Mythbuster: The idea that we learn best from success

Les Binet and Sarah Carter

Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like the idea that we learn best from success.

Recently, we found ourselves at the IPA 'Eff Fest', a celebration of all things related to advertising effectiveness. Professor Paddy Barwise from London Business School in one session showed a collection of social media case studies. The cases were interesting he said, but would be even more interesting if they were about failures. Because we learn so much more from failure than from success.

Much as we value effectiveness case studies, we agree. And in that spirit, let us offer a case study of our own.

Once upon a time, a group of clever agency people had a great new idea for promoting an FMCG brand. It essentially was a price promotion, but was delivered in a cool, new digital way. The client loved the idea too, and pretty soon, software developers were hacking through the night to get the thing ready for the brand's peak season.