Two interesting ideas I’ve come across this week, both demonstrating that interesting outcomes result when unexpected things are put together.
This project takes IKEA products and looks at them not as finished products, but as raw materials. A bunch of people then set to work creating new objects by combining elements intended for different products to create something entirely new.
Stumble Safely resulted from a newly-relaxed US Government policy regarding data protection. Using public domain data detailing crime stats, liquor licenses, public transport, construction areas, railway lines etc, this site allows you to plot the safest route to take home after a night’s drinking. (It seems a remarkably meticulous way to approach a night’s debauchery, but maybe that’s how they roll in Washington.)
Anyway, what I love about it is that it combines loosely-related ideas to create something entirely new. Which again, is how I think we need to approach media. It’s similar to the Fresh vs Packaged media idea I was talking about the other day. If we see the point of media being to place a brand idea at the point at which that brand is most relevant to a person, shouldn’t that, almost by definition, create something new?
I wonder whether the issue is that we tend to look at media as a two-part puzzle? That is, how to put this brand together with that consumer in the simplest possible (read cheapest and existing) way, a process that will most commonly end up with the media answer that’s most common.
Maybe what we need to do is make the process more complex in order to make it more compelling. If instead of just trying to put a brand together with a consumer, we tried to put a brand plus at least one other idea that’s relevant to that person (but traditionally unrelated to the brand) together we might get something more interesting, more memorable, and ultimately more useful and valuable to that person. Or we might not. But at least it would be worth trying.
(And if you enjoy your mash-ups of a more musical nature, this has been around for a few months but is still great – Jaydiohead – Jay-Z meets Radiohead.)