined by Edward de Bono back in the sixties, frequently surprises and inspires. I love the idea of learning from parallel worlds and thinking across boundaries. Hamish Taylor spoke in Dublin a couple of times a few years ago (as indeed did Mr de Bono). Amongst other things, Hamish had once been the Head of Brand Management for British Airways. Whilst there, he took a lateral thinking approach to solving some of their issues: “When seeking to create beds in first-class cabins, BA approached a yacht designer who knew how to create luxury furnishings in a confined space. When looking to improve queues, it approached the Disney Corporation, which had perfected queuing systems in its theme parks”.

In her post on this blog last week, Oilbhe spoke about how she had been inspired by Ash Bendelow, the Managing Director of Brave advertising agency took who shared his thoughts about what brands can learn from Las Vegas. The approach of Casinos over the years to people and data is certainly a forerunner of today’s challenges of fusing data and creativity. This was a theme that Oilbhe identified on her recent trip to Cannes.


Luis Suarez

On a slightly different tack, Specsavers consistently clever advertising, the latest example of which was the Luis Suarez biting execution  (Cheillini-Canneloni) are, in my mind, creative executions inspired by similar thought processes.

I guess that Freakonmics and Rory Sutherland’s behavioural economics are all part of the power of creativity movement that when harnessed correctly can make step changes to a business or industry.

I’ve written previously here about the untapped potential of marketing to solve some of Ireland’s deeper routed problems. Embracing lateral thinkers and great proponents of it, from the broader marketing community is a great place to start.



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