October 27, 2020

Creative Exercises That Are More Effective Than Brainstorming

It is not an easy task to come up with creative campaigns for clients. It requires a team effort and a dedicated session of brainstorming especially if you are working in a creative ad agency. More than often, these brainstorming sessions prove to be futile as we go forward. As most of the ideas that click are either already implemented, executed by the brand’s competitors or may simply not be up to the mark.

So how do we overcome this creative block?

Here are 8 points that are better and more effective than brainstorming!

1. S.W.O.T. Analysis

If you don’t know what S.W.O.T is, it stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is generally used by businessmen and entrepreneurs.

So what is SWOT analysis exactly?

Although it sounds really fancy, its implementation for creating ideas is simple. You just jot down all the possible ideas on a whiteboard in the meeting. For instance, if you are creating a new tagline for the brand, ask yourself the questions like what is the strength of your current tagline? What do you not like about it (weakness)? Which new areas do you want to cater to (opportunities)? What taglines can backfire or is it controversial (threat)?

2. Brain-Writing

If you have ever played a game called Chinese Whisper in your childhood, you can relate this idea to it.

Basically, every person in the team writes an idea on the paper and passes it on to the other person. The other person will read it silently and then write his own unique idea, and the process goes on until everyone finishes writing their ideas. So if you have 10 people in your team, at the end of the meeting, you will have 10 different ideas.

3. Forced Connections

Sometimes the best way to get out a creative rut is to link 2 items that do not belong together. For example, Apple watch, smartphone, or sofa beds. This technique may bring meaningless output, but it’s a great way to play around items and explore the possibility of creating something unique.

4. Wishing

Let your imaginations run wild! Ever wanted your absurd wishes to come true? Like your dog being able to fly? Firstly, you have to list down all your wishes or ideas on a paper. Once you have your ideas listed, work with it in detail and figure out how they can help your brand. Ask different questions such as how do I scale down some features, how do I make changes to make the idea more relevant, etc. This kind of activity is fun to work with and it also helps in opening new creative aspects.

5. Ask Questions

The more you ask, the more you know. This technique is helpful as questioning every idea or existing creative strategies will help in the formation of new ideas.

This is even more helpful for a 360 degree creative agency as one question may have different answers, allowing you to explore other possibilities.

6. Six Thinking Hats

There are a lot of tools available for idea, logo, and brand name generation. One of such tools is by Edward de Bono, a psychologist, author, and consultant who founded the technique in his book Six Thinking Hats, in 1985.

To summarize his idea, there are 6 different coloured hats every team has to wear while developing an idea. Every colour has a different role such as logic, emotion, creativity, devil’s advocate, optimism, and management. Depending on these roles, every person has a set of responsibilities and criteria that has to be met. The collective effort of the team in a creative advertising agency brings unique and quality results.

7. Group Sketching

The visual activities are known to trigger and develop ideas as compared to thinking and writing. Similar to Brain-writing, this activity involves multiple people. Instead of writing ideas, you draw a graphical image.

First, the central idea is developed and then the team members keep adding different sketches relating to the central idea. Once a set of considerable images is achieved, the final discussion on the idea is done.

8. Mind Mapping

Mapping is not just about organizing your data but your ideas as well. First, note down central area that is the problem you are facing. You can either do this on your computer, but we believe whiteboards bring out more and better ideas. After you’ve listed the central area, expand that with corresponding needs as your second layer.

For instance, if you want more website traffic (your central idea) then your second layer would be on the grounds like SEO, videos, unique content, etc.  Next step would be brainstorming or in many cases directly implementing the points of the second layer. Top rated advertising agencies implement this strategy to finding solutions to a problem.

We hope these pointers help you start getting creative!