Come to the edge 2

Further to my previous post; I came across a video of Kevin Roberts of Saatchi and Saatchi addressing a gathering in Wellington. His topic is along the lines of givng Wellington the edge.

Here's an extract that resonates with me and is consistent with the views I expressed last night, tinkering at the margins is not the same as going out to the edge. He refers to the campaign slogan of Labour at the last election - 'You're better off with Labour'. No doubt the creative genius who came up with that line felt pretty darned clever at his/her use of loaded double entendre but, in fact it is a poodle of a line that expresses a King Charles spaniel of an idea. It hardly makes you want to man the barricades. It reminds me of the line for some tourist destination or other who announced "It's all right here". Ummm...I think you get my drift.

"The conundrum is that Wellington is the capital city; “contentedness is a problem for a capital; where is the burning platform? The challenge for Wellington is to radicalize the public sector. I’m talking about the difference between policy wonk and policy passionista. We have to radicalize the culture of incrementalism. It’s time to light the beacons of Gondor. There needs to be a rebellion against the prevailing orthodoxy of civil service. To be successful, companies have to create organic growth of 4-6%, year in, year out. That takes creative combustion that travels to customers at warp speed. It’s important for New Zealand to have a peak performing government sector, because it comprises about 40% of our economic activity. This is Wellington’s #1 job. All along The Terrace there should be outrageous goals that absolutely lift performance. Strategies, reports, plans and platforms are survival table stakes. Action comes from the “I” words – Imagination, Insight, Intuition, Inspiration and Ignition. One revolution beats a hundred resolutions. It starts with language…all revolution starts with language. Wellington is The Heart of the Edge of the World. That’s a hell of a draw card…here where the world starts.”

The comment about 4-6% growth made me chuckle quietly in recognition. I recall sitting around a table with my partners in the Idealog venture discussing subscriptions.

Seasoned publishing tyro:"It would be good to have 5,000 subscribers."
Novice (me):"Why 5,000?"
Seasoned publishing tyro:"Because that's a good number - what Unlimited had at its peak."
Novice:(Channeling the great spirit of Leo Burnett: Reach for the stars and you won't come up with a handful of mud....)"Let's shoot for 15,000".

Mr Roberts speech is here
(uses some closed loop proprietary video - so can't embed, sorry).

The text version is here.

The Edge blog is terrific. I like it better than the site.


  1. Anonymous8:34 pm

    So what is Idealog's circulation now? And do you see Unlimited as the main competition in that space?

  2. I'm not sure of Idealog's current circulation. The magazine seems to be doing very well. I am not involved in the operation of the magazine. get more info on Idealog here

    As for Unlimited - I don't read it. After a flurry of promise it submerged into being a dull, self important general business magazine.
    Just an opinion.

    The danger for media brands is that they lose focus and migrate to the centre and lose their plot and promise. It's tough in the New Zealand media environment.

    Idealog hasn't suffered that fate yet - the team are producing a terrific product that is well liked.

    My remark really is about the key point of shooting low is an easy mistake to make - and endemic.

    Jerry Garcia of the grateful dead summed it up when he said - 'Don't be the best at what you do, be the only one who does it'. Benchmarking against an low mark is too easy.


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