How to Generate the “Big Idea” from Top Creative Directors

In the fast-paced world of PR, there’s no shortage of brainstorming “big ideas” to help our clients generate news coverage in real-time. In fact, it’s one of our favorite things to do and usually results in some pretty impressive results. To glean inspiration for striking “big idea” gold, we attended “How the World’s Top Creative Directors Come Up with the Big Ideas” at Advertising Week, moderated by Teressa Iezzi, editor for Fast Company Co.Create.

While the following creative advertising panelists don’t practice PR for a living, they are certainly pros at using tried-and-true brainstorming methods to uncover insights that ultimately drive business for clients. That’s good enough for us!

Here are their words of wisdom for uncovering the “big idea:”

Conor Brady, Chief Creative Officer, Huge:
“Try to get away from the computer and talk to one other. Get out of the office. I’m a big fan of grabbing a drink with co-workers. NYC itself is inspiring. Go see a film, or a story slam. See how others solve problems. Most of all, make something you love.”

Sam Cannon, Executive Creative Director, Razorfish:
“Constraint is good for creativity. Focus on the insight, know your crutches and replace those on a regular basis. Edit yourself.”

Amy Hodgins-Carvajal SVP, Creative Director, Publicis Kaplan Thaler:
“Have confidence in yourself. Don’t hold your ideas back because of fear of criticism. Take inspiration from kids; they have a fresh perspective. Poke around to really understand who you’re aiming to talk to. Idea generation is just a reconfiguration of something that’s already there.”

Gary Koepke VP, Global Executive Creative Director, SapientNitro:
“Get a variety of people in the room. There’s no bad idea. Ideas are fleeting; they come and go quickly. Keep them close, and just when you think you have the idea, put it away and start over. Let the idea mature like red wine.”

Reid Miller ECD, Taxi New York:
“It’s about layering. Start the brainstorm with a few core people, then add a few more, and then go outside and find more. Then look at cultural insights and trends. The idea will just get bigger and bigger. Be curious and doubt what you think you know. Focus on collaboration and curosity. Curosity means being willing to change what you thought you knew and put all the little pieces together to build a bigger idea.”

To read more, check out this great Adweek article by Tim Nudd, “Genius or Process? How Top Creative Directors Come Up With Great Ideas.” Now get brainstorming!

Posted on September 25, 2013, in Advertising Week, DiGennaro Communications, Events, The Hit Board and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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