Can Creativity Make an Idea Click?

Posted December 14, 2010 in Creativity

creativityAn article on branding and creativity:

Most definitely so. As this year’s list of The Most Creative Advertising Ideas shows, creativity can be a key factor when it comes to determining which ideas stick as well as, quite simply, take off.

Case in point: Procter & Gamble’s “Smell Like A Man, Man” Old Spice viral hit, consistently named a top favorite by this year’s panel of judges. (Agency executives who helped Forbes pick this year’s Creative 10 included Tor Myhren, who was just promoted to president of Grey; Peter Viento of Saatchi & Saatchi X; Euro RSCG’s Will Payovich; Curt Detweiler of McCann Erickson; and Droga5’s Andrew Essex.)

That slideshow can be viewed here. But in the meantime, for those who are working hard on making next year’s creative hotlist, here are a few pointers, taken from this year’s winners:

*Sometimes, the best ideas are quite simple. Two Miami Ad School students came up with a guerrilla marketing effort in which the backs of BMW Group’s Mini Clubman vehicles doubled as the opening of German airport luggage carousels. And why not? Half the time, you’re either “fumbling with your phone or waiting endlessly for your luggage,” as Viento, one of our judges, points out. “It’s a perfect opportunity to meet someone with a message.”

*Eureka, indeed! P&G didn’t exactly plan it this way, but its Old Spice campaign, via Wieden + Kennedy, turned into a viral sensation after the marketing minds at Procter discovered one simple insight: Women, not men, buy the majority of male grooming products. The result was an oo-la-la sexy Isaiah Mustafa commercial—hey, he’s a household name now, isn’t he?—plus a follow up, hilarious Sesame Street spoof. Spoilers: The ever-heroic Grover gets his nose nipped by a clam. Okay, okay, we’ve all seen this spot hundreds of times before.

*Social media smarts = A+. Alicia Keys did just this with her “Digital Life Sacrifice” campaign. Ads showed celebrities like Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian posing in coffins as part of a campaign to raise $1 million for AIDS awareness and research. That goal was accomplished in six days. How so? Killing off one’s favorite celebrity, even if he/she is only digitally dead, is one big motivator for fans to give. As part of the fundraising effort, social media/Hollywood A-list gliterrati weren’t allowed to tweet or share posts via Facebook until the goal had been met.

*A brand’s clout/media influence is not determined by its size. Puma, a coalition of baby carrot farmers and Smart, the ultra compact car sold by Daimler, all managed to tackle much bigger competitors by introducing ideas or going after consumer segments that went against the grain. Realizing that Nike and Adidas dominated the hardcore competitive athlete market, Puma instead targeted “after hours,” fun-loving athletes—folks who play foosball, ping pong and darts just for, well, the fun of it. Carrot growers made inroads against their biggest competitor—snack foods rival Cheetos—by introducing the health food in packaging that mimicked the latter’s. Billboards, too, branded the carrots as “the original orange doodles.” And Smart went after much bigger auto rivals with a social media movement that poked fun at “dumb” or mindless overconsumption. Talk about three smart cases of David vs. Goliath.

Filed under: branding, creativity, guerilla marketing, ideas, social media,