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Everything Is Connected

by Patrick McNerthney

It’s possible to have a great idea for a product, service or way to help make things better, and then have it go absolutely nowhere. 

For example, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve suggested we rearrange our living room with the primary goal of creating space for a bigger television. It’s perfectly logical – we have the area available on the wall I’m targeting, with a power source nearby. Sure, we’d lose some furniture (and thus seating), and create a huge empty space in another corner when the current TV comes down, but it’s totally worth it.

(Like this but way, way bigger.)

Okay, that’s obviously just an example from my personal life. Failed ideas happen to big corporations all the time too. 

Do you remember New Coke in the 80’s? Coca Cola was doing just fine, although they were really scared of Pepsi’s growing popularity (and increasing market share). So they decided to introduce a new formula for Coke, cleverly named “New Coke” (it tasted okay, it was just sweeter). 

Since the Coke-loving public wasn’t asking for a new formula, but rather had this one kind of forced on them, New Coke failed miserably, despite people’s universal, relentless desire to consume sugary beverages. It also failed miserably because it turns out their loyal followers were actually offended by New Coke. It’s been described as one of the biggest marketing failures of all time.  

(Disaster!)

(Although it’s distinctly possible all of the media attention Coke received about the gaffe made this launch a success in terms of generating brand awareness. No such thing as “bad publicity?”)

The point is this: The success of an idea is not just dependent on the idea itself but also on the environment and culture in which the idea is introduced. 

  • I want a bigger TV (good idea!), but the environment in which I want to do this is limited, and thus to do so would come at the cost of losing seating space and creating a weird empty void in the room. 
  • Coke wanted to introduce a new product to fight off a competitor (good idea), but by using the tactic of changing the formula they offended the culture of their biggest, sugar-swilling fans. 

This can easily be further explained by the entertainment world, a.k.a. movies and TV shows. If you look up any year we experienced an economic downturn, depression or another slog we had to endure, you’ll find films and shows focused on fantasy and escape. Pretty simple psychology: When times are hard, we aren’t really entertained by watching hard times.

(And when times are good, all those crazy disaster and monsters- who-eat-cities movies come out. Weird!)

(I didn’t want to put a scary photo of Godzilla here and this one cracked me up.)

This brings us to today. As we look at what’s thriving right now while so many people wrestle with the pandemic, you’ll notice many things that have taken off have been fantasy and escape-oriented, at least in the entertainment world. So you may get further with a message that rides this wave.

Yes, people are responding to things that allow them to experience being someplace else

So what’s this mean for those of us working to serve the most vulnerable during the pandemic – the elderly, children with challenges and adults with developmental disabilities? 

(I didn’t want to put a scary photo of Godzilla here and this one cracked me up.)

It may seem crazy, but if you recognize the patterns that are currently working for others (even if it’s Hollywood!), you may be able to incorporate them into your own work. Ultimately, figuring out how to help your loved ones and those you care for escape, during a time when they can’t go anywhere, is a great idea.

At Fine Art Miracles we believe creative expression is a great way for underserved populations to escape the constraints of social isolation. Exploring artists like Franz Marc, expressing creativity through Art Therapy, and reveling in the joy found in Dance & Movement Therapy allows those under your care to bond with something compelling: The power of art to unleash self-expression, reveal mastery, increase self-esteem, and create an escape from our surroundings. 

Please check out our programs! They may be just the tools you need to help those who need it most, take an amazing journey.     

If you’d like to learn more about how Fine Art Miracles can help you help others during these challenging times, please reach out! We’re more than happy to help!  

That’s it for now–I have to get back to measuring my wall for that TV – and shopping for some replacement furniture.