Do we define creativity too narrowly?
Dave Trott in his new book ‘Creative Blindness and how to cure it’ tells a wonderful story about a random list of lucky people who received invitations from a TV company to watch the Washington Redskins.
Much coveted tickets were like gold dust and to receive such an invitation made the recipients fortunate indeed, ensuring enthusiastic attendance. When the privileged guests arrived at the venue they were feted at a welcome reception prior to an announcement from the stage. Imagine their surprise when the announcer told them that they were all under arrest and to get down on the floor as armed police burst in and handcuffed them!
Unbeknown to each other, they were all fugitives from the law. This was a sting operation and it resulted in 119 arrests and 101 convictions all for a cost of $22,000, saving millions of dollars in the process.
This is creativity in action, a great example of the relevant unexpected. A breakthrough idea that achieved far superior results to the usual methods at a fraction of their usual cost! What’s not to like?
Yet too often, discussions among those involved in creative agencies seems to focus on a rather narrow range of communication activities. This is not to say that these activities are unimportant, they are important! Nonetheless, surely both clients and agencies should also be looking for big transformative ideas that really do break the mould, ideas that give real meaning to being disruptive!
Indeed, as AI begins to chip away at more and more of what we do, it seems probable that breakthrough ideas will increasingly separate those agencies that prosper from those mired in the past. The good news is that there is no need to wait until we receive an invitation, we can start now!