Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Can you have a template for creativity?

Some people are naturally more creative and artistically gifted than others. But is there a formula for creativity? Can you learn how to unlock ideas, make connections, inspire people with your message? I have always believed that creativity, much like any other skill can be learned. This week I found a research study undertaken by an isreali team of researchers that proves it! The fundamental templates of quality ads. Marketing Science 18 (1999).

They assessed 200 ads that were winners in top advertising competitions and found that 89% of the ads could be classified into 6 broad templates. They went on to run an experiment with 3 groups of average people "off the street" who were asked to come up with ads for 3 products. 1 group had no instruction, another were given training in creative brainstorming and the last were trained on the 6 templates. The top 15 ads from each group were selected by an experienced creative director and tested on consumers.

The result...the ads in the last group were rated 50% more creative than the other groups and produced a 55% more positive response to the products advertised. And this was after 2 hours of training!

So what are the secret templates for creativity? As a rough rule of thumb its all about disruption, unexpectedness and the unusual. Below are the 6 templates and some modern day examples.

Extreme Consequences
Pictoral analogies
Extreme/ unusual Situations
Competition (often in an unusual situation or use)
Interactive experiments
Altering dimensions (ie changing time, space)
An ad from Hoover. Tagline: For a product demo break glass

A great ad from Spain for homelessness.
Tagline: Help. So that no one has to come here for food.

An ad from Germany's Olympic sport agency.
If you dont move you get fat

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