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How to be more ‘creative’ in 2016

May 09, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By Mark Duffy


Last year, we laid bare the fact that technology kills creativity — in architecture, fashion, advertising — in all artistic fields. And technology is only getting more, well, technological every day.

But you’re a “creative” gosh darn it (well, not you, readers of the tech, digital, marketing, strategy, media, editorial, C-level, and account persuasion), and creatives gotta create.

Luckily many — so, so many — creative experts have recently published their secrets to being more creative. And lucky for you, we’ve collected the best of them here. Onward, creators, to creativity!

Listen to the voices in your head
All of them, not just the sane ones. If you have a mental illness, tap into it when you’re “ideating” (I have two diagnosed ones, so I know what I’m talking about).

“The psychological arrangement of the common copywriter contains the kind of conflict, delusion and outright mania that compels us to peel away the tin foil helmet and expose the gibbering truth,” writes Andrew Boulton in the Drum. But while you’re a creator, you’re not an artist. You’re a salesperson.

Squeeze balls
And here you’re probably thinking that stress balls are only good for winging at co-workers’ heads. But the U.K.’s Taylor & Francis recently published studies on the creative benefits of squeezing balls, both soft and hard.

Squeezing soft balls was found to “generate more original and diverse ideas,” whereas trying to compress a hard ball helps you come up with a “single correct answer.”

Be a “storyteller”
I know, it’s been blurted and re-blurted by sheeple in directors’ chairs on raised daises by the thousands, maybe millions, at every ad and marketing conferences the world over. Digital dipberries think this a “new” idea. That’s why they’re dipberries.

But the dipberries do have a point: Many of the great ads of the last 50 years told stories, including scores of 1960s VW ads, that’s what made them great ads. It’s also one of the key tips John Ingledew gives in his new book How To Have Great Ideas: A Guide to Creative Thinking. Brands these days are focusing too much on “customer engagement.” The best way to engage them? Create an interesting story ad. Many brands have great tales hidden within their corporate walls. You need to dig them out into the open.

Two old VW ads with interesting stories

Undress at the office
Men and women, strip down to underwear (but don’t get naked like the bozos at Sagmeister & Walsh). But first, you have to look better with less clothing. You don’t want to kill other creatives’ ideas/appetites. Lawson Clarke, “Male Copywriter,” would approve.

It’s freeing, and it forces your brain to fire different synapses than usual.

Stay out of “incubator” “labs”
Digital agencies and other inept places are holding idiotic creative meetings with “above-the-line” creatives, “below-the-line” hacks, and “nowhere near the line” tech and strategy people. I shudder to think how many good ideas have been obliterated in these meetings.

Also, if a digital executive — the one who usually calls …read more

Source:: Digiday