Thursday, November 29, 2007

Meric Kara and the spirit of Benetton

We all have ideas. Ideas we dream could make us a fortune or change the way the world thinks about catching mice. Of course having ideas is one thing, having great ideas is another, and then doing something with the idea, let’s not even go there! In my travels, I have found that some places generate ideas better than others. There is something about the atmosphere, the attitude, the environment, that charges them with energy and creativity. One such place is Fabrica, the research center of Benetton. This is a company that has never flinched from a great idea and has always been very supportive of anyone who needs to put creativity at the heart. I think that some of this unique spirit comes through in the words of Luciano Benetton in The Lovemarks Effect. Luciano invited me to work with some of the remarkable students at Fabrica and I came away inspired by their focus, passion and crazy ideas. I guess that is why it seemed right to find that the very smart, very funny object pictured above was the work of Fabrica designer Meric Kara. Here is someone who sees the world differently to you and me but still connects with high impact, high emotion images and objects. Her two-necked Heineken bottle certainly made me laugh and inspired me to reach for a regular one when I had the chance. It’s fashionable to say that “ideas can come from anywhere” and to a degree it’s true. But great ideas come from the hearts and hands of very special people like Meric Kara. The rest of her work is terrific too. I’d put it right into the Lovemarks quadrant on the Love/Respect Axis.