There are some days in life that stand out from others, days where the penny drops so to speak. On one such day, I came across a talk from the brilliant Dave Trott, a creative thinker who seems to possess just as much common sense as he does creativity (if you don’t know his work, please just type in Dave Trott into youtube and you will be away).
The particular talk in question focused on the subject of advertising and ideas. Mr Trott highlighted the importance of impact in the creative process, something often neglected in the grand scheme of things. This was something that really resonated with me as I had been saying a similar thing to clients of mine for years but now I had someone like Mr Trott backing me up!
We live in an age where every single day our senses are attacked by a myriad of noises, imagery and whatever the latest trick is and all for what…to get our ATTENTION!!!
There is a war going on out there, a battle for your attention. Whether you are Netflix or Amazon or Apple, they want you looking at them and ultimately giving them your hard earned money. Yes, attention is the new currency.
You see it works like this:
You somehow get someone’s attention
You can then communicate what you want to tell them about our product and/or service
You can now persuade them with something that makes it beneficial to them
It works in that order. Until they have your attention, via impact, how are they going to communicate and then persuade what it is they have to offer.
The diagram below shows you this.
The question that remains is, how are you going to get their attention, how will your idea have impact?
Hitting the wall, creative block, call it what you will as creative ideas people we’ve all been there and if you haven’t yet you’re either incredibly lucky or a creative genius.
Personally, I quite enjoy ‘hitting the wall’, having to dig deep to find impacting and memorable creative solutions to the set problem. One of the ways I get over the wall is to go for a run or if my back is playing up a walk. I have lost count how many times this had led to successful ideas. Note there I say ideas and not idea as the goal is create ideas in abundance, don’t settle for single ideas. Running frees your mind.
Apparently there is a scientific reason behind this.
According to an article by The Scientific American, blood pressure and blood flow increase during exercise, both of which send more energy and oxygen to our muscles and organs. This process allows your brain to function at a higher level as it receives more energy and oxygen in turn.
Leaving the science out of it…
Running clears the mind as you focus on breathing, you’re out in the open air (if not on a treadmill), it’s all about your focus. You’re not at a desk ‘trying to ring out your brain for the drips of inspiration’.
In short when your mind is free, it becomes more creative. If you can, get out there and give it a go, I know I will…
One afternoon, a few years ago now, I came across a video about media by the ‘great’ Dave Trott (of Gold Greenlees Trott, Bainsfair Sharkey Trott). In the video Dave broached the subject of complexity and how it is ruining creativity, especially in the UK. This is the video in question https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1sYh9itUvs.
What I loved about the video was the focus being on the human being you are delivering the message to and not the media that delivers that message. The quote I loved in particular was “crap that is delivered at the speed of light is still crap when it gets there!” The vehicle that delivers a message will continue to change in the years to come but those that focus on the message and customer themselves will be the successful ones.
In summation, watch the video, you might just learn a thing or two.
I hope this helps in some way. The media isn’t Tik Tok , it’s people, oh and keep things simple.
About two years ago or so I discovered a different system to create ideas that had reinvented the wheel (sort of and I’ll get to that in a bit). Derived from Genrich Altshuller’s TRIZ engineering discipline Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT for short, and so I don’t have to keep typing that out) was developed in the mid 1990s in Israel and is a practical approach to creativity, innovation and problem solving.
I have found it to be a very useful tool to invent and problem solve. SIT is essentially made up of five thinking tools:
1. Subtraction Remove an essential component from a product and find uses for the newly envisioned arrangement of the existing components. This abstracted arrangement is known as a ‘virtual product’. Think of a bicycle (yes this is the bit that refers to the wheel). It normally has two wheels right? Well if you subtract one of those wheels you have a gym bike. A perfect example of the subtraction method.
2. Multiplication Add to a product a component of the same type as an existing component. The added component should be changed in some way. The 2 keywords for this tool are: 1) more and 2) different. These represent the two stages for applying the tool: 1) add more copies of something that exists in the product and 2) change those copies according to some parameter.
3. Division Divide the product and/or its components and rearrange them to form a new product. Using this tool forces consideration of different structures, either on the level of the product/service as a whole, or on the level of an individual component. Dividing a product to many pieces gives the freedom to reconstruct it in many new ways – it increases our Degrees of Freedom for working with the situation.
4. Task Unification Assign a new and additional task to an existing resource. Less affluent cultures are more likely to adopt the Task Unification mindset. For example, the Bedouins use camels for a number of different tasks: transportation, currency, milk, skin for tents, shade, protection from the wind, burning feces for fuel. More affluent societies tend to jettison resources.
5. Attribute Dependency Creating and dissolving dependencies between variables of a product. Attribute Dependency works with variables rather than components. Variables are easy to identify as those characteristics that can change within a product or component (e.g. color, size, material).
I realise this blog has just touched the surface on this great method but hopefully it has wet your appetite to learn more about the approach. For much more information on this I have found Drew Boyd to be a great advocate for SIT and if you’re interested. His website is here http://drewboyd.com/systematic-inventive-thinking and there’s also a great course from Drew on Lynda.com, look it up if you’d like to know more about SIT.
Why create a blog? Do bloggers actually ask themselves this question when setting out on their blogging journey? Do they just blog because it’s something to do, they’ve heard you can monetise it, that blogging can increase traffic to your website, that Google likes you to blog? I have certainly asked myself why create a blog? The conclusion I have reached is that I wanted to share with who ever is lucky enough to read the information ;), things that inspire me and everyone associated with Thumbnail Creative. Also, it would be a good vehicle in which to share some knowledge, give back if I can and also simply reach out to like minded people out there on a range of topics, although creativity will no doubt be the main theme in here.
Creativity encompasses an awful lot in everyone’s everyday life. Stop and look around you right now. What can you see? I’m betting 99% of everything you can see (that’s man made) started as someone’s idea, then was thought through and created. Ideas are everywhere around us. For some of you, the chair that you are sitting on whilst reading this started as a ‘thumbnail’ sketch and ended up as the comfortable location for your bottom to rest as you absorb wonderful information ;). Ideas and design affect all of us every single day of our lives so I’ve picked a broad canvas on which I hope to dab just a few paint strokes over the course of time. My name is Sean Lane and I have a passion for ideas and creativity. It is my sincere hope that anyone reading this, shares that passion or at least has a slight interest in all things creative.
So wish me luck in this new venture. My goal is to share the creative world with you all, to hopefully inspire someone to look at the world around them and appreciate the role that design and creativity plays in their every day lives. Most of all if I can help to inspire someone to be more creative themselves that would be more than I could hope for.