The country has been asking the same question since 2016. From the binary remain / leave, to the equally binary yes / no vote last week, we’ve been stuck on a Brexit loop. Original solutions are found in curious questioning, so as the 29th of March approaches, we should hope that government has some curious, new questions on this tired, old topic.
It’s well documented that curiosity fuels creativity. Artists and scientists alike credit it with inspiring breakthrough ideas. According to the genius of Albert Einstein “the important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing”.
It is, therefore, sad to see a 35% drop in UK adults who self-identify as “curious” over the past 12 months ₁. As the nation cuts ties with EU, it appears we are becoming more insular as individuals too. But as with any trend, some brands want to challenge this drift. These brands are instead provoking curiosity in the present.
In December, Google’s Curiosity Rooms set a new benchmark for branded events. The festival of ideas inspired Londoners through a host of talks and workshops from thought leaders in fields as diverse as design, feminism and comedy.
No stranger to stimulating OOH executions, the Economist also provoked thought last week. Their “never stop questioning” installation at Victoria Station printed out questions on a series of topics and debates covered by the title to encourage commuters to continue questioning.
Netflix even encouraged curiosity in a space normally reserved for passivity. The latest Black Mirror episode, “Bandersnatch”, allowed viewers to pick their own version of events at critical moments. It also scratched the curious “what if?” itch, with many viewers retracing their decisions to follow parallel universe plotlines.
Fortunately, we don’t live in a Charlie Brooker series… but this does mean that we won’t get an opportunity to retrace Brexit negotiations. But, let’s hope that the country’s curiosity hasn’t been killed yet.