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Get out of your creative recession

Be warned. Creativity can go into a recession following an economic nosedive. I've noticed this happen to some of our clients at Gullan&Gullan. The reason for this is that marketing professionals, whether brand managers or their advertising agencies, tend to stop approving creative ideas and start staring at numbers.
Get out of your creative recession
Here are some ideas to help you keep the ideas flowing and get you out of your creative recession.

Screw up
Stop being afraid of making mistakes. Too often new insights result from a screw up. After all that's how the Post-it Note came about. Also, failure can teach you to be fearless. As long as your experiments don't cost too much, don't be afraid.

Publicise your setbacks
If your concepts are not good to go, move the deadline. Then tell your clients the truth about the delay. And work fast and smart to get your ideas to the level of quality that meets your brand values. This will be better for your creative reputation than meeting a deadline with inferior creative solutions.

Break the style codes
Sometimes creative genres and styles can be more limiting than not. Liberate yourself. As long as it is brand-centric™ and true to the brand values, on brief, authentic and a good idea it will fly.

Look beyond your industry
You can get so much inspiration from other fields. Fashion, music, nature, architecture...even the kid next door can be your muse. If you're looking for a creative solution to toothpaste don't only look at toothpaste commercials, also look everywhere else and you will find the insights are endless.

Back to source
Sometimes the creative solution you need is not solved in your marketing and communications, but in the product itself. How can you get creative with the packaging, your service offering, how can you enhance the product itself? Make the product so different that it becomes the sales team or ad campaign.

Create experiences
Rather than pondering how to make the next Loerie-winning television or radio commercial, why not create a highly memorable brand experience that will spread around the Internet and travel via word of mouth.

Tell your brand story
Every brand has a story and a reason for being, why not share it with your consumers? Narratives and how you choose to share those narratives are always quality ingredients for creativity. Stories have been in our DNA since the start of time why not tell your brand's story?

Curate the conversation
Stuck for high quality ideas? Invite your colleagues and friends over for a brainstorm bash (provided your project is not confidential). Get the conversation moving and you will be amazed how much the ideas flow.

Don't get attached
When I started in my career in advertising more than two decades ago I was precious about my ideas and would despair when they got bombed. After twenty-plus years in the business of creative problem solving I have come to realise that there are many creative solutions for any one brief. And many ways to execute any one concept. Ideas are infinite. Don't get attached. The more you create the fitter your creative "muscles" will become. So stay confident and believe that you can invent new ideas - true to your brand in a brand-centric™ manner - that will solve your challenges and meet your objectives.

16 Aug 2010 12:18


About the author

Desirée Gullan is the Creative Director of Gullan&Gullan Advertising (Pty) Ltd. Gullan&Gullan's propriety brand-centric™ methodology forms the basis of every communication service ensuring that brand equity is enhanced through congruent, consistent expression at every touchpoint from above and below the line, online, and brand experiences. Visit www.gullanandgullan.com, Email or call 011 887 6591.