The Tour de France.
Strange as it may seem the rider who finishes last wins a kind of notoriety.
He’s awarded the title of the Red Lantern, which refers to the lights on the last car of a train.
It’s kudos for a heroic failure.
Another heroic failure is Eddie the Eagle. Michael ‘Eddie’ Edwards to be exact.
As you may know, he represented Britain in ski jumping in the 1988 Olympics.
Untrained and with no skills for flying like an eagle, Eddie often bumbled down the ski jump track to land at the end with a splat.
In spite of finishing miles behind the other jumpers he became a celebrity.
Credit that to the fact that while he had no talent, he had pluck. Tons of it.
On to poetry and The Great McGonagall, as William Topaz McGonagall was known.
He aspired to be Poet Laurate of Great Britain.
His dedication to the art of poetry was immense but he was hopeless as a writer.
Bad only begins to describe his verse.
The title, The Great McGonagall, was ironic. A glaring contradiction.
As a poet he was judged to be the worst ever.
On visiting New York in the 1880s McGonagall wrote:
Oh mighty City of New York! you are wonderful to behold,
Your buildings are magnificent, the truth be it told,
They were the only things that seemed to arrest my eye,
Because many of them are thirteen storeys high.
Call it doggerel; these lines consign McGonagall to the heroic failure category.
One more heroic failure … or a possible one.
With drinks after work recently some of us felt ad agencies could become the next heroic failures.
Certainly the agency-client relationship isn’t what it once was.
While agency CEOs aspire to be invaluable to their clients, Facebook, Google and Apple appear to be eating their dinners.
Madison Avenue could be losing ground to Silicon Valley.
As a result a number of creative people have already jumped ship from agencies to work for companies like Apple and Samsung.
Our group decided it might be smart to send a resume along to Jonathan Ive, Apple’s driving force for creativity and design.
It could turn out to be a career-saving move.
A move that could save agency creatives ending up in a splat.
Like Eddie the Eagle.