Califoregonian

Month: October, 2012

8. 100 most creative people 2012

In my creative strategist class, we talk a lot about being innovative what that exactly means. This article from Fast Company lists the 100 most creative people in business in 2012. This article shows a lot of innovation, in my opinion, as the winners range from the founder of the national kidney registry to the president of Gatorade. These are people that are thinking of new solutions by embracing new angles and perspectives. And by the way, if you’re not reading Fast Company, you’re missing out.

Some of the most fascinating people:

1. Olajide Williams is using hip-hop to educate African-Americans and Latinos about chronic and acute diseases in their communities. He does this by educating the artist first, saying that he doesn’t write the songs himself, but he does educate the artist, who, in turn incorporates the material into their music. Williams has kids from the Bronx sit on his board of directors. Last year, Williams’ organization saw 8,000 participants from New York City public-schools and also expanded to Washington, D.C.

website (beware it’s loud) // twitter// facebook.

2. Maria Popova is a must-follow if you’re on Twitter! She tweets out great articles and other fascinating information every day. Fast Company named her the #51 most creative person in business this year and this is why: she’s a curator of interestingness. Popova says, “I aim to share content that is meaningful.”

twitter // facebook // wesbite.

3. #9 Garet Hill of the National Kidney Registry talks about how innovation changed the face of his non-profit. After five years of developing a special kind of algorithm, they were able to provide up to 167% more matches than before.

4. Man Jun, Fast Company’s #1 most creative person in business in 2012, recalls Beijing to be a much different city in his childhood than it is now. Ma founded the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) in 2006 and since then, Ma has channeled the power of the Internet and motivated the younger generation of China to make an environmental change. His organization, thanks to the large volunteer support they have, have found nearly 97,000 records of factories in China violating green laws.

website.

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7. Brand Stories

TED talk: Tim Leberecht

Takeaways from Tim Leberecht’s “10 Brand Stories:”

1. “Brands are what other people say about you when you aren’t in the room.”

2. “Reputations are volatile, loyalties are fickle.”

3. Radiohead re-releasing IN RAINBOWS online gave consumers the opportunity to determine the price for themselves by being allowed to choose for themselves how much they wanted to pay. It sold more copies this way than before.

4. Danish chocolate company Anthon Berg opened  “The Generous Store” in Copenhagen. The company asked people to buy chocolate with the intention of doing good deeds towards the people they loved.

“It turned transactions into actions and generosity into a currency.”

5. Patagonia asks you not to buy new clothes from their lines, but instead look towards eBay for used products. They ask you to re-sole your shoes before buying new ones. Interesting. Though it may have harmed short-term sales, it boosted long-term loyalty with shared values.

“The ultimate empowerment of customers is to ask them not to buy.”

6. “Companies are the makers of their fortunes…This should make them more human.”

7. Companies like Netflix and Hulu offer unlimited vacation to their employees, saying that productivity is higher when they focus more on what needs to get done, rather than how many days were worked. Jon Steel, similar to Hulu and Netflix believes in the worth in offering unlimited vacation, also saying that productivity is higher when people feel as though they don’t have to be in the office for the sake of looking productive if they are really fried.

8. American Express turns travel into a game, British flower company Interflora sends flowers to customers having a bad day, and Dutch airline KLM launch “little acts of kindness” campaigns. In another TED talk on brands, Jason McCue says that brands need to live by example.

9. Companies embracing their ideals and doing the unexpected are really making a difference.

10. Listening to people talk about brands is fascinating to me.

British ubykotex

Outlandish British company Bodyform sells feminine products. After receiving a complaint on their Facebook page from a man named Richard, Bodyform made him a parody video. The video reminds me of ubykotex. Here’s what he got:

related articles: telegraph uk // today msnbc // stumbleupon

6. 33 Ways to Stay Creative

While stumbling, I found this list:

Thoughts:

1. Yes. A+.

2. #6 should be #1- stop beating yourself up is the key to staying/feeling creative.

3.#7, and #8 are both refreshing in their own way- take a break and rest your mind conventionally, but then go and free yourself unconventionally. Sing, let loose- whatever.

4. #9- This is my motto. Glad to see it made the list.

5. #10- I think this is so key. #11 says listen to new music, and #10 says know your roots. This is the paradigm of life. Learning new things and opening our tastes to acquire new ones makes us happy, but so does our favorite classic rock song. It’s all about balance. Ying and Yang.

6. #15- this is my favorite one and it’s arguably the most useful in remaining creative. Bouncing ideas off of my classmates, friends, group members- whoever really- helps me stay creative. It also helps me stay within edges, so that I don’t get too far out there with an idea.

7. #19- go somewhere new. I have had to do this for assignments in journalism classes before, and it actually gets the mind thinking in a new way. This is especially true of Eugene. There are a lot of interesting people here and going somewhere new usually promises adventure. Just go explore, even if it’s a short walk down a new path.

8. #21 Count your blessings- nothing helps solve the issue of hitting the brick wall like perspective. Perspective changes everything, and often times can clear your mind so you can start over.

9. #23- take risks. You don’t know until you try. Cliché, but so true.

10. #26- don’t force it. This is key. Forcing a bad idea will never work, you will only hit dead ends. Stepping away from a situation that feels forced usually does the trick for me.

Find the full article here.

5. R&R Partners

My favorite ad campaign of all time was done by R&R Partners. R&R Partners has 7 offices: Vegas, Reno, Denver, L.A., Phoenix, Washington D.C., and Salt Lake City.

These ads are funny, yet tasteful. There isn’t a lot of explanation needed, and that’s the beauty about good advertising. When it’s done correctly, when it’s smart, it just hits you. That’s what it’s supposed to do. Enjoy.

When I first saw the Mt. Rushmore REMAX ad, it just hit me, and I thought it was hilarious- why didn’t I think of that? I thought. This campaign as a whole is smart, witty, fun, but it’s still able to be taken seriously- it’s not a joke. It’s the right amount of humor. It’s honest- you want an impressive entryway? Okay, this is the best in the country. We can get you that. R&R sends a big message here by using national monuments, and I think they achieved monumental humor.

Smart. Witty. Fun. Funny. Resourceful. Innovative. Problem-solving. Critical. Conceptual.

4. Distractions

Growing up, my mom and dad always nagged me about procrastinating, especially while attending community college my freshman year. I’d have a paper due Tuesday, let’s say, and I wouldn’t actually get around to writing it until about 11:00 pm Monday night. I wasn’t worried, so why were they? It’s not like I wasn’t thinking about it- trust me, it felt like a 50 lb dumbbell on my shoulder. But I just didn’t know what I wanted to say. I’ve always had this issue- I get a writing assignment and immediately think that I need to write some sort of universal truth. Luckily I became an ad major and realized everybody else has similar issues. Maybe not about the universal truth part, but about waiting for the right idea to hit them.

I remember I had to make a scrapbook for an English class in high school after reading The Grapes of Wrath. I waited to start it until 8:00 p.m. one night (luckily it wasn’t due the next day), and I stayed up working through the next morning. I was proud that I was done, but my dad’s feelings didn’t quite match: “WHY DIDN’T YOU GET ANY SLEEP?” (Maybe I should take him to the Knight Library.)

I stumbled upon this article from Design Taxi, titled “Seeking A Convenient Distraction.” It’s a good read overall illustrating a basic, universal creative process that I would argue many of us go through:

  • Grab coffee, begin brainstorming, and wait for caffeine to kick in. Open new word document, and stare at blank screen while waiting for the perfect idea. Check email, Facebook, Twitter, and other “not so blank” pages. Realize two hours have been wasted. Convince yourself that you will think better if your room/kitchen/bathroom, etc. was clean. Stare at clock and watch it tick, counting the hours you have left to complete the task at hand. Freak out and engage in self-loathing for wasting time.

After reading The Creative Process Illustrated, I can really relate to this article. One common thing The Creative Process Illustrated and this article have in common is the acknowledgement of a state of fear/panic/self-loathing. Often times, industry professionals were quoted in The Creative Process Illustrated saying they often times feel like hacks when brainstorming. This article acknowledges a similar self-loathing phase:

  • The familiar anxiety that I struggle through before I can let go and allow myself to just create without expectation, without judgment or projection of the worse. I don’t always arrive at that place easily, sometimes it takes hours before I allow myself to lean into the discomfort and finally put the brush to the canvas.”

The article appeals to my creative process, as there is a lot of coffee and staring off into the distance involved in my own process. However, the article goes on to discuss the ways to prevent becoming distracted, and this is where I disagree. Distractions in journalism, advertising, public relations and any other related fields mean “brain food.” What I mean by that is, the common sites one resorts to when looking to be distracted, are sites that feed our minds with images, words, videos and other creations that can actually fuel our own original ideas to become lasting creations.

My favorite distractions:

Forbes, media bistro, ad age, adweek, creativity-online, i believe in advertising, help me be f*cking creative, techcrunch & THE ECONOMIST.

quote

“Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.”

–Oscar Wilde.

Illusions

“…and that’s what scared me. I didn’t believe in love, did not think it existed, and if it did, that it was just an illusion, and I didn’t want an illusion to be the center of my life.”  Mr. LFrance’s Prophet Provocateur Vanity Fair, 2003

3. BOLD storytelling

mediabistro introduced me to this sweet video called The Bold:

The Bold tells the story of the philosophy of its creator, BOLD Edition. The Bold uses metaphorical and literal definitions to describe who BOLD Edition is and what they do. They are based out of Boston.

BOLD Edition, according to its website, exists because they believe that every story has a literal and figurative meaning that should be exemplified in storytelling. BOLD Edition is a “journalistic exploration of the extraordinary within the commonplace,” and their videos offer an interesting perspective on the many different ways a story can be told.

The Newsmen–

The Sting–

The Revelation–

The four videos on their vimeo site differ, some stories are told with a thoughtful, compelling tone, while others are told through the use of quick images and robotic narration. Some stories relay deeply personal information, while others consist of snippets of news broadcasters. These videos bring me back to my days in my 3 Gateway to Media classes when I thought that because I was an advertising major, I didn’t use storytelling, so these classes were a waste- or something I just had to get through. These videos remind me of the transformation I made about halfway through my first class, when I realized that storytelling is everything to everybody in the world of journalism- and yes, advertising fits into that world.

Putting the Public back in Public Relations

original