It begins with a very straight-forward thought… ‘we need to communicate this in a totally different and more original way than we ever have before’… but it’s from here things can become a little more complicated.
You see the different, the unexpected and the completely original is not the problem. We can all come up with ideas to achieve any one, if not all, of these things, but having put our spectacular, never-before-seen communication into place, what next?
And this is where the challenge truly lies. We begin to consider the risks of failure, the possibility the communication won’t land in the way we originally intended. Our creative thinking begins to falter and, slowly but surely, we eat away at our appetite for originality, losing confidence and leaving our original aspirations in tatters. So, here we are back where we started, only now we have deleted the words “original”, “unexpected” and “different” from our brief. We’ve replaced them with interesting, eye-catching and the obligatory, yet meaningless, words: “wow” and “factor”!
Of course, there is nothing wrong with playing it safe. We had a job to communicate and that job has been done…tick. But more often we’re asking what have we achieved. Was our goal to simply communicate or was it to change people’s thinking and what they do to benefit our organisation through the process of communication? If the latter and it worked, then…BIG TICK!
The fact is: creative originality comes with a level of risk, and to be original is to do something in a way that has not yet been done before and for which there is no set precedent. If to us this sounds somewhat insane, there are of course ways of reducing the risk. However, the positive by-product of greater risk is the exciting and oh-so-tantalising opportunity to achieve a much more effective and memorable outcome.
Never forget that fortune does tend to favour the bold and luck is often on the side of those who take chances and risks. Put another way: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results” – Albert Einstein.
One thing that can significantly help put our minds at rest is experience. Not experience of doing the very original communication we are looking for as, well, it’s never been done before! But experience of delivering something original, the success of which was achieved by the way in which the challenge was confronted. This means there is a level of diligence which can help better predict the outcome. Undoubtedly, it will mean more of your valuable budget being invested in researching, developing and testing the idea. But this will be money well spent when the outcome delivers beyond your wildest aspirations.