Is being “stupid” worth the risk?

I know I’m late to this party, but today Diesel’s “Be Stupid” campaign popped into my head. Diesel’s latest campaign has had a mixed reception: On the positive side, Ken Carbone says, “Twisted logic aside, I agree with the basic premise that risk and failure can be enormously energizing, if not essential, to the creative process,” but others ask, “Why would I want to buy a company that believes in stupidity?”

The whole campaign got me thinking about the risks you take in order to succeed. From the series, this ad in particular spoke to me, because it’s true – anyone can be a critic, but it takes a bit of pride-swallowing and risk-taking to create something all your own and put it out there for others to critique.

A lot of people write about this, and in my eyes, many of them have already succeeded: They’re contributing. They are putting themselves out there. You really can’t criticize other people’s efforts when you don’t have any to show for yourself.

This is a pretty big leap for someone like me, a bit of a perfectionist who has trouble accepting mistakes. But I’m going to come right out and say it: I think stupid is a good thing. Risks are a good thing. Writing on this blog and contributing my own opinion on others’ has been a risky but rewarding endeavor.

Putting this blog up was a good first step for me, but sticking with it was quite another. I feel really lucky to have a group to hold myself accountable to, because it’s making my dedication to this – something I’ve wanted to do for a while – much greater.

I’m not writing this because I feel attacked, or because I feel I can’t take unwarranted criticism. Today that campaign popped into my head and for all the alternating criticism/praise it’s received, I think Diesel gained a ton more brand awareness than a simple campaign about which people have no opinion and never think again.

So what’s your opinion on the Diesel campaign? Love it? Hate it?


One response to “Is being “stupid” worth the risk?

  1. Better late than never! I agree 100% with you that Diesel succeeded with this campaign. Whenever the campaign was brought up it was talked about and not in a “OMG did u see what they did” way. Instead, it was in a “Hmmm, whats your take on being called stupid.” It provoked thought and thoughtful discussion which is something you don’t often see as a result of a campaign.

    I personally absolutely love the Diesel campaign and wrote about it for the #28 Day Challenge a couple weeks ago – – Great post and I look forward to seeing more of your work. Its crazy to think that the 28 days are about to come to an end…

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