“Rarely have I seen any really great advertising without a certain amount of confusion, throw-aways, bent noses, irritation and downright cursedness.”
– Leo Burnett
I’m beginning to understand where our great-great-great-great Grandfather was coming from. Advertising involves a great deal of bewilderment…and that’s a good thing.
For the next two weeks, we’re not just Graduate Trainees but also faux Creatives. This comprises part of the rotations that form the main bulk of our initial training. So far we’ve been through Account Management, Account Planning and Creative Services (aka Traffic). Alongside the seminars given by senior members of each department, we’ve followed a brief from its inception in client form; translated it into a creative brief brimming with consumer insights; before being left with the task of coming up with the actual creative idea that will spark the strategy to life. It has added extremely useful context to our learning, and also allowed us to do our first proper bit of ‘ad work’. Exciting times.
So where have we got to? Whilst I like to think I’m good at spotting genuine creativity, I admit I don’t consider myself the most creatively gifted person. I can draw a mean stick man sure, and write a dirty limerick or two, but an Escher or Tolkien I ain’t. So where did we novices start? Initial suggestions revolving around kangaroo dung were swiftly eliminated. Other ideas stemming from more politically sensitive issues – the economy and immigration – were possibly too close to the bone. A potential ‘mood room’ was dismissed as too much hard work. But thankfully ideas did begin to flow once we embarked on our first ‘ideation’ or ‘tissue session’ (not what you think it is).
What’s clear is that there’s no single path towards a great idea. Some have argued that there is a particular technique (e.g. see James Webb Young’s “A Technique for Producing Ideas”, a short and interesting read – http://amzn.to/agoodread). And whilst this may be hard to believe, ideas can’t always just spout from hundreds of “eureka!” moments; it’s just that people have their own ways of going about it. Some, like our Creative Directors, tend to make it look easy. For others, it can be an altogether more pain-staking experience. So, as Leo Burnett stated, it can be infuriating at times. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s just great fun.
We’ll let you know how we get on…