Sunday, December 02, 2007

the 20 toy ploy

After getting excited about being always in beta, I was reminded of a great example of this experimental philosophy. Last year (I think), New York based Toy created Elf Yourself for Office Max. If you don't know what this is I recommend you have a play.

What some people might not know is that when briefed to come up with an online xmas idea, the folks at Toy decided to instead create twenty different ones. They understood that there wasn't a magic recipe for success and threw out nearly two dozen different ideas to see which ones stuck.

Some might think this is a strange tactic, but I think it's brilliant. Instead of spending lots of brain power rationlalising and selling one idea and trying to make it perfect to increase its success, they probably spent the same amount of time creating a load of quick ideas. We've all been in that situation where clients have asked: So, can you absolutely guarantee this will be popular? And we've gone: Er, no. And I also don't know if it will rain on your holiday next year.

I think this is a great philosophy for digital solutions. If you put a kid in a room with twenty toys he's bound to be drawn to a couple of them. And you can't look desperate because only the ones that are received well make it into people's consciousness.


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