Who is the creative individual and where is he/she?

While we are all creative in some aspect, some people are more creative than others. How do we distinguish one from the other or do we? What should we look for when searching for creative people? While reviewing several research articles on creativity, I ran across one that might shed some light on this “creative people search.”


Creativity can be defined as the capacity to come up with new ideas to serve a purpose. Think of it as intelligence having fun! As such, creativity serves a vital role in both our personal and professional lives every day.

No wonder employers want creative employees in areas where it is essential to come up with proposals for new products and services, and new ways of doing things.

The Creative Personality

Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen at BI Norwegian Business School conducted a study some years back to develop a personality profile for creative people: Which personality traits characterize creative people? The study was conducted with 481 people with different backgrounds and consisted of various groups of “creative” people.

  • The first group of creative people consisted of 69 artists working as actors or musicians in a well-known symphony orchestra or are members of an artist’s organization with admission requirements.
  • The second group consisted of 48 students of marketing.
  • The remaining participants in the study were managers, lecturers and students in programs that are less associated with creativity than marketing.

Seven Creativity Characteristics

In his study Martinsen identified seven paramount personality traits that characterize creative people:
1. Associative orientation: Imaginative, playful, have a wealth of ideas, ability to be committed, sliding transitions between fact and fiction.
2. Need for originality: Resists rules and conventions. Have a rebellious attitude due to a need to do things no one else does.
3. Motivation: Have a need to perform, goal-oriented, innovative attitude, stamina to tackle difficult issues.
4. Ambition: Have a need to be influential, attract attention and recognition.
5. Flexibility: Have the ability to see different aspects of issues and come up with optional solutions.
6. Low emotional stability: Have a tendency to experience negative emotions, greater fluctuations in moods and emotional state, failing self-confidence.
7. Low sociability: Have a tendency not to be very considerate, are obstinate and find faults and flaws in ideas and people.

Among the seven personality traits, associative orientation (#1) and flexibility (#5) are the factors that to the greatest extent lead to creative thinking. “Associative orientation is linked to ingenuity. Flexibility is linked to insight,” according to the professor. The other five characteristics describe emotional inclinations and motivational factors that influence creativity or spark an interest in creativity. “The seven personality traits influence creative performance through inter-action,” Martinsen points out.

Less Sociable

The study shows that the artists who participated scored much higher on associative orientation than the other participants. They have a substantial need for originality and are not particularly stable emotionally. The personality profile of the marketing students was quite similar to the artist profile and also differs from the other participants in the study. The artists in the study also scored lower values for ambition than the others and are not particularly sociable.


“An employer would be wise to conduct a position analysis to weigh the requirements for the ability to cooperate against the need for creativity,” Martinsen believes. He also emphasizes that creative people may need help to complete their projects. “Creative people are not always equally practical and performance-oriented, which is the reverse side of the “creativity medal.”

Since a good eight years have passed from when this study was done, it would be interesting to learn what differences, if any, a newer study would reveal toward creativity aspects in individuals. Given that the creative landscape itself has changed, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that the new study results would reflect that.

**************

BI Norwegian Business School. “The hunt for the creative individual.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2013. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130402091133.htm.

Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog, Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

Campaign From Gillette Venus Features Singing Pubic Hair

My my, what will they think of next? I learned something . . . that, evidently, a pubic hair can sing! I did not realize that. What else did I not realize, Gillette?

Now, I know what you must be thinking: “What in the hell kind of blog post is this?!” It’s, uh, well, different.

This blog sets out each week to present thoughts and ideas about various aspects of creativity; those that touch directly on advertising and those that do not. This is one that does.

According to AdAge, marketers increasingly have dared to defy traditional taboos when it comes to personal care, as we’ve seen in more pushes around menstruationbreastfeeding and grooming. In the case of the latter, brands such as Billie razors and Veet razors have given the thumbs up to having hair wherever you want it, while EOS recently celebrated a TikTok creator who has been teaching her fans the best way to shave their lady parts. Now, Gillette Venus is jumping into the bikini line fray by encouraging consumers to “say pubic.”

The centerpiece of the campaign from Grey is an animated film starring a singing pubic hair. Yes, you heard me right.

“Hi, I’m a pube!” she announces before breaking into a Broadway-style tune, singing of her plight as a lowly, gnarly curl, hoping to be treated like her colleagues who spring forth from other parts of the body.  As the tune ramps up, she’s joined by other pubettes in a Busby Berkeley-style routine. 

For those of you unable to log into the AdAge site to view the animation, here are the lyrics to Gillette’s latest.

I’m just a pube, and it’s not fair.
All I ever wished to be was just another hair
But when they got one look at me
The ruling from society was “Ewww”
“Not you!”
Oh what’s a curl to do
It seems like all the ads are showing perfect skin and shiny hair
But what about this other world inside your underwear?
It’s ok to say our name
You really can say pubic
No need to be ashamed
It’s even kind of therapeutic
Why the mass hysteria about the pubic area?
There’s nothing diabolical about this little follicle
So take care of us, your pubic hair
If you trim, or you shave or you’re bare down there
Whichever way’s your way
It’s all okayyyyyyyyy
Yes, it’s okay!

Another push encouraging consumers to be at ease with body parts and bodily functions

The campaign aims to normalize conversation around body parts like the pubic area to make women feel more comfortable about grooming there. “Because pubic is not a dirty word, and your pubic hair and skin deserve its own care,” the brand said in a statement.

Gillette Venus had conducted a female consumer survey about the use of anatomical terms such as “pubic.” It found that nearly half of them believed it feels more accurate to use such terms yet only 18% are actually using them. More than half, 56%, said they wished there were more accurate imagery and descriptions in media of women grooming in the pubic region.

The campaign playfully addresses the issue, while the Gillette Venus site promoting the products also features imagery of a diverse range of women shaving their bikini lines. The packaging too, features the words “pubic hair.” Along with the video, the effort includes a TikTok component inviting others to sing “The Pube Song.”

“With over two decades of research and scientific development in women’s hair and skin under our belt, literally, we know that grooming means something different to every woman,” said MyAnh Nghiem, Gillette Venus communications director in the statement. “Our new collection not only offers women more options for pubic grooming than we ever have before, but starts a new conversation about using language that accurately and respectfully represents the female body.”

Okay, okay, some of you may already be saying, “Enough is enough!” You gotta admit, though, advertising ain’t boring (well, alright, some of it is; some of it is even dreadful). This spot tries to be educational, informative, and entertaining, I guess, if not a little quirky. Frankly, if you didn’t realize the animated curl was in fact a pubic hair, I’m not sure that you’d figure it out based solely on looks.

What will they think of next? Uh, I’d really rather not think about it.

Today is: International Creativity and Innovation Day

#IAmCreative . . . so there! No, really, are you?

We are all creative. We just approach the process from different perspectives. After all, each one of us is unique and so is our process, our way of thinking.

On this day, slow down and rediscover your own way of creating and relish your creativity. Plus, explore what is highlighted below as well as WCIW’s site for all the events happening around the globe.

Have fun!

wciw-logo-dark-1024x332

 

WCIW

 

World Creativity & Innovation Week

If you liked this post, check out these others here.

Copywriters’ Virtual Summit 2020

The American Writers and Artists Institute (AWAI) sends me email frequently. When I read one about a virtual summit for copywriters, I was intrigued. It was free, so I signed up. Fortunately, in registering for this free webinar, I could listen to the four+ hours of its content both live and at my leisure.

Addressing those writers out there, I think this will be well worth your time. Some of the highlights are outlined below as to what you can expect to gain as well as the current version of pricing for various writing projects. So grab a comfy chair, sit back and take a listen. Don’t forget to download the pricing guide for later reference.

10 bits of what you’ll discover….

  • How to deliver the quicker “on demand” content customers want…
  • What Google really wants when it comes to content (and why you can’t fool it…)
  • How to make your blog stand out among over the more than 1 billion blogs on the Internet…
  • Why content curation is hot – and the first step to becoming an in-demand master curator and influencer…
  • The subtle distinctions between regular copywriting and UX copywriting and why it will set you apart as a copywriter…
  • The basic formula from writing successful “chatbot” copy that feels human and why every copywriter will need to learn it…
  • The three types of newsletters you should be pitching to virtually every client you have…
  • The future of long-form video and why tomorrow’s copywriters in some niches will need to learn “Hollywood” scriptwriting and storytelling techniques…
  • Why email is “cool” again — and how copywriters can use email to generate the most sales on a word-for-word basis…
  • COPYWRITERS AND COVID-19!

 

AWAI Virtual Summit

Beginning with a 10,000-foot view of the copywriting industry as it stands today, AWAI’s 2020 State of the Industry Report and Copywriting Pricing Guide offers a deep dive into the immediate “state” of direct response and the copywriting needs of the market.

AWAI 2020 PriceGuide

It starts with the must-read overview “7 Marketing Trends and Predictions for Staying Connected to Your Customers” – where today it’s all about audience focused engagement through video, content, mobile, personalization, search engine “micro moments” and more.

Plus:

  • What’s working best today when it comes to copywriting messaging…
  • The most effective platforms B2B buyers use when making a purchase decision…
  • The most effective copywriting platforms for attracting new customers
  • Marketing channels businesses perceive as most effective…
  • “Going rates” for over 75 copywriting projects – everything from sales letters to PPC campaigns to press releases to e-letters and more.
  • How todays royalties and retainer deals are structured…
  • How to find and recognize a skilled copywriter (if you’re a marketer) and how to know what marketers are looking for (if you’re a copywriter…)
  • How to plan and organize a copywriting project – from what to ask for as a writer, to what to be willing to supply as a marketer…
  • How to provide extraordinary value to your client as a copywriter – and earn more and higher fees in the process…

 

Your comments and feedback would be welcome as I’m interested to learn what you think or thought of this program and how it’s presented. Don’t be bashful, now!

 

Future of Advertising

What of advertising? What of normalcy?

What of Coronavirus? What of sanity?

What of the future? The simple truth is, we don’t know.

Yet.

Though we can’t predict the future, we can wager a pretty good guess at times as to how we think all will turn out. However, everything is so up in the air right now. No one really knows what’s going to happen with this Coronavirus and the lives it has touched, plus those it hasn’t reached yet. I came upon this publication covering a variety of topics relative to advertising and its perceived future.

Regardless of the impact of COVID-19, vast changes in the way we do things are inevitable. Touching on several areas of marketing and creativity are key players in the global scene sharing their perspective on advertising and the ways we deliver the message to the consumer. Here are a couple of highlights.

Ads, Authenticity and Action

“Marketing is in a perpetual state of disruption . . . but the best way to deal with disruption is to lead it,” so says Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Proctor & Gamble. It’s “constructive disruption” he’s looking for: “There have been many disruptions that have destroyed value but the hardest task is to disrupt in a way that creates value for the consumers we serve.”

As it relates to marketing, he adds “(we want to create campaigns) more superior, more useful and more interesting to the point where people actually look forward to seeing ads.” He continues “The way we’re focused on doing that is by merging the ad world with other creative worlds, with music, comedy, sports and entertainment. So, we can continue to convey the superiority of our brands. But done in a way that is really engaging.”

The Campaign for Creativity

Philip Thomas, chairman Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, “believes creativity is essential for business growth, industry and societal change and as a driving force for good.”

“The businesses we work with tell us that embedding creativity requires the right conditions and culture to drive long-term, sustainable growth and impactful brand building.

“For brands and businesses to remain relevant and future-fit, they must continually reinvent.

“In recent years, we’ve seen an emerging trend in creative work driven by purpose. And on Festival stages we have seen brand activism, social justice and diversity lead the discourse. There’s been a recognized shift in the move from purpose and activism to accountability, and of course action.

“With the combination of global reach and power of brands, as well as the expertise of organizations like the UN, and the unbounded creativity of the advertising and marketing community, change for good is truly possible.”

There is no one single “conclusion” or summary statement relegated to the future of advertising. That’s because its state is comprised of various amounts of integral data, cultures, points in time and marketing techniques. It’s complicated and it will change.

The publication Raconteur lays it out nicely and is an interesting read.

Enjoy!

 

Future of Advertising Cover

Creativity in the Corporate Ivory Tower? Sheesh, surely you jest?!

This is not a whodunit, nor is it a Perry Mason murder mystery about the Case of the Kangaroo Court. What it is, however, is the Business Case for Creativity.

An excerpt from a review of the book itself reveals, “Debate in the advertising and marketing industries has raged for decades: does creativity make advertising more effective? Or is it just the folly of creative people looking to win their next award?

“The arguments of both advocates and cynics have until recently been based on conjecture and anecdotal evidence. James Hurman’s seminal creative effectiveness book The Case for Creativity brings the debate to a conclusion with three decades of international research into the link between creativity and business results.”

Tom Roach, BBH’s (Bartle-Bogle-Hegarty) effectiveness head, was asked by Thinkbox to present the business case for creativity at their spring event. Inspired by Thinkbox’s own  innovative slide desk, the presentation he gave brought together the best evidence for the value of creativity in marketing communications. Here are excerpts from that presentation along with my own take on the case for creativity.

Case for creaivity

Simply stated, without creativity one has nothing. The beautifully executed creative plan of an advertising campaign can not be overshadowed by something comprised of “just the facts.” The campaign must have charisma, its own personality, to be believable. However, being believable doesn’t necessarily mean playing it safe or conservative.

Take this attitude from Keith Wood of Unilever in his Forward of the book:

Forward-Case for Creativity

That may be the case but the industry still has a ways to go and many more folks need to know. While this may be true, can we say there is a crisis in creativity? If so, how so and what is it?

First, let’s take a step or two back and ask: “What do we mean by creative?”

Well, there’s this . . .

Novel . . .

And this . . .

Good ideas . . .

And this somewhat in-your-face guideline . . .

Make it different . . .

Okay, all good and fruitful definitions and clarifications of what creativity is or entails. As with several key issues in the business world, creativity is complicated, especially when the problem is multifaceted and everyone on the marketing committee has a different viewpoint.

But, is there a crisis in creativity? Well, let’s see.

Trends Wrkg Against

Campaign effectiveness has fallen (UL), Budgets have been falling (UR), Short-termination has been rising (LL), Long-term cases have lost efficiency (LR)

Ad Blocking

Hmmmmm, looking kinda murky, isn’t it? Let’s consider this :

Rising Sea

 

Smart Phones

Autos

Ah, yes, nothing like differentiation in car ads!

 

Case for creaivity

 

Creative Companies

S&P 500

Disruption

Creative Execution

Emotional

Ad Slogans

While the above slides are true, I vote for more thoughtfulness and less cutesyness. In some advertising, the ad could have the audio muted (saying what the ad is about) with just the video or image shown, and most folks wouldn’t be able to tell what product is being promoted. Let’s face it, cars and cologne can be interchangeable. And, I guess, trucks are destined to be driven only in the “out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere” scenarios.

Creativity Brings

I’d like to add at least one more: Intangibles. Sometimes you just don’t know what makes a good ad good. It just works.

 

Our Objective

I definitely agree with this last poster. Effectiveness is key to creative execution. Smart creativity is a must. Play to one’s audience still applies but do so without insulting their intelligence. I’ll go out on a limb and say that, generally speaking, a twenty-something copywriter has little to no understanding of how best to relate to the “senior plus” set, unless he can relate to his grandparents.

Case for Creativity Book

If you want to view a more in-depth portrayal of this presentation, see the Business Case for Creativity. It’s not your ordinary slide deck. Neither is the book on which the presentation is based.

This is one Whopper we pray will never find its way onto BK’s menu.

WARNING: If you’re squeamish, prepare yourself and, please, don’t throw up on your computer monitor!

burger-king-moldy-whopper-2020

        Burger King highlights “the beauty of no artificial preservatives” in its Moldy Whopper campaign.
Burger King

In a word, BLEAHHHHH!!!

Last week, according to Adweek, Burger King unveiled a global ad campaign  highlighting its commitment to dropping all artificial preservatives. Such campaigns, while laudable, come and go somewhat often without generating much more than passing interest.

This one is truly bizarre. It tests just how far Burger King can virtually thrust its product down its customers’ throats before they gag.

The Moldy Whopper campaign, created through a partnership between three agencies, features intriguingly high-resolution photography and video of a Whopper being consumed not by humans, but rather by the horribly incredible passage of time itself. In other words, we get to see a Whopper rotting. Lovely!

Adweek reports that each ad shows a Whopper whose ingredients are being engulfed in mold, alongside a date stamp letting you know how long the burger has been exposed to the elements (too long, but typically about a month). The tagline, are you ready for this, describes the images as “the beauty of no artificial preservatives.”

Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder?

The work promotes the brand’s pledge to drop all artificial preservatives, which it has accomplished across much of Europe and 400 locations in the United States. By the end of the year, Burger King says it will have removed artificial preservatives from Whoppers in all U.S. locations. That’s nice and laudable.

I’m still feeling nauseous.

“At Burger King, we believe that real food tastes better,” (no kidding) said Fernando Machado, CMO for Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands International. “That’s why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colors and flavors from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world.”

burger-king-moldy-whopper-outdoor-1-2020

Burger King

I’m sorry but this just looks gross! It’s certainly not appealing at all. I get what they’re trying to convey but I wonder if BK ever considered giving out Tums, Alka Seltzer or nausea tablets with their meals.

In addressing reality, Adweek posits that the mold campaign might be challenging to common sense, but it was also a difficult one to accomplish in terms of craft and required months to achieve.

“We are very proud of crafting this idea,” said Björn Ståhl, executive creative director for Ingo, one of three agencies involved. “Mold grows in a very inconsistent way. We had to work for several months, with different samples, to be able to showcase the beauty of something which is usually considered undesirable.”

” . . . the beauty of something undesirable.” Really? Sort of sounds like a contradiction in terms. I’m still feeling nauseous.

burger-king-moldy-whopper-outdoor-2-2020

Burger King

So how will it go over? According to Adweek’s reporting, in the short term, the likely answer is: not great. Head-scratching advertising tends to generate quite a bit of short-term negative publicity, usually thanks to morning talk shows and late-night monologues.

And some within advertising will call the work “awards bait,” knowing that juries at Cannes Lions and other awards festivals tend to swoon over concepts that challenge every seemingly obvious but unwritten rule of advertising, such as “Don’t make your food look like it will literally kill people.”

But in the process of sparking debate and consternation, the campaign is also likely to resonate across the industry and encourage other brands to take similar moves, knowing that the ideas will be easier to sell when something so “off the wall” (that’s one way to put it) has already been sold to a major global corporation.

burger-king-moldy-whopper-vertical-1-2020

Burger King

This campaign will indeed show something else:  How strong are BK’s customers’ stomachs? This is revolting no matter how “beautiful” the photography. Just because a global corporation has gone along with this hideous idea doesn’t make it one to copy. After all, how many global CEO’s have signed off on something that should never have come out of committee?

What will definitely be interesting to see will be the types of “toned down” ideas and executions coming forth that are based on the Moldy Whopper campaign.

In the meantime, BK needs to supply their restaurants with plenty of Tums and barf bags, just in case.

 

PS . . . Thanks to David Griner (@griner), creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek’s podcast, “Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad” for source material for this blog.

And the Easter Bunny Went Hop. . .Hop. . . Fart. . .Hop Along the Way!

Easter’s coming and with it the crunch of candy selling. Most will be customary and traditional, with some even being kinda cute. Yet, customary and traditional are not exactly what this blog is about. Innovation and creativity, with a tip ‘o the hat to weirdness, is more in line with what we like to showcase.

This year I’ve come across a bit of untraditional marketing, via a Business Insider article, utilizing Mr. Bunny and his, uh, hopping. Yet, kids should get a kick (hop?) out of the Bunny’s candy while parents should get a bit of a chuckle out of the Bunny’s offering.

Both would agree it’s a bit silly, but so what?

What am I talking about? Why it’s Bunny Farts, that’s what. What are Bunny Farts, you ask? Well . . .

Bunny Farts

According to the description for the fruit punch-flavored pink cotton candy, the Easter Bunny consumes a “magically unique diet of apples, carrots and candy […] known to produce farts that are sugary and delicious.” Sorry, but that just sort of makes me grimace a bit.

Little Stinker, the maker of Bunny Farts, also sells products like “Unicorn Farts,” “Dinosaur Farts,” and “Reindeer Farts.” The company pledges to donate 10% of profits from each product — including those purchased on Amazon — to a specific cause.

This type of marketing, though, makes me wonder. What if the company approached the Charles Schultz Foundation (you know, Peanuts) to see about a tie-in with you-know-who for a possible product named Beagle Burps? However, the connotation here suggests that  the famous feline Garfield might be better suited for the promotion. Just a thought.

“We are proud to have donated over $130,000 to various charities since we began three years ago,” Little Stinker Vice President Melanie Simpson. told INSIDER via email. “Our mission is Making the World a Sweeter Place, one bag at a time.”

Sales of the Bag of Bunny Farts along with sales of the Bag of Unicorn Farts have benefited children through donations to the Unicorn Children’s Foundation, The Next Step Academy, Ovarian Cancer Connection and KultureCity.

You can buy a package on Amazon for $8.95, or on Little Stinker’s online store for $9.95.

More information on this and other Easter related and interesting news can be found at Business Insider.