Truly good creative is hard to find and even harder to produce on a consistent basis. Think about the best creative campaigns you have seen recently then compare that to all the creative there is on the market. Mind-boggling how small the percentage of quality creative really is. Often one good idea will spawn many knock-offs and wannabes trying to cash in on the popularity of someone else’s hard work. It’s not easy for creative professionals. Their livelihood is based on their ability to produce top-notch, successful creative ideas on a regular, recurring basis. And, when you consider that many concepts don’t even make it to production, you realize what a daunting task creative professionals have.
Who really knows what good creative is? Something so subjective is difficult to quantify. Are there really any new ideas out there or is it a matter of presenting historically good ideas in new and fresh ways? One of the most difficult things creative minds have to do is keep their ideas fresh.
A successful creative professional must possess, beyond talent, a zeal for the work they are generating and a general curiosity about all things life presents. Success is less about the nuts and bolts of creativity and more about the passion one has for producing work that is truly creative. The required inspiration will not come from sitting in an office attempting to force creativity to reveal itself in an exciting way. The moments of inspiration will often result from the life we lead. The connectivity of life provides unrivaled inspiration that needs to be captured and channeled into fresh creative ideas – it’s all connected; the sources for new, engaging ideas are all around us. Look at the art of movies, music, galleries, fashion, and interior design. What’s hot in books, what commonalities do traditionally revered books share? Take a lesson from some geeks – study up on tech innovations. Social settings are filled with information about what inspires others; lively debates can create and change ideas that can then be converted into creative concepts. Creative derived from nature will innately touch the observer in a real and meaningful way. Nature is never wrong in its design and can be a powerful and unending source of creativity.
When looking for some inspiration:
Know your audience – research, research, research. Knowledge is power and you can never assume to know your audience without doing some serious ground work.
Check out popular blogs and read the feedback. Sometimes the comments are more stimulating than the blog post itself and this is where you see the ideas of the post challenged or, sometimes, agreed upon.
Like the great TV series Law & Order, rip it from today’s headlines. Stay current on the news. National and world news are noteworthy because they are of interest to the masses. Use current events to develop fresh creative ideas.
Be social media engaged. What is trending on Twitter? What is the Buzz on Google? What information are people sharing on LinkedIn. What posts are getting the most comments on Facebook? Much like the news, these are things that people are interested in.
Trends are hip. Trends are cool. Trends are a surefire way to engage an audience. Translate a trend in one industry into an idea for a completely different industry. Play off what’s hot right now or what is trending to be hot in the near future.
The ever-evolving world of technology is a vast resource for new ideas. Stay current and use new technologies to enhance and expand creative ideas. Use technology to reuse good ideas in new ways.
Don’t let your skills get outdated. Stay current on your programs. Learn all the new facets of your tools like InDesign and Photoshop and experiment with them. Check out http://creativelive.com/courses/ for some free live courses. Search for tutorials on YouTube.
Go green – recycle. Had a great idea that lead to a great campaign before? What was at the core of that idea that was so good? Find it and reuse it (just in a new way).
Be a radical – always develop a concept that’s way out there. Think of some big, crazy ideas and let them settle into the confines of your project.
Use shock and awe to get a reaction. Not all good creative is good because people like it. Sometime the offensive or repugnant can elicit more interest than a safe idea.
Look at what is bad and think of how you would fix it. Now take the good ideas from your fix and apply them to your project.
Team up with someone to work on a project. There is strength in numbers and the pay off could be tremendous.
Seek the support of friends, especially those that are not in the business. Have an open mind in social situations and let your friends and family be a source of ideas. They are, after all, consumers.
Take a break. Clear your head. Sometimes you must unclog the pathway so that new information has a way in. Get out and play.
Domus, Inc. is an integrated digital and traditional marketing communications agency that delivers unconventional thinking and out-of-the-box strategies that help our clients sustain growth and demand brand awareness. For more information, please visit us at http://www.domusinc.com.