I was watching artist Chuck Close talk about creativity recently in an excellent show hosted by Charlie Rose.
Chuck was trying to explain how his generation of artists differentiated themselves from the previous generation. and he said something to the effect of “we just decided that there was a whole bunch of stuff that we just didn’t want to do and wouldn’t do”. And he went on to say how liberating that feeling was.
Not claiming to be an artist here! But i too have used this approach consciously over the years and it’s always good.
Once you decide that the past is boring, things can get interesting.
Throwing away the past works.
In each case it was the result of having a real attitude about what i was doing.
I was dead set on not repeating the past.
I had a lot of passion about this. In each of these cases.
And in each case it worked like a fucking charm.
In each case i had drawn a line in the sand. I WAS NOT doing what had been done before in the category i was working in.
now this decision did not affect what needed to be said. it just drastically altered the form the communication ultimately took.
exhibit A: I had worked on Bud Light for two years before doing this one. So i had gotten all the beginner beer advertising thinking out of my system. Now i was back working on beer after a two year break. And i’d had time to think about what i would if i worked on beer again.
So this time, what I WAS NOT going to do was yet another ad with a bunch of white guys in their 20s acting like children coz they ran out beer. Or some lame gag about how awesome beer is, like it was invented last week.
OK, this next situation was one where there was a HUGE electric fence. And that electric fence was this. Happy Americans happily consuming the happy food product being happily consumed throughout the happy commercial.
Now we completely understood WHY the ads looked and felt like they did. But they were terrible viewing.
Who wants to watch :30 of slavish love for a snack? Nobody, right.
But that doesn’t change the fact that :30 of slavish love for a snack might be the only thing worth doing for a loveable snack, does it?
So we just did the updated version of that messaging. something that actually stood a chance of getting noticed and it worked interactively with Twitter and social media…yadda, yadda, yadda.