Nobody ever got famous in advertising by sticking their head in the sand.
On the contrary, the most successful practitioners are those who have their antennae constantly up, picking up interesting conversations, tuning in to enlightening behaviour, gleaning tidbits of consumer data and making note of cultural buzz.
Insight is what makes you good at this game. Insight translates to ideas that resonate with people in places where they are most responsive.
Insight comes from paying attention.
I have been asked many times how I continue to find topics for blog posts and my answer is simply that I have my antennae up. So I pick up signals.
Keith Richards once famously claimed that he deserved no credit for creating some of the greatest riffs of modern rock. He said he merely had his antennae up and therefore picked up the riffs that were already floating out there.
Of course he was higher than a kite when he said it, but there is something to it.
Similarly, when I was on a tiger safari in India some years ago I asked my guide how to spot a tiger. He said: “You look for them. That is the key.”