The earth is a sphere. Well, that was the prevailing thought for the past 500 years, and it still is. But in the near past, a movement has risen claiming that we live on a flat earth. Some agree upon a disc-shaped Earth, while some are convinced the Earth is diamond-shaped. But they all agree on the earth being flat. Because if it wasn’t, why would buildings that are on the horizon and very far away still be visible? Why wouldn’t the ocean curve down? One of our Creative Directors told us that creatives must have some kind of delusional optimism. No matter if you agree or disagree with flat-earthers, you have to give credit for their creativity and for their optimism.
Before the physicists among you split me in atoms, let me explain why I think there might be some truth in what they are saying. This truth is obviously not literal, but more figurative. I think flat earthers are being far more philosophical than they are aware.
Dissecting the Culture
If you ask me, the earth has indeed been feeling more and more flat. Cultures are disappearing because of globalisation, technology, climate change and many more reasons. While they disappear, they take a lot of valuable knowledge with them. When we were born, almost 6000 languages were spoken on Earth. Now almost half of those languages have disappeared or are at the risk of disappearing.
Of course, some of this is inevitable, and for the better. A culture can and may want to change the way they do things to move forward. We’re not entitled to complain about cultures disappearing or changing when people move on to perhaps more comfortable lives. The herders in Mongolia for example, who form one of the planet’s last nomadic cultures have started moving into more urban areas. Harsher winters have made their lives incredibly hard. No matter if they change or stay the same, the richness of these cultures teaches us something. They teach us that there are other ways of being and thinking.
“When you travel from New York City to Istanbul, or from Amsterdam to Doha, I can guarantee you one thing. You’ll be able to get a coffee from your coffee brand and a burger from your fast-food brand.”ERSEM ERCIL
When you travel from New York City to Istanbul, or from Amsterdam to Doha, I can guarantee you one thing. You’ll be able to able to get a coffee from your coffee brand and a burger from your fast-food brand. You’ll be able to buy luxury clothing and of course to navigate the way to your resort using your smartphone. Speaking of coffee and fast-food brands… It took Starbucks 47 years to get into Italy. There are countries where McDonalds won’t operate because it would be more expensive than local fast food. These are interesting examples of where cultures and brands clash. But they don’t have to clash.
Here the responsibility comes to us creatives, our agencies and our industry. To speak for the creatives, we have the power of storytelling, and the power of empathy on our side. We’re able to add humanity to brands, and sometimes help brands do things that impact the world for the better. To speak for the agencies and our industry, this is where the power of diversity and inclusivity comes to life. There’s not only one kind of creativity. And not only one perspective on the world is valid. If we only attract all these people with different perspectives and genuinely believe in this pluralistic approach, imagine all the other perspectives on creativity we will learn from collectively.