Zosia Kilpatrick: Tapping into the unconscious of the collective consciousness

Zosia Kilpatrick: Tapping into the unconscious of the collective consciousness

By Zosia Kilpatrick, Copywriter, 303 MullenLowe


It’s Saturday night. I’m in bed with a kelpie called Auggy. And some Arnica cream for my now nana back. I’ve just finished watching the new Baz Luhrmann film ‘Elvis’. Picking up my phone, I’m soon lost in an Austin Butler wormhole. So completely consumed by my phone, I don’t even notice when Auggy lets one rip…right in my face. Using one hand I absentmindedly try to wave away the stench, whilst my other continues to scroll through pictures of Austins’ model girlfriend’s hungry butt. Reaching down I unconsciously squeeze my own…as the dog squeezes his. Luckily, I’m saved by this app I’ve installed to monitor my screen time. It blocks me. But was I blocking myself?

There are worse wormholes people have fallen into. ‘Men wearing dive helmets playing accordions’ for instance. My point being, I’m not the only one installing apps to monitor my screen time. Or trying to sleep with my phone in another room. I know someone who even restarted their ancient Nokia, just to get a break. There are already whispers on the wind of a change in our smartphone-reliant culture. The question is; what role do marketers have to play?

Cue Client. This particular client came to us with a problem that wasn’t that dissimilar to my own. They wanted tourists who visited Esperance to disconnect from their phones so they could reconnect with nature and each other. But how to promote a place if no one can post about it? Stumped, myself and the 303-team started chatting about our own experiences with social media. We quickly realised we all had the same desire to disconnect. So, we decided to give Perthians what we all needed; a break from their phones. We turned Rahnee Bransby into an ‘Unfluencer’ and sent her to Esperance not to post, encouraging others to follow, or should I say unfollow. Needing to disconnect, I decided to do it too. Banning myself from any more wormholes, ‘Tummy Sleeping Pros and Cons’, quilted vests and ‘Cool things you can do with ice cubes’ included, I began living my campaign like the method actor I most certainly am not.

Fast forward a month, give or take, and whilst I hadn’t made it all the way to Esperance, I’d made it to Mettams pool at 5.30am for a surf – no stories included. I hadn’t checked my Instagram in weeks. But I’d played more songs on piano than I had in the past ten years. And ideas, well I kept finding them everywhere. First thoughts, fourth thoughts, just all the thoughts. I presented a concept to a client in which I sang my way through three scripts. I wrote my boss a rap. I really did do this. I also felt a lot less anxious. Even my ‘Take Phase’ didn’t end in tears. When I ate that entire packet of Venetians, there was no steady stream of skinny influencers to make me feel bad about it. I’d managed to turn my wannabe-hungry-butt into a happy one.

Fast forward another month, give or take, and instead of being on the socials I’m out socialising. At La Lune with some friends, three delicious gratins deep, someone then started talking about the Esperance campaign. Disclaimer: This was a ‘comms civilian’. They were completely unaware of my work. But they knew about this unshareable campaign, and were sitting there, sharing it. Another ‘comms civilian’ then mentioned they’d heard about it too. Everyone was soon talking about doing a social detox and planning our next surf trip to Esperance.

What’s my point? That we need to become method actors and buy Nokias? Unfortunately not. I think the takeaway, for me anyway, is that an understanding of the subtle shift in values that are occurring all around us is crucial to the success of our work.

Reading books like James Clear’s ‘Atomic Habits’, Johann Hari’s ‘Stolen Focus’, even ‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle could be a good start. Books that help us understand the newest of the new ideas that people are starting to adopt. Or exploring the SubReddits of SubReddits of SubReddits in the darkest spaces of the web, if only to get the complete picture. Also, enjoying more art. There’s no better exploration of the ever-evolving human condition than a NGV exhibition or Force Majeure performance. And what about having deeper, more meaningful conversations about, well, just being human? I think it’s only then that we can really start tapping into the unconscious of the collective consciousness. The thoughts that people don’t even realise they’re having.

As always, we’re going to need to be brave. Frontiers are dangerous places, especially if they’re in our minds. But together with our clients, an open heart, a little lateral thinking, and maybe even an experiment or two, we can create work that really matters. Baz did it. So in the name of truth, beauty and love…why can’t we?