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A World Without Words?

Studied art and fashion design at Manchester then Westminster University. In the past 15 years Colin has been part of the buying team at Burberry, an Angel Investor, corporate film and TV producer, and for the last 6 years has run his own digital agency. An online social adoptee from 2005. He’s an exhibited artist.

A few weeks ago I introduced Drum Blog readers to a long term blogging favourite “Wordless Wednesday” – which is essentially a blog post of pictures when either words wont do or a dry spell inhibits the writer.

Mother Agency, Discovery Channel, London Ink

My parody fell on deaf ears because of course it was screen grabs of tweets… hardly the approach embraced by those that use it.

I was introduced to and have become a huge fan of WNYC’s Radio Lab through Seth Godin, their tag line is: “on a curiosity bender”. It is essentially an intermittent podcast of either short pieces or hour long shows. They introduce the natural world, which invariably means unnatural occurrences or ones seldom heard or read about that can effect either an individual or all of us – and they have included:

The killer whale that was trapped in nets dying, saved by divers – the whale then approached each diver and nudged them in the chest (30 tonne whale) to effectively say thank you and

The hook worms, if ingested by people suffering from allergies like asthma – it immediately cures them of any symptoms… I think it’s all fascinating stuff.

Their latest piece is on words.

Have you ever thought, what do words do for us, could you live without them, can pictures, symbols and signs do the talking for us? No wait… everything has a name. Ok, so lets take a weird turn; Radio Lab tells us that typically humans at age 6 parts of our brain start linking thoughts – but what if we didn’t have language; what is thought?

Ok, I’m back in the real world for a minute – we as advertisers and marketers are often faced with promoting a product or service and there is always the hang up from the client about the logo and the associated tag line or punchy statement and its placement within the associated media. What if the ‘Attention’ grab and the ‘Call to Action’ was no more than images – have you tried it, can it be done, and if yes what are the likely outcomes?

The image above is taken from the campaign devised by Mother who were challenged to launch and promote a new series (2007) on the Disovery Channel “London Ink” – if you don’t know about the case study can I suggest you check it out. If only to return speechless (Sorry Ed)…

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