Create/Innovate

innovcreate.jpgpic courtesy The Jamoker

What do the following words mean?

Create

Innovate

I think they mean further evidence that the traditional marketing model is still as broken as in February 2004 when Jim Stengel, Procter & Gamble’s CMO, told a room full of ad agency executives at the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Media Conference, that it was.createinnov.jpg

Create means “bring something into existence” – Old Middle English : form out of nothing from the Latin: creat (produced)

Innovate means “make changes in something established especially by introducing new methods, ideas or products” from the Latin: innovat (renewed, altered).

Yet, in my opinion, very few (if any) ‘Creative” departments bring something into existence (from nothing) – rather they find a new way of saying or showing (execution, media) something established (a brand essence, proposition etc). A new product idea or market or way of doing business from a ‘Creative’ Department or team? Sounds incongruous.

Innovation companies/consultants on the other hand, not only introduce new systems they also look for completely new products, markets, ways of interacting with consumers etc. Yet no-one asks them to come up with ‘Creative’ ideas.

There may be something in the way these words appear to have swapped meaning to some degree. Specifically, our usage of them, may indicate what must come.

Charles Handy in The Age of Unreason said that ‘words are the bugles of social change.’ Example: With the growing appeal of working at home, ‘homeworker,’ a term still redolent of arthritic spinsters knitting in dimly lit rooms, is disappearing. Such people are now ‘telecommuters.’ Similarly, now that ‘typing’ has become ‘keyboard skills,’ Handy observes, ‘everyone can learn to use (the computer) without loss of face or dignity.’

Is it time for Agencies to become Innovators and Innovators to become more creative? They both think they are already but what do the words say?

For the record, here are some other words that have changed meaning:

Artificial
This originally meant ‘full of artistic or technical skill’. Now its meaning has a very different slant.

Nice
This comes from the Latin ‘not to know’. Originally a ‘nice person’ was someone who was ignorant or unaware.

Awful
This meant ‘full of awe’ i.e. something wonderful, delightful, amazing. However, over time it has evolved to mean exactly the opposite.

Brave
This once was used to signify cowardice. Indeed, its old meaning lives on in the word ‘bravado’.

Manufacture
From the Latin meaning ‘to make by hand’ this originally signified things that were created by craftsmen. Now the opposite, made by machines, is its meaning.

Counterfeit
This once meant a perfect copy. Now it means anything but.

Prove
Originally this meant to test. The old meaning survives in the phrase ‘proving ground’.

Tell
Its original meaning was ‘to count’. Which is how we came by the term ‘bank teller’.

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