Are strategists allowed to have creative ideas?
On the balance of probabilities not really, but that doesn’t stop it happening.
In a conversation with some strategy types on Twitter I was wondering what happens to the ideas we have that don’t make it – not because they are “off brief” or “out of strategy’s remit” but because there wasn’t a brief or paying client in the first place?
In my day to day life I work with people who use data-inspired creativity and technology to create brand experiences that give clients an unfair commercial advantage. Occasionally some of that rubs off and I find myself sketching random ideas for clients we don’t have in my free time – the District Line truly is hell.
The challenge lies in what to do with them: an unmade idea is a waste of everyone’s time. Strategists don’t tend to have a “bottom drawer” and the situations we focus on often have specific contexts that make re-using old ideas unwise. Most never see the light of day.
But in the spirit of Christmas I thought I’d share 3 ghosts of ideas past, present and (apocalyptic plastic-choked) future. If any bits of them are useful or you get to make them, let me know…
Past – Aga AI Stories
Combining AI and human creativity tends to be the fashionable preserve of tech or big cultural brands. But what about smaller historic, heritage brands? Aga is a classic British brand – hand cast and each one is unique. They’ve also got a shop in Spittlefields that I walk past on the way to the station, which got me thinking. The sagas created by the prototype were a little scary…but molten iron cast typography would be fun.
Present – Just Eat Take(away)over
Brands with the biggest market share can grow when you grow the category. Just Eat is the biggest player in the exploding food delivery market but despite the fleets of bikes delivering takeaways every night only 23% have had one in the past month and saved themselves the pain of washing up. So I started thinking of how Just Eat could challenge behaviour in the category and encourage more people to take the night off by hijacking the Internet of Recipes.
Future – Drowning in Plastic
That shocking turtle and straw video got people sharing and bars banning a particular manifestation of single use plastic. But our oceans are still filling up. The mind is willing but commitment can be weak when the problem is far away and, for a surprising number of people, never even in sight. How could you bring the problem home and see it in a different context? Warning: may contain Hypervoxels.