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I'm sure most of you can relate to having your ideas weakened by helpful, well-meaning people. (I know I can!) Just like that example, a lot of the stories Jay tells can help creatives with their creativity/thinking challenges. It's not just for writers.|
Since I'm always curious about the process that people use to come up with ideas (so I can get new ways to think myself), I also asked Jay how he personally comes up with great ideas:
When possible, I try to see what the product’s marketing history has been, old advertising campaigns, ads created but never produced.. And of course what the strategy is (and why). Then I write down virtually every idea and thought that comes to mind, leaving the editing process for later. Two other things help the process. Looking at what similar categories, though different products, are doing. If creating ads, for instance, for an expensive timepiece, I would check out what high-end automobiles, premium alcoholic beverages, first class hotels are doing with their marketing.
Not to steal—which is never a good idea—but rather to get a feel for their language, graphics, positioning and how they appeal to their audience. The other important part of the process is taking a break, walking away from the computer, sleeping on it. Let your subconscious work on it a little, you have other chores to do.
Finally, since ideas are useless unless you can successfully convince others of their value, I asked Jay about how he typically presents to a client, how many ideas he shares at once and what he has found to be most effective:
I try never to present more than three [ideas] to a client [at a time], with a recommendation as to the best one. Presenting too many choices to a client is a bad idea. It shows a lack of judgment, is confusing, and leads to the inevitable, “How about taking this part of this headline and adding that part of that headline?”
I usually like to present what I call “copywriter’s roughs.” Each of these draft versions has a headline, suggested graphic, and occasionally some directional copy. They are rarely close to what an art director can do, but they present each concept in a form the client can understand. It is efficient because it is only after the client has settled on the creative direction that we go to the art director. Therefore the AD does not have to start from zero, since the page is no longer blank, which saves the client time and money.
What's really interesting to me is that while Jay presents ideas that are very well thought-out, he still presents an unfinished idea to his clients. That gives them the ability to make minor changes and feel some ownership of the idea, while allowing Jay to come up with more ideas in less time (since they don't have to be completely polished for the presentation.)
All You Need Is A Good Idea is a very interesting book and will give you a fascinating insight into how people who think of ideas for a living come up with their best ideas. (And, will also show you some mistakes that are easy to make.)
Be sure to check it out... and take a look at Jay's blog while you're at it!
[ Last edited by hly_2010 at 2009-3-25 02:53 PM ]