“If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”
— David Ogilvy
Way back in 1998, I attended a Trade Show at Chicago’s Navy Pier with my lovely wife Rebekah. There were 2-main things I recall from that trip. The first was hearing then SEARS CEO talk about effective marketing (what ads gain the greatest response – those that tell stories!)… The second was a simple yellow shopping basket with the words, “Do people read advertising baskets?” That silly basket was a gotcha moment. It was an innocuous sidelined item – but was visible all over the show, with people using them to haul their swag around the show. Over and over again I caught myself reading the basket (maybe wondering if they put a different message on the others).
It was creative. It was different. It went outside the norm, and kept my attention long enough for me to interact. AND it was memorable. I still have the basket. One of the handles broke off years ago, and I believe it used to hold game pieces from the assorted board games of my boys – but its effectiveness is not how well it holds stuff – as much as how effective it was at holding my imagination and attention, and still does today.
Have you ever seen an ad that just simply resonated? Something that captured your imagination, that inspired or frustrated? Ogilvy’s quote above may be right – if it is going to “work” – it must be creative. And if it doesn’t “work” – then it was not truly creative, was it?
If you are looking for something creative to break free of the shackles of sameness, dullness and blah – then look for a source that makes their own trails. Look for the someone that listens and offer solutions for you – not a cookie cutter option that you get crammed into.