Just what is creativity?

I was cruising eBay the other day and “won” a book on ‘Creative Strategy in Advertising’. (BTW – that’s a very clever eBay wording choice, not quite the same guilt associated as with the word “bought”, is there?) It cost me all of 99 cents + P&H so it was very zero budget marketing too!

I was immediately interested in a section titled “Creativity Defined” – as creativity as a concept IS by its nature, tricky to define.

Turns out, the authors were talking about what makes a “creative ad”. One of the points that really resonated, but I had never really “got” before, was that Creative ads are unexpected. They don’t go for the obvious punchline, metaphor, outcome, media choice, layout, etc.

I think that’s why we don’t often see communication messages we think of as particularly creative, and why we actually really “enjoy” marketing sometimes when we do. So I’ve done a quick web cruise and some dedicated bloogers have pulled together some great complilations – check out Pronet, Hemmynet and Smashing Apps if you’re interested.

Now as a zero budget marketing blogger, I know great advertising can cost a LOT of money. But that doesn’t mean there’s no inspiration to be gained for the rest of us:

1. If you are going to spend the money on any sort of promotion or advertising, consider first how you can make it more engaging and creative. Spend the effort and energy on trying to stand out and be “unexpected”.

2. In your every day marketing communications, consider how you can make it more creative. Are your words bland? Is your messaging the same as competitors? What little leap can you make to position yourself more creatively – more unexpectedly – to start to make an impact?

I’ll leave you with a couple of clever little examples…

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