Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference. ~Nolan Bushnell
If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. ~Albert Einstein
Every now and then we need a reminder that our brand isn’t ours. It is the sole property of our customers. Something that the Gap is discovering. Their effort to create a different look is backfiring in a global way. If business is on the wane and market share dropping, fix the problem. Putting new type and colors on a bag is not likely to solve problems with competition, products and the elusive and short-lived “hipness factor."
Furthermore the new design is amateurish and looks like a freshman design student’s first assignment. A blue box with Helvetica? It has no concept. No creative idea and is devoid of anything memorable. As a creative director I wouldn’t even show this to my client.
How can anyone imagine that it could rekindle the GAP image? It is sad to think that GAP management thinks that putting a badly designed band-aid on bigger problems will make everything all good again. Even worse, they forgot their most valuable source of new business - their loyal customers.
Information, innovation and ideas can happen at light speed. The time frame between the genesis of an idea and the point where you can get feedback or activity on it is being compressed all the time. You can share your ideas with a multitude of people and in a variety of ways that just weren’t possible before. When building brands and selling products, this creates a whole new set of tools and opens the door to new opportunities to communicate to audiences you have never had access to if you’re creative and thoughtful. This is your opportunity to knock the playing field from level – no matter your industry. Today you have an opportunity, if you’re clever, to deliver your products in a way that’s fresh and different.
We’ve always been confined by the :30, the :60 increment; the billboard; the print ad – the boundaries of what can or cannot be done in those media. Now, you can develop a three-minute piece and put it on YouTube with no problem. If it’s really clever, 500,000 people could watch it in a matter of days – and with no media cost. It doesn’t have to have high production values. It doesn’t have to look really polished. Viewers today are used to handheld cameras and homemade films. In fact, it’s almost better to look that way – it looks more genuine. None of this means the traditional forms of advertising are going away. It just means we – and our clients – need to look for different ways to do things.What separates a great agency from the rest is taking ideas to clients that are bigger: new ways to position products – or even ideas for entirely new products. This is what clients should be expecting from their agencies.
People in our industry have to be more about great ideas and less about production. And we can only succeed when we have clients with some of the same desires and courage. Very often fear of failure keeps us from putting ourselves on the line with a big idea. It often pushes us back to that non-productive comfort zone. But…what if that crazy, outside the box, scary idea succeeds?
The purpose of this blog is to pay homage to the value of good, creative thinking. And there is no limit. It’s not just a pretty picture or a clever headline. It’s any and all things that may help your client or your company distinguish itself, provide better service – unlevel the playing field. We challenge ourselves to think that way. And we challenge our clients to have the courage and conviction not to be happy doing the conservative and safe thing but to expect a lot more of us and a lot more of themselves.