The Struggle of Creative Thinking

Leveraging Old Ideas for New Inspiration

I recently returned from the IPREX Global Leadership Conference in Philadelphia. It was an amazing experience where I was able to network, share best practices and learn from emerging leaders from PR and marketing agencies around the globe.

One standout session was called “Creative Steals.” Before meeting, we were tasked with sharing ideas and campaigns that we found inspiring or meaningful; during the conference, we talked through each program and why we had chosen it.

The session got me thinking about how to be a more creative thinker and how to use these skills for future brainstorming or planning sessions. We can find inspiration everywhere – even if it’s “stealing” good ideas. Not sure what I mean? Here are a few examples and how you can use the concepts and borrow ideas for your company.

Samsung Safety Truck:

[YouTube – Samsung Safety Truck]

About the campaign: Samsung tested a new Safety Truck, a trailer-truck with a wireless camera in the front and screens on the back so that cars behind the truck can view what’s in front of the truck and hopefully prevent car accidents that take place when passing on two-lane roads.

Idea to steal: Is your organization looking for a unique way to build brand awareness and goodwill with customers? Maybe your business has a unique technology or capability that can extend past their current product offerings? To get your creativity flowing, ask yourself, “What if we went beyond just promoting the product this time? Can our company solve an existing problem even outside our industry?”

 Transavia #SnackHolidays

[YouTube – Transavia #SnackHolidays]

About the campaign: For a limited time, budget airline, Transavia France, offered cheap flights with packets of “crisps” and sweets at supermarkets. Customers who bought one of the products before the #SnackHolidays promotion received a voucher code for a discounted flight.

Idea to steal: Is your organization and its industry primarily doing business online? Are you trying to break through an already cluttered space? To get your creativity flowing, ask yourself, “What if we went offline for this program? What’s something completely opposite of our existing strategy – and what if we did that instead?”

 T-Mobile “Drop the Balls” Super Bowl Ad

[YouTube – T-Mobile “Drop The Balls” Super Bowl Ad]

About the campaign: The commercial, which plays off Steve Harvey’s infamous mistake during the Miss Universe pageant, directly calls out T-Mobile competitor, Verizon, for using old data and compares T-Mobile’s coverage with Verizon’s.

Idea to steal: Do you have facts and figures that show why your company is superior? Are you looking for ways to take advantage of a current event? To get the creativity flowing, ask yourself, “Can we make use of data to support performance claims? Is there a current event or issue that we may be able to leverage in a fun, relevant way? Are we willing to call out the competition?”

The next time you’re struggling in a brainstorming session, why not steal borrow an existing idea? It’s as Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.”


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