Thursday, October 23, 2008

What were we thinking?

I hit on this topic yesterday, but I don’t think I did it justice.

It’s a strange phenomenon. It happens when creatives are working far too late. The lack of sleep combines with the pizza and coffee (or beer) to create a bizarre mental state. There are 3 levels:

Level 1
People are nodding off. Long periods of silence are interrupted by shouts of “What if we…” All ideas seem like crap.

Level 2
You want to go home, but you can’t. So your brain’s survival instinct kicks in. Suddenly shit ideas look ok. And ok ideas look good. Lots of stuff gets pinned to the wall during this stage.

Level 3
The pizza is long gone. Your brain is running on fumes. A strange feeling of euphoria sets in. You laugh at everything. At this point a half decent idea seems like the most brilliant thing in the world. You haven’t just done the work, you’ve fucking nailed it! Go home get some sleep.

The next morning, blurry-eyed, you hobble into the conference room to review your late-night genius. But wait. What happened? The ideas that seemed so killer last night have lost their shine. You’re now looking at a bunch of weird concepts that don’t really work. Like these:

The No Idea-Idea
Just the product and the logo! Or no logo! It’s so simple. It’s so clean!

The Work in Progress
Amazing illustration goes here. Brilliant, poetic copy goes there.

Apple Amnesia
I think I may have seen the black silhouette look before.

The Logistical Nightmare
We film in all 52 states and at both poles!

Ain’t Gonna Happen
It’ll only work if we can get Tiger Woods to sing with David Bowie.

SNL Skit
Totally hilarious :28 spot with no connection to the product or strategy.

Way Off-Target
I think 10-15 year-olds will get the “Where’s the Beef” reference.

Way Too Current
Joe the Plumber jokes are going to be big for at least two years.

The In-Joke
Everyone knows what it’s like to work in a New York advertising agency for a creative director who wears Hawaiian Shirts and likes to tell stories about his Mom’s big orange cat.

We Are the World
A spot about a bunch of creatives sitting around at 1am trying to come up with a great idea.

Sample headline: The only people too stupid to use this product are Creative Directors named Steve.

Hyper Truth
Our Double-Cheese Pizza will clog your arteries and kill you. But it’s a tasty death.

Noob Error
Uh, we submitted that same idea last year.

Didn’t Read the Brief
You might have mentioned that the product is new.

It Writes Itself!
No it doesn’t.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very Good post on Thinking.

karim - Positive thinking