What’s bravery? Or: Why I like this campaign
Imagine you are sitting in the exam hall. You look at your sheet and someone thought it would be a good idea to ask you what bravery is. I can imagine some of those reading this post know how this continues…
Have you heard the urban legend about a student having the exact same question in one of his exams? The legend tells us he answered briefly with “This is bravery.” and simply returned his exam sheet…
The consequences ruin the story for me. It was marked with a C by one examiner and considered a big fail by the other. In the German marking system that would have meant a D.
Does that make you wonder? How fair was that mark? If bravery meant to define the word and describe situations where bravery comes to surface, then, I believe, it would not be what we understand it to be. It must have taken a person to be very brave to jeopardize an exam like that. And isn’t being a brave kid all about taking risks?
However, it is questionable why a person would want to play with fire in an exam situation. There must be some kind of relationship between being brave and being stupid one could think…
Diesel must have thought so for sure. That Italian denim devil has managed to create my current favourite campaign: Be Stupid. Apparently it is OK (or fashionable?) to be stupid and hell yes, there is this relationship I am talking about. It is mentioned in every print advert around. I see it on posters in town or spread throughout 1-3 pages in the good magazines. They make it clear:
Smart may have the brains, but stupid has the balls.
Smart critiques, stupid creates.
Smart has the plans, stupid has the stories.
Great copywriting work and whoever did it was indeed stupid at some point in their life. The good thing is, it is encouraging younger generations to be less serious. Then again, this being a good thing is questionable. Everything in moderation, please. With a campaign like that we wonder why we stopped being obsessed with Diesel clothing sometime in 2007. This couldn’t have been just the case for me. Great comeback for sure.
What mark would that legendary person get for their bravery 10 years from now? Will that tendency towards chilling out about stuff ever have an effect on guidelines in schools? Either way we wish they gave him an A… how much better could one describe bravery? And how much better and more encouraging would that ending have made the story!