“Creativity without strategy is called art. Creativity with strategy is called advertising.” -Jeff I. Richards,
University of Texas, Advertising Department
FIVE TIPS FOR SUPERIOR CREATIVE COLLABORATION:
1. Your brief creates a space for a motivated team:
The brief acts as the ignition for the team of creatives and so it has a big influence on motivation and space in all the meetings that follow. Write a brief like a love letter to the product, and let your imagination run free. Create an environment where your team can work enthusiastically. There are two kinds of information in most briefs: the kind that restricts the team's creative search-field, and the kind that enlarges the search field for potential ideas and stimulates the imagination.
RESTRICTING THE SEARCH-FIELD
The restrictive elements of a brief should be kept in the background during the creative phase. These parameters will only come into force at the stage when ideas are being developed and evaluated, in order to establish whether an individual idea meets the project specifications. Restrictive components might be, for example:
-The client's ideas and wishes
-Previously rejected concepts
Enlarging the search field:
In the first brief, you should put most emphasis on the parameters that will stimulate the imagination, give detailed information about the product and so provide the largest possible hunting ground for ideas. Elements that could enlarge the search-field might include:
-Tone or mood
-Product information profile
-Target group etc.
2. Go into the meeting with a clear goal:
If you engage with the product intensively and start a creative meeting with a goal already clearly formulated, then you're already more than halfway there. The goal and the solution are like a question and answer. Only a good question will result in a satisfactory answer. Einstein summed this up brilliantly when he said that if he was going to be killed and had just one hour to find out how to save his life, he would spend the first fifty-five minutes looking for the right question. Once he'd found the question, it would take only five minutes to work out the right answer.
Formulating the goal in advance reduces a complex brief to a clear strategy, a single-minded proposition. It ensures that all team members target the same goal and end up with ideas that will communicate a clear message. The goal is in clear view throughout the meeting: it isn't restrictive but acts as a focal point, leading to a clearly defined objective. It helps to prevent chaos in sessions and time-wasting discussions about how to interpret the brief.
Everybody is nobody:
If you define the target group in a brief as "everybody", you'll end up addressing nobody. The same applies to the other brief parameters: emphasizing everything in a brief is emphasizing nothing. Working out a goal with a central statement, or single-minded proposition, is a great boost to inventing ideas. Here are some possible ways to define a single-minded proposition.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Can the brief be reduced to a central denominator?
What are we actually looking for?
Can the objectives be collated in an overall concept?
What is the strategy?
3. Always separate the idea phase from the evaluation phase:
Ideas need imagination more than knowledge, so it's important to keep the stage when ideas are being generated strictly separate from the stage when they're being evaluated. In the first part of the meeting, make space for uninhibited creativity without premature criticism. Even more, this is the stage when people should set their imaginations free to roam, and no limits should be set on creative game playing.
If there are too many idea killers at large, some team members will withdraw into passivity or there will be endless and emotional arguments, which will undermine any kind of creativity. Other team members will start to think to themselves "best not make a mistake, don't take risks". And that is tantamount to thinking, “mustn’t make a fool of myself”. You end up with the very thing you wanted to avoid. These are the fears that lead inevitably, at most creative meetings, to compromises and shallow ideas.
Chose the right moment for criticism:
It's only at the later, evaluation stage that it is justified to raise factors such as the brief criteria, and this is also the time for introducing professional know-how or criticism, so that raw ideas can be developed in a climate of constructive discussion. To prevent unconventional ideas being "evaluated away"' and prematurely discarded, the team should keep asking the same question: 'How can I improve this idea, what can I do to make it work after all?
4. Avoid idea killers:
Idea killers in the team:
How would you like your ideas to be received at the next creative meeting? Sabotaged, sniggered at or simply ignored? Idea killers have one thing in common: they always work! Everything from the verbal stungun to the wry twitch at the corner of somebody's mouth is capable of trampling down the first little shoot of an idea. Sadly, in many teams, old familiar phrases like "That won't work" and 'The client would never accept that” are still part of the meeting culture. Studies have shown that session members spend almost 70 per cent of their time running down colleagues' suggestions.
Idea killers in your own head:
Often the killer phrases of our colleagues do less damage than the little voice inside our own heads, whispering 'Forget it, it doesn't work!" Our own idea killers are particularly deadly because we are often not conscious of them. They are the product of exaggerated expectations we have of ourselves, or of the belief that we have to come up with ideas that are brilliant from the word go - a strategy almost certainly doomed to failure.
5. Grab idea and run with them:
Almost nothing inhibits the creative process more than clinging obsessively to one single idea - namely, your own. Don't think of your teammate as a rival in a competition for the best idea but as the supplier of raw material for your next ideas. It doesn't even matter whether you think his ideas are good or not - just use them as triggers or stimuli for your own associations. The important thing is that you pick up the ideas, develop them further and hand them back. Ideally, your teammate should have the same attitude: each new idea you supply him with becomes the raw material for ideas of his own. If you carry on consistently with this new principle, a kind of ping-pong ensues, in which you catapult each other into an emotional state resembling a creative trance! With each new round of ping-pong, you and your ideas will get even better. A key factor in ping-ponging ideas is picking a partner you trust 100%. Concentrate on getting a rapid flow of ideas during the game, don't criticize, follow your instincts and let yourselves be carried along by spontaneity.
Creative Advertising – Ideas and techniques from the world's best campaigns
– Mario Pricken
“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” -David Ogilvy
Something original is something new, something that didn't exist before. Creativity is the process of generating something new that has value. There are many original ideas and concepts, but some may not have value and hence may not be considered creative. A creation is something original that has value.
Some creative problem solving techniques:
1. ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS
Analogies and metaphors can serve as a means of identifying problems and understanding them better. They may also be used to generate alternative solutions. Often you can draw an analogy between your problem and something else, or express it in metaphorical terms. These may provide insight into how to solve the problem.
An analogy is a comparison of two things that are essentially dissimilar but are shown through the analogy to have some similarity. Analogies are often used to solve problems. For example, when NASA found it necessary to design a satellite that would be tethered to a space station by a thin wire sixty miles long, it realized that the motion of reeling it in would cause it to act like a pendulum with an ever-widening arc. Stanford scientist Thomas Kane, using the analogy of a yo-yo, determined that a small electric motor on the satellite would allow it to crawl back up the tether to the space station.
As this example demonstrates, while in its simplest form an analogy is a comparison of dissimilar entities, in many instances analogies are fully developed comparisons, more intricate and detailed than a metaphor or a simile.
A metaphor is a figure of speech in which two different universes of thought are linked by some point of similarity. In the broadest sense of the term, all metaphors are simple analogies, but not all analogies are metaphors. Typically, metaphors treat one thing as if it were something else so that a resemblance that would not ordinarily be perceived is pointed out. Examples include the idea drought, frozen wages, the corporate battleground, liquid assets. Metaphors have many uses in creative endeavors. For example, they have been used in sales to create new ways of viewing old realities. Hiroo Wantanabe, a project team leader for Honda, coined the following metaphor to describe his team's tremendous challenge: Theory of Automobile Evolution, "If a car could indeed evolve like a living organism, how should it evolve?" he asked his team. This thought process eventually led them to the very successful Honda City model.
2. DIRECT ANALOGIES
In a direct analogy, facts, knowledge, or technology from one field are applied to another. For example, a few years ago a manufacturer of potato chips was faced with a frequently encountered problem: Potato chips took up too much space on the shelf when they were packed loosely, but they crumbled when they were packed in smaller packages. The manufacturer found a solution by using a direct analogy. What naturally occurring object is similar to a potato chip? How about dried leaves? Dried leaves crumble very easily and are bulky. What about pressed leaves? They're flat. Could potato chips somehow be shipped flat, or nearly flat? Unfortunately, the problem of crumbling remained. Continuing the creative process, the decision makers realized that leaves are not pressed while they are dry but while they are moist. They determined that if they packed potato chips in a stack, moist enough not to crumble but dry enough to be flat, or nearly flat, they just might solve the problem. The result, as you may have guessed, was Pringles.
Some direct analogies occur by chance and are followed up by creative problem solvers. At Ford Motor Company, for example, design engineers had been working unsuccessfully for months on a bucket seat that would adjust to the contours of the human body. Bill Camplisson, then director of marketing plans and programs for Ford Europe, was part of the design team. Late one night he leaned back in his seat, remembering a time he had been at the beach as a child. Someone had stepped on his beach ball and crushed it. He had begun crying and his father had come to his aid and pulled out the sides of the ball. Suddenly Camplisson realized the analogy between the rubber ball and the bucket seat. The designers dropped their mechanical designs and began experimenting with new materials. Shortly thereafter they had the seat they were looking for.
A major use of analogies, and comparisons in general, is the excursion technique. This technique is usually employed after more traditional approaches, such as individual or group brainstorming, or mind mapping, have been attempted without success. Those involved put the problem aside for a while and "take an excursion" in their minds. This is essentially a word association exercise that uses visualization. A word or group of words that are colorful and have a lot of visual appeal should be used. The problem solvers spend time constructing fantasies based on the word or words chosen. Then they are asked to make a connection between their fantasies and the original problem. The "excursion" could be a trip through a natural history museum, a jungle, a zoo, or a big city. Numerous companies have used this technique successfully after other approaches have failed.
101 Problem Solving Techniques - James M. Higgins