Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Creative Juices. By the ounce or by the gallon?

The all important creativity. It's what separates the good stuff from the...well...not so good stuff. I've been a creative person working in the ad industry tooting the creative horn to get people to understand that it really is the quintessential element to the success of any communication piece. That being said, you can't have great creative without first having a solid strategy. They are two pees in a pod, they go together like peanut butter and jam, wine and cheese, Richard Simmons and tight shorts, you get the idea.

Creative ideas get people to engage. They provide reason for people to stop and take a moment out of their lives and listen, watch, touch, read and so on. The creative idea is the springboard that allows a brand to jump above the competition. Like a springboard eventually you will come back down but if the idea is executed properly it will have the momentum to jump back up again. The key to momentum is having a great idea that is relevant to your consumer and gives them reason to engage with it. No matter which channel you decide to use to execute (print, radio, TV, SMM, billboard, online) it has to be relevant and it has to be creative. Don't believe me? What was the last ad you saw or heard or interacted with today? Write it down. Who was it for? Now on your way home from work try to count how many ads you are exposed to. Chances are you will lose count about ten minutes in to it. But my point is this, you are being exposed to hundreds of ads a day and you are lucky if you remember just two of them. You will be really lucky if you come across one throughout the process of a week that you will really like and want to share. That's out of potentially thousands of ads. I call them ads but they could be any form of communication. Chances are the ones you really like, the ones that provide some sort of value to you are the most creative ones.

So why do companies continue to produce "mind garbage" stuff that is just filling the air and your life with uncreative, vanilla, middle of the road crap? Good question. Could be budget issues. Could be fear of offending someone. Could be stiff corporate Marketing Managers. It could be any number of reasons (everyone has one to add I'm sure) but regardless what they are if you're not being creative then you're not being as profitable as you could be.
With the advent of "social sharing" through the latest channels like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Foursquare and the countless other ways of connecting with people, the chance of having your brand skyrocket through the social stratosphere is enormous. That is, if you have a creative idea that is relevant to people.

Recently a friend of mine posted some really great examples of creative ideas. It doesn't have to be a mind blowing idea just a fun creative way to get people to engage. Take a look at these.

McDonalds Interactive Billboard

McDonalds billboard 2

These are really fun ideas that get people involved with the brand. Not to mention the thousands of people who will be inadvertently sharing the McDonalds logo with all their social network channels. It's strategic and creative. Is it a huge, life-altering idea? No. But it doesn't have to be. It needs to be simple, creative and relevant.

So the next time you're planning a communication piece, regardless of what it is, ask yourself this: Does it  tie back to the strategy? Is it a relevant message that my consumers will be open to? And is it CREATIVE!!!

Onwards and upwards my friends.