A creative network of the idea, by the idea, for the idea

Monday, May 18, 2009

What advertising can learn from design.

For my entire career I've been an advertising creative. Driven by the dogma of creativity: The idea above all.

The truth is, I'm not sure any more.

I've always known that the ideas of the advertising creative had a purpose, and that purpose, to sell a product, could be achieved with clever and innovative creativity.

But I've seen and experienced lots of situations where we place the idea above the consumer, because we believe that the idea might be more important than the purpose itself.

After watching this video about IDEO and their creative process, I have to admit that we need to reconsider the value of an idea that doesn't deliver on it's purpose.

While design creatives mainly place purpose on function (does it work?), advertising creatives place it on the form. (is it creative?)

And while design finds a beautiful form for its functionality. Advertising is constantly trying to find functionality to its form.

We need to remind ourselves that the ideas we come up with, are design to be understood to provoke an action. Does it work? needs to find an answer in an action from the consumer, not with an award in your shelve.

When you achieve both, you have something worth talking about.

Creativity works better when engaging the brain to fill in the blanks. A mistery of sorts where our mind is engaged to figure out the message.
A big difference from a puzzle, where our brain is left without enough relevant information to get to the message.

I think that this is a big difference to keep in mind and a key point that changes the purpose of our creativity.

Ask yourself: Does it work? often enough and you'll find the right purpose to your idea.

Lots and lots of creatives are already doing this, resulting in great work that deliver amazing results for the brand and the consumer.

I just think that we need more purpose driven creative. More design thinking and less creative for the sake of being creative ideas.