We hope our Practical Tips – Part I went some way towards helping you loosen those creative joints and think differently about how you can tackle even the most daunting of creative challenges.
But wait, there’s more. We want to make it even easier for you to kiss goodbye to that creative block. So here they are, our practical tips part 2, three more tried and tested approaches to help you maximise your creativity and raise your content game.
Steal with pride
"GOOD ARTISTS COPY. GREAT ARTISTS STEAL"
As Jonathan Richman once said, Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole. So we should probably take his advice on board right?
At pd3 we definitely think there’s a lot to take from this. But why would we, especially as a creative agency, openly stand up for stealing ideas?
We are all culture sponges, consciously and subconsciously soaking in the influence of everything we’re exposed to. We’re all a product of our times and our cultural upbringing. It’s inescapable. But we should embrace the chance to learn from and be inspired by those who have come before us.
The Quest For Originality is Futile
Let’s face it, it’s all been done before. Every path is now well and truly trodden.
And in an age where there is now more than 5 million years of content on the internet the task of being TRULY original is even further from reach.
Even when we wear our influences on our sleeve, we can deliver shiny, new & awesome cultural experiences. The key is to make sure we are adding something to the conversation.
Just look at Stranger Things – a melting pot of stolen ideas and clichés that is now as much a part of the cultural landscape it was so blatantly influenced by. Something new from something old.
Copying ain't cool, but you can and should use what’s already out there and make it your own - make it better and more relevant for your audience. We think that’s pretty creative.
To merely copy is to take an existing interpretation and not run away with it.
To steal an idea is to take something of value and make it yours.
To make an artistic element yours you have to interpret it your way with your own approach. Mutate that lil beauty into something weird and wonderful.
make an awesome spreadsheet
A spreadsheet can be the liberator of creativity.
From the outside, spreadsheets seem about as far removed from creativity as you can get. Regimented columns and rows, facts, figures & formulas. Spreadsheets don’t exactly ignite the imagination…
But never underestimate the power of a well-organised spreadsheet when it comes to fully realising the potential of your creative idea.
An idea is nothing unless you can make it happen. And it won’t happen unless someone stumps up the cash.
You need to know that an idea will deliver on your goals before investing in it, we get that. The money needs to add up
- Will it work?
- Can we afford it?
- Are we making our investment go as far as it can?
This is why you’ll find spreadsheets at the heart of most of our work, big and small.
We use spreadsheets to help legitimise our ideas, steering crucial decision making on our approach and informing the scale and feasibility of creative solutions.
It may seem dull but spreadsheets will help anchor ideas in reality without being restrictive. They’re like the level headed pragmatist behind every mad-eyed crime boss, Stringer Bell to Avon Barksdale, keeping a reign on the operation before it succumbs to excess. The bridle to the wild stallion of creativity.
They are your opportunity to explore all avenues and arrive at the best possible creative solution to meet the demands of a brief. Especially when you’re trying to scale an idea for bigger impact.
Remember, formulas are your friend. A good, well organised spreadsheet will help keep everyone sane.
Go forth and co-create
Pd3 love a good collab.
Collaborations are a great way for brands to grow and connect with their consumers in an effective and authentic way, creating unique content and storytelling that you couldn’t achieve on your own. And while we’re sure this is at the forefront of most of your thinking already, we find it useful to consistently re-evaluate the why & how of partnerships to make sure they’re always on point.
First and foremost, the best collaborations always have a strategic fit at their core. Always ask yourself
- Do they have the same audience as you?
- Do they have an audience you want to tap into?
- Could they offer you an opportunity to step out of your content rut?
- Are they influential to your audience?
- Does doing it together make it better than doing it on your own?
3 WAYS TO FIND YOUR NEW FRIENDS & CO-CREATE
Scour The Internet
There are loads of services out there these days which make the recruitment of authentic, creative and cost-effective brand collaborators a piece of piss.
Powered by automated searches, services like Tribe and BuzzSumo allow you to input details about your campaign, audience and budget and recruit influencers that strategically fit your brand. Select the cream of the crop to take the photos for you, from locations around the world, and bingo, authenticity and creative excellence for less budget (they’re taking those photos anyway – we’re just getting them for a brand).
If you’re looking for a content partnership with a little more weight to it, search relevant trends, #s & industry press for someone that aligns to your brand and sound them out for a collaboration.
Give Your Customers A Brief
Lots of brands’ customer bases are a bubbling pot of creativity. Why not see what yours has to offer by briefing them to start creating for you?
Sugru are an ace example of a company doing just that, building their brand hand in hand with their customers with epic results.
Tap Up Your Agency
We creative agencies tend to acquire friends from all corners of the culture sphere. At pd3, we’re always happy to share our little black book of contacts with our clients – playing match maker for your partnership pleasure.
THINKING IN ACTION
Steal With Pride
For Safestore, we stole with pride from the world of voyeuristic culture – the likes of MTV Cribs, Through the Keyhole, Cash in the Attic – and delved into the world of collectors to highlight the fascinating & emotional stories behind people and their stuff.
The original idea of nosing through people’s possessions was by no means original but we made it Safestore’s own, targeting real life stories and tying them to Safestore’s brand platform ‘Stuff is Great’ to celebrate the deep-rooted human connection to things.
Make An Awesome Spreadsheet
Making O2 the most associated brand with music in the UK would never have been possible without a well-organised (and huge) spreadsheet.
With a programme of content that rolled throughout the year, often working on low budgets and with only a few days’ notice, we needed a tight hold on content production, distribution and talent.
Our spreadsheet was our savior, breaking down and organising the artists, content formats, costs and comms channels to allow for a flexible and effective system that everyone on the team had visibility over.
Over the years we’ve helped our clients build loads of awesome partnerships. Including (but not limited to!):
Real Creativity Is Making It Happen
There you have it. Our 6 top tips to help you on your way to making more creative content.
Now all you need to do is go and bring your new raft of ideas to life. After all, amazing ideas are pointless unless you can make them happen.