Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Media Spike #30 - You Don’t Need To be An Artist To Be Creative

Are you creative?

If you don’t mind me asking can you Sing? Draw? Paint? Dance? Compose? or have a flair with any of the multitude of art forms? My most appreciative applause of your talents if you do.  I’m always impressed by anyone who possesses these skills which elude me. One of my brothers is an accomplished amateur musician who still has expertise I long for, but I fear will remain out of reach.

I ask because two decades ago, one of the Creative Directors at the agency I was with posed that same question to our entire Media Department of ten or so people. When only a handful of hands were raised-including mine- he admonished us for not understanding that we are ALL Creative. For some it’s more easily manifest in impressive works of art. Others in the grace of dance. Still others can command a room with their vocal expertise, and yes, us media people too.

The creativity comes from starting with a multitude of random items, objects, events and opportunities out there, and moulding them into a powerful, compelling platform which showcases the client’s product in a new or innovative or provocative way.

Think Different. Think Outside The Box. Break the Rules.

Start somewhere new unexpectedly.

Change it up.  Something new you should try.

Advertise on the TOP of trucks to reach people in office buildings.


When the times comes for you to advertise, and it will – BE BOLD- DISTINGUISH YOURSELF- CREATE SOME PIZZAZZ (That means attractive and exciting vitality and not more Pizza’s).

But while we’re on that topic, I had one client use exactly that tactic. For one of their promotions, we had a digest page size, 4 colour flyer produced and attached to all Home Delivered Pizzas in one market for one month.

These were affixed to the top of the delivery box. It’s not parting the Red Sea, or breaking the sound barrier, but it was distinctive for them to break a mold as a more staid advertiser and launched them to a whole new audience. The response to the flyer was very positive and the return on investment more than justified the expense of this novel approach.

Capitalize on opportunities as they come up. They can be unexpected goldmines and show your client and their customers you’re thinking. In one memorable effort, a Front Page Banner position of the National Newspaper came available. That NEVER Happens (or at least in 32 years for me, it happened once)

We presented this opportunity to the client, understanding we would be in rotation with other advertisers and appear every 8th day for one year. THE CLIENT LOVED IT.  It was a spend in excess of six figures, but the exposure, the brand recognition and the resulting sales made it worthwhile.

A series of five or six ads were done, all in Newspaper Banner format. Full page width, about 2” high. One ad featured a very intense looking, bald, black male, who was tattooed on shoulder, neck and side of face. Beside him read the Line: Not for Everyone.  Next to that was a client product picture. Beside that were the words: This is.

Other ads in the series were along the same line of ‘Individuality’ versus being made for each individual.It was DIFFERENT. It drew praise from multiple places and importantly helped trigger sales. Certainly I had a client who had the resources to take advantage of this. But I would not have brought it forward if I didn’t think they had the funds for it.

Being creative doesn’t mean it has to be zany, or wacky – because you send lots of the wrong messages with those tactics too. But it does have to show a distinctive and relevant way of showing off.

Whichever media mix you choose, let their strengths and inherent creativity help you make the sale.

Stay tuned.

P.S. Defining creativity (I personally liken it to being resourceful with the items you have all around you)

That teachable skill, creativity, has been defined in many ways. It has been called
  • A "mental activity performed in situations where there is no prior correct solution or answer" (Encyclopedia of Creativity, vol. 2, "Teaching Creativity")
  • A "process of developing new, uncommon, or unique ideas"
  • An experience of thinking "characterized by a high degree of innovation and originality, divergent thinking, and risk taking"
  • The "generation of novel, useful ideas"
"Like to learn more? Nine Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising and How To Actually Make Your Ads Outperform Your Competition  is not for everyone.  It’s for smart marketers who want proven tips to make their ads work harder and smarter.

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About Me
Dennis Kelly
A professional to his fingertips, Dennis Kelly of First Impressions Media brings a deft touch as your media magician. Extracting incremental media value for you from suppliers is second nature for Dennis. His versatility in all media is bred of 3 decades of hands-on media planning & buying experience in the media trenches. As a steward of your media budget, Dennis excels in delivering smart, efficient, creative and targeted campaigns to showcase your creative to the right audience.

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Most Recent Blog Comment
Dennis Kelly says:
Thank you Gloria. What a perfectly apropos link. Thank you for sharing that. You are quite correct. ...
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