Channeling Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce

Posted on 11th Jun 2012 by Sylvia O'Hagan in Tips and Tricks

An episode of Mad Men this season had copywriter Peggy Olson left in charge of pitching – unsuccessfully – an ad campaign for Heinz beans. This was round two for the renowned TV ad agency, after Peggy’s original bean ballet idea was shot down in the season premiere. As is the case with us creative types, Peggy is once again frustrated by the Heinz executive just not getting the imagery and idea she was passionate about, and the team was sent, literally, back to the drawing board.

The episode got me thinking how today’s digital business landscape has triggered the need for that sort of old school creative campaign development, complete with witty headlines, brand mascots, catchy jingles and the like. In today’s crowded marketplace, it’s essential to flex our creative muscles to develop attention grabbing content that would make even hard to please Don Draper proud. Internet viewers are looking for content that engages, entertains, makes them laugh, makes them think, motivates… and to get to those results you need to draw viewers in with a spot on, creative campaign.

Being creative is a difficult concept for some. There are stereotypes on creative “types” and many people think you can’t be both business focused and creative. A recent article in Mashable discussed the topic. To get your creative juices flowing, try some of these tried and true tactics:

Facts First

In order to get creative about a brand or internet campaign, you need to know the ins and outs and everything there is to know about a brand. Visit where a product is made, monitor a service, talk to customers and staffers. You never know what detail, even the most minute, can trigger a winning idea.

Check out the Competition

An audit of what the competition is doing is important information. Review those products or services in your category to help you assess how they relate to your brand and inspire thoughts on how you might want to present a different and better viewpoint.

Bring on a Brainstorm

Two, three or even more minds are better than one when it comes to creativity exercises. Bring together colleagues on the brand, and even outsiders, to amass fresh ideas, or start the process of building on concepts.

Get Out and Play

Creativity is hard to come by when you are stressed and overworked.Sometimes the best ideas are spurred by being out of the office, on your own or with your team. Nurture creativity too in your workplace by giving employees adequate down time and building inspiring work practices into the work environment.

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