Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tuesday Tip No.12 - Don't Stop

Coming up with ideas is hard work.

Therefore, when you are doing it, the temptation to stop is always strong.

Yes! Got something - hurrah!

Now we can check our e-mails and call our friends.


Look, I know the feeling, believe me. What we do is bloody hard work. And as soon as you have something that works, the desire to down tools can be overwhelming.

So you find yourself ignoring the little voice in your head. The one that says "it's a bit like that other ad from last year" / "it can also be interpreted as meaning x, which is the exact opposite to what we want to say" / "it works but it's only OK".

Don't ignore that little voice. If you know in your heart of hearts that there's a problem with the idea, it's pretty much certain that your creative director is going to think there's a problem with the idea.

Though it may be painful, keeping going is the right thing to do.

Consider taking a break instead, or work on something else for a little bit.

But never stop.

Okay, you will have to stop eventually.

But not yet.

Tip No.11 - Be Very
Tip No.10 - Breaking Up
Tip No.9 - Working Well With Your Partner
Tip No.8 - Finding The Right Partner
Tip No.7 - How To Approach Agencies
Tip No.6 - Never-Seen-Before Footage
Tip No.5 - Dicketts' Finger
Tip No.4 - Two Blokes In The Pub
Tip No.3 - Play Family Fortunes
Tip No.2 - Should You Take A Bad Job?
Tip No.1 - Don't Overpolish


BozzaNova said...

As an advertising student, may I request for the next tip?

How to push up the idea?

Thank you.

BozzaNova said...

PS. I've just come across you blog, and I really find it so useful.
Thank you very much.

Scamp said...

can I just ask what you mean by "push up the idea"?

BozzaNova said...

Sorry for my poor english. (It's not my mother language, but I'm trying to improve it, while studying here in England.)

Well, to answer your question.
Sometimes I felt like I and my partner had got an interesting (good enough) concept for the brief, but we could not develop it further enough to be good executions for the whole campaign.
Thus, I would like to ask you if you have any advice to help push up (develop) the idea.

Thank you.

Scamp said...

Ah. Well, the difference between a one-off ad and a genuine campaign idea is a very important one.

In Luerzer's Archive you will often see a one-off ad shot in three different ways, claiming to be a campaign! It isn't.

Another problem is when you have thought up one of those campaigns which consists of one great ad, one not too bad one, and no third one yet. Sadly, this is another case when you haven't actually got a campaign at all.

The only solution, if a genuine campaign really is required, is to think of another idea.

Does that answer your question?

BozzaNova said...

Thank you very much. I was surprised that you replied quickly.

What you've said is so true. Many campaigns I've seen lately are not a 'genuine' campaign.
(Also, I just realize that some campaigns that I submitted to the tutors before were not a 'genuine' campaign at all.)

Anyway, it did answered some, but not the whole of my question.
I think, one of my problem (that I have to overcome) is that I cannot push up my idea further enough to be a good ad, even for a single ad, not the whole campaign.

Let me use an example.

If I were the one who did the advert for Guinness - 'noitulovE', and even if I'd got the same proposition, "great things come to those who wait", I might be able to end up with only some plain/flat/boring ideas - for example: waiting until the fruit gets ripe; waiting until you have more money and then buy a better thing. (You know, some of those rubbish ideas.)
I don't think I could have pushed up the idea, and ended up with great execution - 'the evolution of human being' - like those guys from AMV BBDO did.
(Hope this example will let you know what I'm exactly trying to ask. Sorry again for my unclear question.)

So, I would like to ask you if you have any advice or suggested things to do, in order to help me improve pushing up the ideas.

(Sorry for wasting your precious time here, and thank you for your kindness.)

Scamp said...

Well, as someone once said, the way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas. Keep going!

BozzaNova said...

yeah, you're right.
it's just that simple...
but it's the most difficult at the same time.

thank you very much

Cleaver said...

Hi bozzanova,

I'm by no means holding myself out as an expert here, but I find that one way to get a decent idea is think of it in terms of constantly asking yourself new questions. It's a good way to stop your thinking getting stuck in a rut.

To use the example you cite, the genesis for the Guiness ad may well have been in the creative team, having arrived at "good things come to those who wait", asking themselves "what's the longest one could possibly wait for a pint?"

There are plenty of books around that examine the types of questions that might be useful. I've found "Cutting-Edge Advertising" by Jim Aitchison and "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This" quite useful.

There's also a really big book with a generic-sounding title like "Creative Advertising" that's essentially just a list of questions + a few cracker ads as examples. Yellow writing on the cover. Sorry I can't recall the actual name.

There are probably plenty of other ways to look at it, but this works for me. Hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

I've known one or two creatives that have fallen in love with their first idea, which can be very annoying.
If you're a planner, and if they trust you enough, apart from a decent brief in the first place, try and have the first thought yourself - and use that as thinly disguised stimulus, or a so called creative starter. At the very least, they'll see what you have in mind, and make bloody sure they do better and different.

BozzaNova said...


Thank you very much for your advice, both 'cleaver' and 'northern planner'.

Thank you.