>> Thursday, November 5, 2009
I’m teaching a portfolio class for the wonderful Miami Ad School. The students, as always, are smart, challenging and extremely talented. I began the very first class by talking about what I look for when I look through a creative person’s book. Namely, a solid idea. I heard one of my students say under his breath…”Isn’t that kinda old fashioned”. For a second I thought he was talking about my boots from 3 seasons ago so I asked him what was so old fashioned? He said…”All this talk about the big idea. That’s not the way we do things”. How did he do things? He informed me that what he did 360 degree thinking. I informed him and the rest of the class that continuous 360 degree thinking without a solid idea is what is called “Going In Circles”. That’s not old fashioned or new fashioned that’s just a fact. A cool idea for a brand, that doesn’t relate to, come from or build the brand is just a very un-cool waste of time and money. What made Burger King’s Subservient Chicken idea so good wasn’t only that it was so wonderfully weird, it’s that it came directly out of Burger King’s HAVE IT YOUR WAY heritage. And if 360 degree thinking is so important (and it is) why is it that so many young creative's books are filled with web sites and phone apps and little else? Seems like that’s only about 43 degrees of the circle. Where else do we connect? How else can we socially interact? Are we confusing tactics with ideas? So, this term, we’re going to concentrate on big, old-fashioned ideas. Presented in ways that weren’t even imagined a few years ago.