Babita Baruah
Jul 04, 2012

Babita’s Blog: Unthink. Unlook. Act.

Babita Baruah, vice president and client services director, JWT Delhi, says first reactions can be incredibly powerful

Babita’s Blog: Unthink. Unlook. Act.


Look before you leap.

Think before you act.

Don’t cry over spilt milk.

Can think of lots more of these honed and drilled into my mind.

By mom, by neighbours, teachers, elders. Even bosses and colleagues at work.

We have grown up to believe that actions post deliberations are the best actions.

That thinking till all thoughts have been churned and re-churned gives us that Eureka moment.

Maybe it’s time to Unthink.

Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink’ talks about the wonderful power of Rapid Cognition.

The first two seconds where we jump to conclusions.

The power of thin-slicing.

Believe it or not, it does have quite an impact.

The first reaction that happens in the blink of an eye, the instantaneous impressions are often the ones which are the most powerful.

 Emerging from years of experiences which join dots on their own.

Untainted by opinions, fears, insecurities, nervousness, outguessing, Net browsing and reams and reams of data which may not always be contextual.

So relevant when it comes to our work.

Reactions to strategy. To a piece of communication. Or to an idea which seems almost unreal at first.

Like serial killers, we sometimes methodically dissect and carve away, and look back proudly at the outcome. Or look around the room to get a feel of how others are reacting, which way the river is flowing, and then voice our views.

Coolly ignoring that voice inside us that screams - say what YOU feel.

Which are the best pieces of work we have created?

I can safely bet that most  times they are the ones when it was required overnight.  Competitive reactions, categories that do not have the luxury of twelve weeks timelines are the ones that are throwing up some of the most exciting and insightful work today.

The more time we have , the more we veer towards Conscious Decision making.

Does it mean we accept whatever is served up to us?

No. It only means we also learn to listen to our immediate reaction, along with our knowledge of the consumer and the market.  In fact, if we have a first hand feel of our consumer, get under her skin, our “instant” reaction will definitely be something that works for her. That’s where the gut feel comes from.

Democratising decisions  lead to that disease of Analysis Paralysis.

Makes us tick boxes.

But not tick consumer hearts.

Because, like it or not, consumers happen to react from the gut.

Whether it is to our brand.

Or our idea.

The views expressed are the author's independent views as an ad professional and do not reflect the organisation's viewpoint.

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