CxC (the culture and commerce exchange)

This is a note for people who are visiting this blog as a result of the conversation I just had with Jack Conte of Pomplamoose.


Jack and I were noting three things:

1.  The world of commerce (specifically ad agencies and corporations) need a new kind of meaning for advertising and marketing campaigns.  What they need are hand crafted or artisanal meanings.

2.  The world of culture is filled with lots of cultural producers capable of producing these artisanal meanings.

3.  The world needs is some exchange that specializes in matchmaking, bring these two parties together. 

The question is: who is going to build this exchange?

At a minimum, it takes a team of people who canvas two groups, the advertisers on the one hand, the cultural producers on the other.

Would love to hear thoughts and comments below.

Thanks again to Jack for the chat!

Thanks also to Leora Kornfeld who invented the "CxC" formula several years ago.  

15 thoughts on “CxC (the culture and commerce exchange)

  1. Brad

    I don’t see how this can exist for long. I’m not against artists of any kind making money off of their art. I am against them making a little bit of money while a corporation takes the lion’s share though. I’m also against a third party making any kind of decisions on what an artist can create, which is what i inevitably see happening in this scenario when they need a certain kind of song for this “ad x” that they’ve already pumped so much money into that it becomes cheaper for them to drop the unwilling artist and hire a jingle-writer. that’s what i would not want to happen. If there’s a way that the artist can do whatever they want and the company will work with them then that’s perfect, but it seems like an art-corporation-money idea is just an idea. A pipe dream.

    1. Grant Post author

      Bradley, thanks, I think that would be one of the advantage of an exchange. I think there is a way, as you say. Artists do what they do. It’s up to the Exchange to find the client who can use what they do. And then it’s “take it or leave.” The client uses the artist”s work “as is” or not at all. The way Hyundai worked with Pomplamoose. In a way, the exchange is an “airlock.” The artists doesn”t have to deal with the client. The client can’t “get it” the artist.

  2. John McCreery

    Grant, how different is this from the job that creative directors do all the time when they assemble teams to work on
    ad campaigns, choosing particular writers, illustrators, photographers, cameramen or film directors for the distinct look
    and feel they are supposed to bring to a campaign?

    1. Grant Post author

      John, good point, but I think there is a difference. These writers, illustrators, etc. are working to the express direction of the agency. Whereas in the exchange they are doing what they do, and its up to the exchange to play match maker.

  3. Jonathan H

    What are the differenced between this and say, a freelancing website? A long time deal?

    1. Grant Post author

      Jonathan, sorry, I’m not following, that is a freelance website, if I catch your meaning. Best, Grant

  4. Jonathan H

    Forget my previous question. I’ll take this from a different vantage.

    What do you see the ‘exchange’ entity being? A website, a company, a mutual group of people?

    1. Grant Post author

      Jonathan, thanks! This exchange would be a group of people who stood at the crossroads, connecting culture creators with culture, um, communicators. They would be neither a creator or a communicator, just a go-between connecting one with the other. This is the firm that would have said to Hyundai, “oh, so you want some music, this tone, this feeling, this kind of thing. Well, you have several options. For instance, Pomplamoose…”

  5. Andy Glover

    This is a very interesting discussion. I find that when there is a match to be made, in any sense, any situation, it happens organically. The business with the faithful, positive, creative outlook will have an easier time connecting with the right creative minds to give their project the right touch. Running a business can benefit from creativity as much as art does, for this very reason, among many others. But I am no businessman… I am an artist. Personally, I would love to see something like this come about… Matching great art with great resources. Something based on core values is what comes to mind. Matching an artist with a corporation that holds the same values in high regard are sure to get along famously, and enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. This could be the future of the music industry– one in which my involvement would carry no shame.

    1. Grant Post author

      Andy, agree entirely, except of course if people don’t know of one another the organic connection cannot happen. It takes a yenta! Grant

      1. Andy Glover

        Well, I wouldn’t say it cannot happen — this is where the mysterious magic of life comes into play! Strange coincidences, synchronicity, blind luck, and all that business about any one person being within 7 degrees of separation from any other. (What can I say? I’m a believer!) But a service to facilitate this connection would speed up the process to a great degree! What form that will take has yet to be seen. But after reading the book “Tribal Leadership” (highly recommended) I would love to see something that takes core values into consideration. An eHarmony type of tool for connecting artists with those that have the resources, and are ready to invest in something that they consider to be valuable!

        1. grant mccracken

          Andy, well said, that’s what we are looking at is more systematic synchronicity. I have a friend who as a child complained one morning to her mom that there was nothing to do. And her mom said, well look, your father has taken all the other kids into the city, so you can do anything you want! So my friend wander aimlessly for awhile and then decided to make a stick house. She drew the lines of a house (the kind kids do, in out line, with a swirl of smoke coming out of the chimney and then she filledin all these lines with sticks. And then she went to bed. The next morning she got up and discovered her house was blown to bits. “Mom,” she cried, “they destroyed my house!” And her mother said, “well, no actually, your dad and everyone is still in the city…” And when they investigated, they discovered that the “house” had a rock the size of a can of ham buried in the middle of it. Her mother said away a sample to the university of Connecticut and was told that the rock in the garden was a meteor. That’s what we are hoping for here, finding a way to direct the gods, so that lightening (and good fortune) lands hereinstead of here. We are drawing houses in the dirt. Landing instructions!

          1. Andy Glover

            That is a beautiful story– and one we can all learn from. Dad really has taken the kids into the city so to speak… It seems all this looming fear of war, economic downturn, and distrust in public policy has called for a whole generation of new creative minds to grow into fruition, a renaissance of sorts. Maybe I’m just getting older and my eyes are opening to it, or maybe it’s a cycle, but whatever the case may be, an effort to put this creative energy to its most beneficial use is truly a very exciting thing.

  6. John Banks

    Grant, a fascinating topic and great questions.

    It provokes me to ask, aren’t you talking about entrepreneurship and
    the entrepreneurial function (connecting and so on) in the context of the
    creative industries. Connecting these areas and ‘seeing what happens’ and
    what value is generated reminds me of David Stark’s book The Sense of
    Dissonance (Princton University Press, 2009).

    Stark (an economic sociologist and ethnographer) argues that innovation
    and entrepreneurship increasingly involve bringing together apparently
    incommensurate value regimes and by “maintaining an ongoing ambiguity
    among the coexisting principles” (xiv). He goes on to
    suggest that “… entrepreneurship is the ability to keep multiple
    principles of evaluation in play and to benefit from that productive
    friction” (6). Stark’s book offers many fascinating ideas and insights
    about the organisational forms this might take, which he describes as
    heterarchy. Well worth a careful read and might be helpful in thinking
    through the questions that you raise.

    1. Grant Post author

      John, thank you for the Stark reference. I know some of his work but didn’t know of this book. Fantastic. Have you seen Roger Martin’s book the Opposable Mind which argues that people in the world of business have to learn to hold opposing ideas in mind at the same time. Ordering Stark now! Thanks again. Grant

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