I caught the story last week that Brenton Bock, a local advertising executive, had floated a new ‘big idea’ for Adelaide: a giant maze with restaurant in the south parklands.
I wouldn’t mind wandering through the maze, especially if its layout was easily changeable to keep it fresh.
But what really piqued my interest was the largescale treatment the story got.
And that’s when I stumbled upon the formula and have now been able to predict the next one.
The new tradition of Brenton Bock stories
For journalist-starved news outlets, there is something attractive in having flamboyant ideas proposed by a ‘businessman”, especially ideas that lend themselves to interesting graphics.
When Brenton first came upon our radars earlier this year, his idea was to build large letters in the Adelaide Hills to spell the word Adelaide in the style of the Hollywood sign in California.
The Advertiser had a field day.
The latest story, a little less flamboyant but certainly topical, has focussed on the large maze in the reportedly ‘barren’ south parklands.
This time, The Advertiser was able to flesh out:
- A story
- A big picture
- A poll tying Brenton’s two ideas together
- A pot shot at the Adelaide City Council
This is manna from heaven in the game of getting conversation going and some tempers flared.
But the clue to the next big idea comes from the maze story.
Big idea formula: Look for things already out there and modify them
The story last week reported Brenton saying Adelaide needed more creative ideas and he has committed to two ‘big ones’ every year.
You can almost hear the editors salivating at the prospect.
But it is a particular style of creativity.
It works like this:
- The Adelaide sign was a reproduction of the Hollywood sign.
- The giant maze was a modification of ‘Hawaii’s giant pineapple plantation maze’.
And so the code is cracked. Find something being done elsewhere, modify it and media chatter is yours.
Stand by for Don The Redeemer
My suggestion is that it will be a modification of Brazil’s Christ The Redeemer statue placed somewhere between the TV towers on Mount Lofty.
It has a lot going for it:
- Don Dunstan was a man who created some political and social miracles in his time (and who also had enemies who wanted to ‘crucify’ him)
- Don Dunstan was a man who was proud to stand tall
- Don’s shorts-wearing pose would allow the statue to have rock climbing paraphernalia up and down the legs to create the hairy look while also satiating demand for new fitness activities for Adelaide’s Mount Lofty active set
So, stand by for that story in your headlines next March/April.