Flies Make Airports Cleaner And Wealthier

Posted on December 6, 2006



The insight behind this brilliant idea is that almost all men consciously or subconsciously will aim at something while draining their lizards if there is something to aim at. It won’t matter if the draining business is conducted in the rest room or out in the great wide open. Men will make anything within range a target, aim at it and shoot.  

This insight made a Swedish airport paint centrally placed, true-to-life flies in their cans. The results were amazing. The amount of cleaning liquids used was reduced by as much as 40% and the airport was also able to reduce the amount of cleaners. The cost savings were dramatic. The Bob Geldoff of advertising, Rob Campbell mentioned this in a workshop a couple of weeks ago when we were in Thailand together. Last week, I discovered the flies had flown all the way to Changi Airport in tropical Singapore, which is where I took a shot at one of them [insight validation].  

This got me thinking about something directly related to this. When people see and hear about this, they’ll say: “What a great idea….and it’s so simple”. People always say that the best ideas are the simple ones. My contention is that there is nothing simple about this or any other good/brilliant ideas. People are confusing simple with good. When we say simple ideas, we really mean good ideas, don’t we? We mean ideas that work. How could a complex idea be good? What is a complex idea in the first place? If something is complex, it’s not an idea, is it?

Posted in: Planning-related