There’s a way to be creative on demand, the future is here

There’s a way to be creative on demand, the future is here

Quick question before I get onto the post about the fact that now there’s a way to now be creative on demand, how long does it usually take to come up with a marketing plan that is innovative, edgy, original, and hits you in the feels in the best way possible? “Sometimes weeks, and other times quicker than you can say “Eureka!” There’s no in between, really, there are only mediocre ideas then” — this is a common sentiment a whole bunch of us marketing types will reluctantly share. It’s a sad truth of the job that no one likes to associate themselves with, but then one day, a mad genius called Andy Nathan asked the right question — “how can we get to creative ideas and critical thinking faster?” and tested out a process with success in only 2 weeks.

Which is fantastic because of a lot of things. Usually, when we’re hard pressed for time, our brains do this thing where they’re the most alert, and consciously get extra creative in trying to problem solve, or generate ideas (it’s a legit science with some fancy sounding hormones involved). We’ve always got caffeine or nicotine or some form of alcohol to thank for the buzz that gets us to shed our inhibitions, negative predictions, preconceived notions and all the jazz, and really just get cracking at the task at hand. Another thing that happens is that when we’re running out of time is that we don’t really let ourselves over think our way out of a potentially winning campaign idea — now this is also the exact same reasons why some campaigns end as fails of monstrous proportions, but that’s a discussion for another time and post.

Andy states that innovation happens at the fringes where no one’s looking, which is totally relatable and God’s honest truth because how many times have we seen the craziest suggestions coming from the most unlikely “suspects”, so to speak? Typically in brainstorming sessions it’s all a matter of something that someone said, that sparks off an interesting thought process in a person or two and then they share their ideas and everyone’s minds are being constantly exposed to new ideas — to evaluate the successes or pitfalls of, too add new dimensions and twists to, which eventually leads to one cohesive flow of ideas, which eventually translates into a strategy of some sort. Capitalizing on this Andy followed his gut and logic to set a process that would hopefully help in getting to creative ideas and critical thinking faster.

Day one starts with a kick off immersion call, with the client where the team fully understands every aspect of the client’s request and the particular challenge that’s being presented through the project at hand.

Days two and three are spent on intensive research and data digging to identify and define deliverables.

Day four the team segments the Target Audience, psychographically, and demographically, discussions about strategic development of the project and highlighting the areas of primary focus.

Day five (last day of the first work week) brings with itself a massive no holds barred type of a brainstorming session, where in the team unplugs from all distractions and just focuses on ideation and creation.

The second week is all about sifting through and polishing the strongest ideas from last week’s session, enhancing them for maximum impact, laying the foundations for the plan of action and actually executing it.

When you look back 2 weeks is a strange amount of time, simply because for some projects, it’s too long a time frame, and too short a time period for other projects. But not for Fortnight Collective who have 6 full time staffers in the Boulder, Colorado office, but a total headcount of 40, handpicked for specific projects. The birth of Fortnightly Collective was the result of Andy wanting to simulate the experience of working with a big agency experience minus the longer time periods which usually accompany such experiences, while also creating a space that is more or less an informal creative market for working professionals. This can come with its own set of challenges, wherein the team may not have a very productive brainstorming session, or the planning which seems perfect on paper and in practical application, but throws a curveball no one expected, or the client isn’t really clear with what they want from the project, or have ambiguous inputs that set a somewhat shaky foundation for the process. But that doesn’t rain down on Andy’s parade, with the belief that if we keep doing good work, clients will repeat business with us, there are only clear skies for the Fortnightly Collective.

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