Stimulated by diversity; planning in a round-about way


I know a lot of planners generate ideas through reading stimulus that is characterised by its obliquity (some would say irrelevance) to the subject directly at hand. But I’ve just caught myself working along a train of thought that has leapt from a problem in a brief I’m tackling to remembering a point made by Millward Brown in a presentation 3 years ago, to a search online for 3 TV ads from 1974 – 2010 to the point I’ve just reached.

The names below:

Ian Feighery
Sam Baker
Michael Mayne
‘Milky’ Harris
Peter Rowe
Paul Lyttle
Anthony Walker

Who are they? Well there is a clue in there somewhere. These are the names of all the actors who played The Milky Bar Kid from 1961 to the present day. At least I think that’s all of them.

The thing I never quite understand is why, by travelling through a circuitous route, I arrive upon the answer to my problem quicker than if I attack it directly. My current problem to solve has nothing to do with Milky Bars. But that 2 minute diversionary journey allowed me to identify a solution to the problem.

I wonder if chocolate bars provide the solution to all problems? Perhaps a field test is called for?

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