Get Creative Today
At ORCHID we believe everyone can be creative. It’s a bit like height, weight and strength; we all have differing amounts but we all have at least some. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to think up brilliant ideas and conjure up outstanding solutions to a challenge. But there are so many tips and tricks at your fingertips, there’s no excuse not to roll up your sleeves and start flexing your creative muscle.
Here’s a roundup of some of our favourite creative triggers.
Be aware of trends and social issues
Creative people identify which issues and trends are currently valuable and which are likely to change in importance. They then use that knowledge to come up with ideas that tap into the beliefs and feelings of various audiences. Each year at about this time, trend reports for your sector and general lifestyle issues are published by myriad agencies. Get online and Google them. At ORCHID one of our favourites is the brilliant JWT’s 100 things to watch. We posted it on our Ozone – click here to read the 2014 report.
Be inspired by what’s around you
Get your face out of your mobile phone and look around! Make a point to keep on the lookout for novel and interesting ideas that others have used successfully. Your idea has to be original only in its adaptation to the problem you are currently working on. Most brilliant campaigns and promotions weren’t inherently unique; they were ideas repurposed in a creative way and applied to a specific challenge.
Follow the five I’s of creativity
These are: Information, incubation, illumination, integration then illustration.
Information: pose questions to be answered and then gather the relevant information to assist with the task at hand. Ask: what? When? Why? Who? How? You don’t stand a chance of being successfully creative if you don’t do your homework. Yes, it can be tedious, but there is no substitute. Read, read and read some more. The most outstanding creative practitioners read four or more sources of news a day!
Incubation: set the problem aside for a while and do something else that’s unrelated. Sometimes it’s better to solve a problem by not trying to solve it; by leaving the issue for a while you put the problem in perspective. By planting a seed in your mind, you let it develop within your subconscious.
Illumination: When asked where they get their best ideas, the ORCHID team said: in taxis, in the car, whilst doodling, in the shower and whilst walking the dog. By planting the seed in your head, inevitably solutions will start coming to you. When the ideas do come WRITE THEM DOWN. Create an ideas bank to deposit your thoughts in to – for inspiration today and in the future.
Integration: Great musicals are not written, they are rewritten – the same goes for brilliantly creative campaigns. Working from the original idea, add new elements and refine the solution till you are happy.
Illustration: Don’t believe an idea will sell itself. If you present a creative idea to a decision maker when it isn’t fully developed, there is a danger it will be killed off before birth. Top tip: never present ideas for consideration either first thing on Monday or last thing on Friday. And avoid lunchtimes too! When you are presenting your creative idea, think about the way people think. They are normally one of three things: visual (they make pictures in their mind); auditory (they listen to what you are saying); kinaesthetic (from touch, gut instinct, a hunch).
Use the Random Word Technique
Choose a word at random - looking through a newspaper is the best way of selecting a word. Choose a page number at random, then move your hand blindly around the page until you choose to stop. The word or image at your fingertip is the one you work with. If your finger stops on a photograph, you simply use the specific item your finger is resting on – if, for example, it is a picture of a person and your finger has stopped on their shoulder, you should use the world ‘shoulder’. Then apply this word to your challenge at hand. For example, you need to come up with creative ways to promote a forthcoming medical conference on heart disease. The first random word chosen is ‘house’ so you come up with headlines including: ‘heart disease in the home’ and ‘does the way we live lead to heart disease?’. Take another word – conflict. Sample themes could include: ‘strategic strike on heart disease’, ‘war on heart disease’ and so on. Very quickly, in the space of a few minutes, this technique will generate a range of new connections leading to either specific ideas or suggestions that may offer further scope for development.