I don’t watch many movies, especially in the cinema. There’s just nothing like watching a good DVD at the comfort of your home. No whispered conversation from the couple next to you who couldn’t get a room. No irritating noise from the act of gently opening a plastic snack pack. No cell phones going off in a mind-numbing Canto pop tune during a dramatic scene. And most important of all, no kids wailing at the top of their lungs begging to be fed (or smacked!)

So, against my tradition, I went to the movies with a couple of friends to catch Inception. I must admit I got suckered in by one of the coolest trailers I’ve watched in recent times. And the fact that it was directed by Christopher Nolan, who created a masterpiece in Memento. Hmmm… this is turning into a review of sorts, I must get to the point.

I interrupt this post to bring you a trailer:

The premise of this movie is quite fascinating:

That an idea is the most resilient parasite. That an idea from the human mind can build cities, transform the world and rewrite the rules. That an idea is also contagious and unstoppable once incepted.

From an advertising context, here’s how it goes:

That no matter how resilient your idea may seem at first, it will most probably get shot down; so prepare backups. That a creative idea from your mind will go through many days of building, transforming and rewriting before it can see the light of day. That your idea may be infected by crappier sub-ideas, which you can do nothing to stop.

So an ad idea that you conjure – be it for a print ad, TVC, jingle, website, billboard or the like – will become fragmented, distorted, skewed and maligned by the time it’s ‘on the air’.  After about 12 years in the advertising, direct marketing and interactive industries, I have pretty much gotten used to this. Let’s just hope I don’t get tired of it.

It’s time for a nap… and possibly pleasant dreams.


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  1. I watched this movie and was very entertained. I loved the idea of it all and the true-to-life facts about dreams and how we dream.

    It explored something we don’t think about much until it scares us or makes us happy i.e. evokes emotions. We rarely think about the complexities of the dream process. Dreams just happen.

    Ads and dreams are similar. No one thinks much of an ad until it affects us in some way. And certainly, no one thinks about the complexities of creating the ads to affect others. Ads just happen.

    My contribution to the movie and its relation to the context of advertising!

    • A very astute observation… that you don’t notice ads until they evoke some kind of emotion. I have nothing to add to that… very well said!

  2. Cheers! 🙂

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