29 Idea Killers

27 Jul 2006

I had a very long and exhausting day yesterday, 12 hours of creative productivity. I did 2 entire campaigns so I was kind of really tired when I got home. The campaign ideas are pretty good, according to my colleagues. I figured out quite a solid strategy and concept. I’ll blog about them as soon as they’re out in the open. (Might take a little while though, because the design still needs to be done etc.) – In the beginning of a creative process, ‘the brainstorm phase’, there’s always some real ‘idea killers’. Things people say that block what you’re doing. Here are remarks you don’t want to hear/say when you’re thinking about ‘things’, because they interrupt the free flow of ideas and associations:

  1. Yes, but…
  2. There’s no time for that
  3. No
  4. Can’t do it
  5. Too expensive
  6. It’s not logical
  7. Need more research
  8. Let’s be realistic
  9. That’s nothing for our customers
  10. No budget
  11. Don’t make mistakes
  12. The board isn’t going to like it
  13. I’m not creative enough
  14. It’s not my responsibility
  15. Too difficult to control it
  16. The change is too big
  17. The ‘old generation’ will not comprehend
  18. The market isn’t ready for that yet
  19. Think ‘real’
  20. We’ll think about that
  21. Maybe later
  22. Been done before
  23. That’s future-talk
  24. Might work somewhere else, but not here
  25. Since when are you the expert?
  26. We’re too small to do that
  27. That’s not our style
  28. Are you sure?
  29. Why?

Later on in the process, some of the remarks mentioned above might become keypoints (been done before, budget, …) to take note of. But in the first phase, when you have to think of ideas, you have to make sure nothing stops you from going down a certain road. You never know where it might end. If you don’t try to think in a certain direction because of one of the remarks above, you’re already limiting your creativity and that’s not what you want. Or is it?


Posted by Miel Van Opstal in Advertising, Marketing, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Andrea

    July 27, 2006 at 7:31 pm

    I love you :D

    I just wanted to post something like that. I can add one which we hear every day : “It’s nice but we can do it better”. That kills everything you’ve had before :D

  2. ivan

    July 31, 2006 at 6:51 am

    heh! so true! :D

  3. José Manuel Dias

    August 2, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    Blogue mt interesante. A revisitar…

  4. albeenah

    August 21, 2006 at 2:21 pm

    first off..u have a really cool advertising blog…it’s the kind I’ve always been looking for!!!
    …as for dumpers on ur parade at brain storming…I can think of a thousand more…thing is …that’s why it’s called a storm cose it needs to storm ur brain…it needs not to be logical or simple or ‘doable’…it needs to trigger ideas…and ideas are triggered when ur mind is taken away from its usual frames of thought…when will they get it ?!?!?!

  5. Coolz0r

    August 21, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks :)

  6. O.S

    September 7, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    Yep, you’re definately right. Those comments do not fit in with brainstorming. But, they are more than ok after. I’d say more ad agencies should ask them; Too difficult to control (blogs), it’s not logical (far too often…). But no, not during brainstorm.

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