Monday morning. Everybody in the office storms off their doors.
Nervousness forms a thick, grey, ominous cloud.
Hidden looks are exchanged with extra care not to be seen.
But we all know it. A campaign was rejected.
Contrary to the expectations, Ogilvy Malta people put their sense of humour into action.
Some of us bring into play the non-infamous Second World War slogan ‘Keep calm and carry on’ that was retrieved in a bookshop in 2000.
The less well-known ones – ‘ Your cheerfulness, your resolution will bring us victory’ and the ‘Freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might’ do not provoke the creative explosions like the one with the ‘calmness’ in it.
Accidentally, I spot it above the desk of my colleague A.
I hear her kindly, melodiously and colourfully cursing in Spanish.
1. Keep calm and curse in Spanish. (a pinch of oxymoron-ism)
My immediate reaction is:
2. Keep calm? (two sips of the Bulgarian unsettled mind)
The other collegues seemed to:
3. Keep calm and keep browsing.
4. Keep calm with an advertising psalm.
What causes now inner – unrest is the reason for which ‘Keep calm and carry on’ created such a boom of imaginative ideas. Moreover, why the first bit of it is almost always preserved even in the innumerable parodies? Why Amazon lists 442, 000 items with this exact caption?
It must inspire people. And maybe they also perceive it as a voice out of history that still resonates with their everyday ‘wars’.
Suddenly it springs to mind: war and patience are intertwined.
Remember ‘The Art of War’ written by the impeccable Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu?
‘Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy – this is the art of self-possession’.
So ‘crisis’, ‘war’ evokes this feeling of an urgent need for self-control and calmness.
‘War and Peace’ advise us similarly: ‘The strongest of all warriors are these two – Time and Patience.’
The ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’ movement seems like nothing else but an attempt of people to be more stable and at the height of their powers every day.
This is the secret of the two-and-a-half million copies that hadn’t reached the public until recently.
It is also the philosophy of the turtle Kemp’s ridley, which is critically endangered from extinction.
Likewise our patience capacity …