Guru in a Bottle announces online sales and marketing animation project inspired by ‘Culturematic’ thinking

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At the center of the mind of a Culturematic are an unconnected series of tiny explosions of pop culture...

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Guru in a Bottle creator Ardi Kolah

Culturematics tend to discover domains and product categories that nobody else knows exist and capture a lion’s share of value before the competition come speeding around the corner.

Guru in a Bottle announces, for all the Culturematics out there, that its demo for online sales and marketing compliance training in the form of a series of animated cartoons is shortly going into production in collaboration with Silversun Productions.

Ardi Kolah, creator of the successful Guru in a Bottle Series sold across USA, UK and India explains:

“Culturematics can make sense of stuff that at first glance looks disconnected and chaotic. For example, take the brilliantly funny Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as the Flintstones and Top Cat; the wacky ‘60s series starring Adam West as Batman with Burt Ward as Robin; the surreal and wonderful world of Captain James T Kirk and Spock in the original 70s series of Star Trek and then onto the remarkable Lou Grant with Ed Asner; the wonderful drama The Paper Chase set at Harvard Law School with John Houseman as its irascible professor and the gritty Hill Street Blues.

“For many marketers, like me, that grew up in '60s Britain, US culture started to shape our thinking in the formative years. Which is why I believe great marketers are Culturematics at heart!” he says.

The term was coined by American social anthropologist Grant McCracken, who subtitled the book of the same name as ‘How Reality TV, John Cheever, a Pie Lab, Julia Child, Fantasy Football, Burning Man, the Ford Fiesta Movement, Rube Goldberg, NFL Films, Wordle, Two and Half Men, a 10,000-Year Symphony and ROFLCon Memes Will Help You Create and Execute Breakthrough Ideas.’

At the centre of the mind of a Culturematic are an unconnected series of tiny explosions of pop culture, which Grant McCracken likes to call “experiments”. These are any of things that I mentioned at the top of this blog or indeed reside in the subtitle of McCracken’s book as well as inside your head!

A recent example is the tweets by US futurologist Bud Caddell who pretended to be a member of the mailroom in the smash TV show Mad Men. It’s quirky and brilliant and it made Bud Caddell part of the Mad Men franchise and an internet star at the same time, although it had absolutely nothing to do with the producers of the show.

In a sense Bud Caddell, Grant McCracken and many other innovative thinkers are on a journey that helps to unravel cultural meaning that we didn’t know existed. And for marketers, it’s about creating economic value that we hadn’t glimpsed.

It explains in part why marketing guru Ardi Kolah conceived The Guru character of the popular Guru in a Bottle Series of sales, marketing and law books and why he's now working on turning The Guru into a lip-synch series of animated cartoons for those who need to get to grips with sales and marketing laws and regulations without getting bored stiff in the process. According to Kolah, it's all about wanting to make online compliance training fun.

At first glance this sounds a bit counter-intuitive and even playful in the context of something as serious as sales and marketing compliance law and regulation.

But Kolah believes there’s a serious business on the back of it and why he wants to engage more carefully with these playful things. Because that’s actually where extraordinary opportunities for the discovery of value exists in today’s global economy.

His nascent business is looking to break the rules of product innovation in online legal compliance training by taking a cartoon approach with an established cartoon character.

Culturematics tend to discover domains and product categories that nobody else knows exist and capture a lion’s share of value before the competition come speeding around the corner.

It’s why Kolah is also a big fan of Unilever.

At a recent dinner Keith Weed, CMO of Unilever spoke passionately about the success of the company as the producer, not just of new products, but of new product categories, and where sustainability sits at the heart of its future global success.

For Weed, innovation runs through the veins of the company and isn’t restricted to ‘innovation hubs’ or behind closed doors, which could so easily happen in other environments, although such a silo mentality can often occur in multi-national companies the size of Unilever.

Innovation can also be completely unexpected and unplanned. And Twitter is a good case in point.

When it was originally conceived, Biz Stone and colleagues thought they were inventing something that would enable ambulance drivers to communicate with one another in the hospital in emergency situations. That was the point of the small bursts of data. They’d no idea that in fact a larger – a much, much larger community - would want to have access to these tiny bursts of communication!

Grant McCracken sums this up perfectly: “I think that’s why some of these Culturematics are so completely unpredictable. They don’t come from a corporate mentality. They don’t come from a hipster mentality. They’re just the free-play of creativity as people take on the new opportunities to create, express and disseminate their ideas.”


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Ardi Kolah
Guru in a Bottle
+44 (0)208 542 8786
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