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Introduction – Miles Young

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Introduction – Miles Young

This work salutes risk-taking. But how does one appraise courage in our business, that courage which is the prerequisite of taking a risk? It's been a question which has bedevilled client-agency discussions forever, as each side tries to interpret the concept, often in very different ways. Fortunately, we have a new judge, a new jury and a new set of rules. It's the social internet and it delivers its verdict each day.

Studies of what makes people share on the internet suggest that it is all about heightened emotions. Emotional arousal has a disinhibitory effect which encourages sharing. It is also linked to a sense of the totally unexpected. As one study puts it, "The key emotional driver of sharing turned out to be surprise."

This year we produced a number of examples of surprising and emotionally charged work which have been shared massively. They created "ripples of joy"—a social manifestation of emotion that, in fact, mimics the therapeutic process itself. Not all content is like this. Over 48 hours of video go up on YouTube every minute; only a tiny percent spreads. The vast majority is inert, bland and unshared. By contrast, in the last year, it has been absolutely clear to me that the really superlative work—which has spread like fire as a result of millions of people's individual actions—has all come out of collective acts of courage, jointly undertaken and committed to by client and agency.

This work is, much more than any of its predecessors, a celebration of how viscerally powerful it is to enable emotion through courage.

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Miles Young

Worldwide Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

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