Space Doctors were invited to present as part of a “Semiotics Funfair”, at the Esomar Congress in Nice this September, presenting as part of a team with other agencies including Lawes Gadsby and The Lab.  As the overall theme of the conference was “What Inspires”, the brief for the funfair was to provide insight in to how the idea of inspiration is constructed in popular culture and brand communication and to do this in a way that was involving and fun for attendees.

The team laid out 7 different ways that inspiration tends to be framed and understood today, whether that be in the personalities of Oprah Winfrey or Steve Jobs or within communication from brands like Absolut and Hyundai. Alongside this, attendees were asked  to submit different images or stories that for them embodied the idea of inspiration, before attending the workshop.

The gameshow or funfair element of the event came from attendees commenting on which of the codes of inspiration they felt their submission most closely fit with – with this being put to a collective “vote”. The event illustrated how semiotics can provide predictive thinking (here looking at ways that market research companies might think about framing their offer to be more ‘inspiring’) and can deliver insight in a participative and entertaining way.