Building brands by storm: The real mad men
The real Mad Men are long gone, but they’ve planted fertile seeds in the ever-evolving processes of advertising. Famed founder and former CEO of world-renowned BBDO, Alex Osborn, brought brainstorming to the ad world as the building block from which great ideas were born. Initially phrased “to think up,” Osborn employed this creative thought cauldron as a way of generating bigger, better and more brilliant ideas for BBDO clients. His philosophy followed that if two heads are better than one, then 20 heads would lead to gold mines.
Orlando advertising agencies, and creative shops worldwide, still utilize brainstorming techniques to generate winning campaigns today. In addition to bringing otherwise untapped objectives to the table, brainstorming sessions strengthen teams within the workplace. They foster camaraderie and a true sense of belonging amongst coworkers. Encouraging your group to develop big ideas from inklings promotes a fearless well of inspiration to fill the air. People stop holding back and the notion that “there are no bad ideas” begins to take over.
A look back in advertising will show us that bad ideas do exist, however. We’ve seen them launch and we’ve watched them crumble, as we’ve quietly said to ourselves, “what were they thinking?” Chances are they were thinking… together, but not thinking together. They may have all been in the room, but they all weren’t on the same page. Concepts that start without direction can lead a team to the endzone with a well-developed campaign. But if a plan is not in place before the team hits the table, your chances for success decrease dramatically.
- Define specific objectives.
- Do your research.
- Set a time limit – and don’t go a minute over schedule.
- Keep an open mind and listen to everything that is said.
- Give everyone a chance to chime in.
- Encourage participation
- Narrow it down and walk away with a few agreed upon concepts to build upon.
Most importantly, bring your pad and paper and be ready to write down anything that comes to mind. The most successful ideas have come from the strangest places, so don’t be shy and enjoy the ride. Depriving yourself of other people’s ideas will only limit your brand’s potential. It may be your baby, but sometimes it truly does take a village to raise a child.
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