Creative Stimulants

The place to be last week, for at least one kind of creative type, was the Idea Conference in New York. Hosted by Advertising Age and Creativity Magazine, the one-day conference brought together marketing experts, advertising creators, and regular New York buzz makers to look at the “latest trends in the world of marketing communications creativity.”

One throughline was the best approaches and practices to foster creativity. This is something we spend a lot of time trying to do at KadmusArts. So I took special note of the wisdom of how small budget limitations can be inspiring; or, trust one’s instincts, not research; or, create a flat management structure; or, think like a band.

However, one item in Ad Age’s Andrew Hampp’s published list of the 18 best nuggets of knowledge, certainly stands out:

9. Drugs won’t supply your ‘Aha!’ moment
They no longer fuel the creativity of Alex Bogusky, chief creative officer at Crispin Porter & Bogusky. “There was a time where I’d be working on something where I’d need to drink,” Mr. Bogusky said. “The problem is, the longer you do it, the smaller that window for creativity gets. And then you’re trashed.” He also pointed out that getting to that eureka time requires hard graft and is often about ripping up lots of OK ideas and starting over. (And you thought it was just brilliance and the occasional bong!)

Oh! Who knew?

After all, if you watch a lot of television commercials or see some marketing campaigns unfold you might think that there are lot of ad agencies that have not yet taken Alex’s advice to heart.

It should be noted that this item is listed before “Market to the Interested” (at No. 11), but after “Prototype Early” (at No. 8). Hmmm.

As wild (and wonderful) as the process of making art and then performing art can be, could you imagine an artists’ conference where this would need to be said?

This tells me that — yet again — the arts are ahead of the advertising geniuses. Yes, the paychecks differ (significantly so), but where would marketing and advert gurus be without us?

We switched to a nice glass of wine only after the arduous work of creativity is done, a long time ago.

Or, is it just me and Alex?

- Bill Reichblum

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