The 10 Creative Commandments


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The 10 Creative Commandments. Or, the stuff I wish I’d known when I started my career.

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The 10 Creative Commandments

  1. 1. Or, the stuff I wish I’d known when I started my career. THE 10 CREATIVE COMMANDMENTS Jon Hallowell, Group Creative Director.
  2. 2. Number One. Nuff said.
  3. 3. A product that sucks will always suck. An idea that is not right for your client or brand can’t be bent to fit no matter how hard you try. Spinning gold from straw, making a silk purse from a sow’s ear, even polishing a… well you get the picture. It’s like alchemy, its not possible so don’t waste either your, your client’s or your employer’s time and money trying to. ‘ No matter how skillful you are, you can't invent a product advantage that doesn't exist. And if you do, and it's just a gimmick, it's going to fall apart anyway.’ William Bernbach
  4. 4. Number Two. Don’t kid a kidder.
  5. 5. Never be so proud or arrogant as to pretend you know it all. Let me set you straight right now. You don’t! If you try to pretend you do, you’ll be found out quicker than you can ever imagine and that isn’t going to lead to career progression. Be humble and don’t be afraid to ask questions, people have far more respect for those who know their limitations and seek to improve themselves rather than a gobby ‘knowitall’. ‘ The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.' Socrates
  6. 6. Number Three. One’s an idea, two’s a coincidence. Three’s a campaign.
  7. 7. Every great campaign is more than a one-trick pony. It can be three executions, three channels or three messages. Just make sure it works more than twice. Do it three times and you can be sure you can do it again and again and again. It may sound improbable but its similar to the Laws of Physics, you don’t really have to understand how this works, just know that it does. ‘ Three. That’s the magic number.' De La Soul
  8. 8. Number Four. Do good work and be nice to people.
  9. 9. Sounds really simple doesn’t it? Well it isn’t, you’ll do what you think is great work and someone will slate it. Be nice now! Just concentrate on being the best most professional Creative you can be. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, worry about what you are doing and do the best you can. If you can manage that you’ll be well on the way. Remember it’s nice to be nice. “ No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work.” Mother Theresa
  10. 10. Number Five. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
  11. 11. Just ‘cos you’ve watched ER doesn’t make you a Doctor. And just because you know how to drive a Mac doesn’t make you a Creative just yet Sonny! Start every job with a pad and a pen. Or else! This means you’ll avoid the pitfall of letting the computer do your job for you. And more importantly it taking that job, when you are found out! “ The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.” Hugh Macloed
  12. 12. Number Six. Idea A. Idea B. Ok then... what’s idea C?
  13. 13. You were hired because of what’s in your head, ideas, ideas, ideas. Don’t keep them in there let them live and breathe. One of them could make your career. So you’re sat there with your partner trying to crack a brief and nothing is happening. Start looking in more obscure places. Start batting ideas back and forth, don’t be shy and don’t worry if what comes out of your mouth sounds like scribble. Rome wasn’t built in a day. “ Do or do not, there is no try.” Yoda
  14. 14. Number Seven. S**t in. S**t out.
  15. 15. Analyse everything before you start work on a brief. The strategically focused creative is indeed a rare and valued individual. I suppose what I’m trying to say is make sure you know things at least as well as your account team and your client. Read, re-read and then read the brief again. Ask questions and be inquisitive, if you don’t give a monkeys, how and why should your audience? “ Strategy and timing are the Himalayas of marketing. Everything else is the Catskills.” Jack Trout
  16. 16. Number Eight. None of this is rocket science.
  17. 17. Instinct is as valuable as theory. It’s a left brain, right brain balance and once you have it going on, you’ll be unstoppable. Some people will tell you Creativity is an art, some a science. It’s actually a bit of both and the sooner you learn to leverage both elements the easier things become and the better the results. “ Common sense is not so common.” Voltaire
  18. 18. Number Nine. KISS.
  19. 19. If two people are vying for your attention and shouting to be heard, do you think you are going to hear everything they each have to say? Of course you won’t. And it’s the same with ideas and messaging. Don’t let the client talk you into shoe-horning every feature into their advertising, will anyone be able to trawl through chaff to find the wheat? I suspect not. Keep it simple stupid! ‘ Simplicity is the by-product of a good idea.' Paul Rand
  20. 20. Number Ten. This is Serious Fun.
  21. 21. If you love what you do, you’ll do what you love and this will show in you and the work you produce. Look to enjoy every day as a new intellectual challenge and treat every brief as if it could win you a D&AD pencil, it may not but you should strive for this Zen-like state. What we do has serious business implications for our clients and we should always be mindful of this. But, and this is important, make sure you have some fun along the way. ‘ Make your thinking as funny as possible.' David Ogilvy
  22. 22. For Serious B2B Marketing Fun, get online and get social. ITS BEEN EMOTIONAL