Einstein said that the definition of insanity was doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.
And it’s this quote I thought of when I saw this article on Forbes.com.
It’s a great look at the recruitment process, and the reasons why some companies are driving people with talent away before they even meet them. They don’t do it intentionally. It’s just their recruitment system filters out a large number of talented (and creative) people.
If companies always recruit using the same portal and forms, you’ll more than likely get the same sort of people each and every time you recruit.
That’s great if you want the same sort of corporate thinking and solutions.
But if you want to think about how to do things differently, if you want to arrive at great solutions, you need someone who thinks differently.
There’s a lovely story about Edward de Bono, a creative thinking guru, who was asked to come up with a solution to the problems in the middle east (nice and simple to solve!).
His solution was to offer everyone Marmite. The bread they eat out there is unleavened which means that it doesn’t deliver any zinc vitamins. And a zinc deficiency makes you irritable and aggressive. And Marmite has a high zinc content. Genius.
So, when you’re recruiting, look for the dissenting voices. Encourage people to stand up and be counted. If your company is populated by yes-men and women, you’ll often hear that you’re great. But do your sales figures back this up?
If you genuinely want your company to stand out and to think differently, get a creative person on board. Sure, you might have to refine your recruitment process, but it’ll pay dividends for you.
Apple decided to place their trust in the simple line ‘Think different’.

Apple think different

And then did some great commercials to show how and why you should think different.
Here’s a very emotive ad that was voiced by Steve Jobs.

Sadly, due to a number of complex issues, the ad never ran. But it should have. It starts with a lovely line “Here’s to the crazy ones.” It’s not the sort of opening line you’d expect from a corporation. But they, themselves, are the epitome of coming at things from a new angle. Why not try it? If it doesn’t work, then go back to your tried and trusted recruitment methods.
After all, if ‘Think different’ is a good enough mission statement for Apple surely it’s worth a look?

These Doritos adverts won at the 1997 D&AD awards. They received the only gold pencil awarded that year. Which is pretty high praise (getting a silver pencil is the pinnacle of many a fine career). They were created by the agency BMP DDB and were written by Andy McLeod and art directed by Richard Flintham. (Andy and Richard also won silver pencils for the Ministry of Sound ‘Use your vote’ campaign the same year.)

I love these Doritos ads.

They’ve taken a crudely cut-out mouth and super-imposed it over the real mouth. And then added an amusing voice.

They stand out due to how they look. And, more importantly, how they sound.

They show a simple thought, beautifully executed.

They take the normal tone of voice expected from the ‘celebrity’ and mess with it.

There’s something lovely about an image that doesn’t quite fit with the sound that accompanies it.

These were sponsorship idents for film premieres on ITV. Generally idents are not done well. They tend to just get in the road and make the audience think that the break from the film is (at least) 10 seconds too long.

These, however, are beautiful and make a great connection between the product and movies.

The John Wayne one is lovely. John was originally called Marion Morrison, so the slightly camp twang to his voice is a nice touch.

They’ve given Brigitte Bardot a very down-to-earth bloke’s voice. Maybe I’m easily amused, but this juxtaposition of image and voice just makes me laugh.

Charlie Chaplin speaks in a street patois, they’ve got Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) as if he’s appearing on Bullseye, and Lassie giving out directions to almost GPS standard.

There are also ads featuring Bruce Lee, Oliver Twist, Terry Thomas and a Planet of the Apes special.

They’re simple, not too expensive to produce and they (clearly) stand the test of time. These ads were produced in 1997. And they still make me smile today.

“Rip it up, goodbye.”