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TALENT IMITATES 
GENIUS STEALS 
@edwardboches 
edwardboches.com
AND THEN IT REMIXES 
@edwardboches 
edwardboches.com
Four chapters on: 
how to be creative in the digital age
Chapter One 
Creativity matters more than ever
New research from the University of Pennsylvania, published in a recent issue of the 
journal Cognitive Neuroscience, showed that when the prefrontal cortex, your 
command center for cognitive control and a filter for your random thoughts that might 
interrupt your present tasks, is inhibited, your ability to tackle creative activities can be 
better. This is because your unfiltered thoughts actually offer an advantage. 
In other words, the less cognitive control, the better your creativity.
There’s a new marketing challenge:
There’s a new marketing challenge: 
The Scarcity of Attention
2000: 12 seconds 
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information
2000: 12 seconds 
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information 
2013: 8 seconds
2000: 12 seconds 
2013: 8 seconds Goldfish: 9 seconds 
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information
We need great, attention-worthy ideas
We need great, attention-worthy ideas 
That invite participation
We need great, attention-worthy ideas 
That invite participation 
That generate content
We need great, attention-worthy ideas 
That invite participation 
That generate content 
That inspire sharing
We need great, attention-worthy ideas 
That invite participation 
That generate content 
That inspire sharing 
That earn media coverage
Unfortunately 
It never gets easy, but there are a few tricks.
Chapter Two 
There’s no such thing as an original idea
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot 
of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give 
them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on 
turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same 
old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
A new and curious combination
A new and curious combination 
Illustration interacting with photography
A new and curious combination 
Illustration interacting with photography 
Editorial comment
A new and curious combination 
Illustration interacting with photography 
Editorial comment 
A bit of irreverence
A new and curious combination 
Illustration interacting with photography 
Editorial comment 
A bit of irreverence 
Dash of inappropriate
Art director grew up in the country 
Copywriter has chickens 
Account executive’s kids went on a field 
trip to a farm
Art director grew up in the country 
Copywriter has chickens 
Account executive’s kids went on a field 
trip to a farm 
Google image search
“We take ideas from other people, from people we've learned from, 
from people we run into in the coffee shop, and we stitch them together 
into new forms and we create something new.”
Chapter Three 
We have to master both stealing and remixing
Note: this is not an invitation to plagiarize.
OUCH!
7 km/h.
But these are ads, messages, paid media.
Social media
Social media 
User generated content
Social media 
User generated content 
Encouraging influencers
Social media 
User generated content 
Encouraging influencers 
Inspiring action
Social media 
User generated content 
Encouraging influencers 
Inspiring action 
New ways of telling stories
Social media 
User generated content 
Encouraging influencers 
Inspiring action 
New ways of telling stories 
Owned content
Social media 
User generated content 
Encouraging influencers 
Inspiring action 
New ways of telling stories 
Owned content 
Creating utility
In an age of digital, social and mobile 
we have to remix more than two ingredients.
Chapter Four 
Learn to dissect good ideas and steal the formulas.
Social media 
User-generated content 
Inspiring action 
New ways of telling stories
Social media
Formula: Social media (in the stream) 
• Find a relevant cultural or media event 
! 
• Go where the fans are; what are they interested in? 
! 
• Take inspiration from the (event’s) content 
! 
• Connect your product to it
Thousands of re-tweets 
Pages of press coverage 
144,000 followers on Twitter *
* A laundry detergent.
Formula: Social media (in the stream) 
• Find a relevant cultural or media event 
! 
• Go where the fans are; what are they interested in? 
! 
• Take inspiration from the (event’s) content 
! 
• Connect your product to it
User-generated content
Tactics 
• No media buy 
! 
• Volumes of free content across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube 
! 
• Brand story told by users with followers 
! 
• Extensive media coverage
Results 
1000 videos / 5 million plus views / 500,000 FlickR views / 3 million Twitter impressions 
37 % brand awareness among GenY / 50,000 new prospects currently not Ford owners
Formula: User-generated content 
• Create an experience 
! 
• Invite participation that inspires and enables content 
! 
• Document everything 
! 
• Distribute, repackage and encourage sharing
Formula: User-generated content 
• Create an experience 
! 
• Invite participation that inspires and enables content 
! 
• Document everything 
! 
• Distribute, repackage and encourage sharing
Inspiring action
- 12 %
Formula: Inspiring action 
• Start with something that would be good for 
your customer rather than what’s good for you. 
! 
• Spread joy, not fear (never lecture) 
! 
• Create a crowd or community (visible) 
! 
• Reinforce by rewarding (gaming dynamics)
+ 46 %
Formula: Inspiring action 
• Start with something that would be good for 
your customer rather than what’s good for you. 
! 
• Spread joy, not fear (never lecture) 
! 
• Create a crowd or community (visible) 
! 
• Reinforce by rewarding (gaming dynamics)
New ways of telling stories
Formula: New ways of telling stories 
• Think about how to “demonstrate” your message 
! 
• Create an actual “stunt” that attracts users/prospects 
! 
• Work across multiple media and technologies 
! 
• Record reactions and create a story
We asked people to upload an image of a friend on our website
Our image manipulators than edited the photo…
…and pasted it in photo of a non existing event.
The participants received a notification that their manipulated photo 
was placed into the event album.
People could then tag their friend in the photo.
Formula: New ways of telling stories 
• Think about how to “demonstrate” your message 
! 
• Create an actual “stunt” that attracts users/prospects 
! 
• Work across multiple media and technologies 
! 
• Record reactions and create a story
Formulas work and 
you can find them everywhere.
Formula: New ways of telling stories 
• Break big things into little pieces 
! 
• Offer a psychic reward for participating 
! 
• Don’t be afraid to ask, then trust people to do right 
! 
• Be joyful and enthusiastic
Formula: New ways of telling stories 
• Break big things into little pieces 
! 
• Offer a psychic reward for participating 
! 
• Don’t be afraid to ask, then trust people to do right 
! 
• Be joyful and enthusiastic
It’s about your customer, not about you.
To recap
There are no original ideas
Find good stuff to steal
Re-mix ingredients
Dissect formulas
Think “do” versus “say”
I don’t tell my friends about your product 
because I like your product.
I tell my friends about your product 
because I like my friends.
References and Resources 
A Technique for Producing Ideas 
Where good ideas come from 
Creativity Study 
Attention Span Statistics
@edwardboches 
edwardboches.com 
slideshare
Talent Imitates, Genius Steals: Four Chapters on Being Creative in the Digital Age

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Talent Imitates, Genius Steals: Four Chapters on Being Creative in the Digital Age

  • 1. TALENT IMITATES GENIUS STEALS @edwardboches edwardboches.com
  • 2. AND THEN IT REMIXES @edwardboches edwardboches.com
  • 3. Four chapters on: how to be creative in the digital age
  • 4. Chapter One Creativity matters more than ever
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7. New research from the University of Pennsylvania, published in a recent issue of the journal Cognitive Neuroscience, showed that when the prefrontal cortex, your command center for cognitive control and a filter for your random thoughts that might interrupt your present tasks, is inhibited, your ability to tackle creative activities can be better. This is because your unfiltered thoughts actually offer an advantage. In other words, the less cognitive control, the better your creativity.
  • 8.
  • 9. There’s a new marketing challenge:
  • 10. There’s a new marketing challenge: The Scarcity of Attention
  • 11. 2000: 12 seconds Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information
  • 12. 2000: 12 seconds Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information 2013: 8 seconds
  • 13. 2000: 12 seconds 2013: 8 seconds Goldfish: 9 seconds Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information
  • 14.
  • 15. We need great, attention-worthy ideas
  • 16. We need great, attention-worthy ideas That invite participation
  • 17. We need great, attention-worthy ideas That invite participation That generate content
  • 18. We need great, attention-worthy ideas That invite participation That generate content That inspire sharing
  • 19. We need great, attention-worthy ideas That invite participation That generate content That inspire sharing That earn media coverage
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22. Unfortunately It never gets easy, but there are a few tricks.
  • 23. Chapter Two There’s no such thing as an original idea
  • 24. “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
  • 25.
  • 26.
  • 27. A new and curious combination
  • 28. A new and curious combination Illustration interacting with photography
  • 29. A new and curious combination Illustration interacting with photography Editorial comment
  • 30. A new and curious combination Illustration interacting with photography Editorial comment A bit of irreverence
  • 31. A new and curious combination Illustration interacting with photography Editorial comment A bit of irreverence Dash of inappropriate
  • 32.
  • 33.
  • 34. Art director grew up in the country Copywriter has chickens Account executive’s kids went on a field trip to a farm
  • 35. Art director grew up in the country Copywriter has chickens Account executive’s kids went on a field trip to a farm Google image search
  • 36.
  • 37.
  • 38.
  • 39.
  • 40. “We take ideas from other people, from people we've learned from, from people we run into in the coffee shop, and we stitch them together into new forms and we create something new.”
  • 41. Chapter Three We have to master both stealing and remixing
  • 42. Note: this is not an invitation to plagiarize.
  • 43.
  • 44.
  • 45. OUCH!
  • 46.
  • 47.
  • 48.
  • 50.
  • 51.
  • 52.
  • 53.
  • 54.
  • 55.
  • 56. But these are ads, messages, paid media.
  • 58. Social media User generated content
  • 59. Social media User generated content Encouraging influencers
  • 60. Social media User generated content Encouraging influencers Inspiring action
  • 61. Social media User generated content Encouraging influencers Inspiring action New ways of telling stories
  • 62. Social media User generated content Encouraging influencers Inspiring action New ways of telling stories Owned content
  • 63. Social media User generated content Encouraging influencers Inspiring action New ways of telling stories Owned content Creating utility
  • 64. In an age of digital, social and mobile we have to remix more than two ingredients.
  • 65. Chapter Four Learn to dissect good ideas and steal the formulas.
  • 66. Social media User-generated content Inspiring action New ways of telling stories
  • 68.
  • 69.
  • 70.
  • 71. Formula: Social media (in the stream) • Find a relevant cultural or media event ! • Go where the fans are; what are they interested in? ! • Take inspiration from the (event’s) content ! • Connect your product to it
  • 72.
  • 73.
  • 74. Thousands of re-tweets Pages of press coverage 144,000 followers on Twitter *
  • 75. * A laundry detergent.
  • 76.
  • 77.
  • 78. Formula: Social media (in the stream) • Find a relevant cultural or media event ! • Go where the fans are; what are they interested in? ! • Take inspiration from the (event’s) content ! • Connect your product to it
  • 80.
  • 81.
  • 82. Tactics • No media buy ! • Volumes of free content across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube ! • Brand story told by users with followers ! • Extensive media coverage
  • 83. Results 1000 videos / 5 million plus views / 500,000 FlickR views / 3 million Twitter impressions 37 % brand awareness among GenY / 50,000 new prospects currently not Ford owners
  • 84. Formula: User-generated content • Create an experience ! • Invite participation that inspires and enables content ! • Document everything ! • Distribute, repackage and encourage sharing
  • 85.
  • 86.
  • 87.
  • 88. Formula: User-generated content • Create an experience ! • Invite participation that inspires and enables content ! • Document everything ! • Distribute, repackage and encourage sharing
  • 90.
  • 91.
  • 92.
  • 93.
  • 94.
  • 96. Formula: Inspiring action • Start with something that would be good for your customer rather than what’s good for you. ! • Spread joy, not fear (never lecture) ! • Create a crowd or community (visible) ! • Reinforce by rewarding (gaming dynamics)
  • 97.
  • 98.
  • 99.
  • 100.
  • 101. + 46 %
  • 102. Formula: Inspiring action • Start with something that would be good for your customer rather than what’s good for you. ! • Spread joy, not fear (never lecture) ! • Create a crowd or community (visible) ! • Reinforce by rewarding (gaming dynamics)
  • 103. New ways of telling stories
  • 104.
  • 105.
  • 106.
  • 107.
  • 108. Formula: New ways of telling stories • Think about how to “demonstrate” your message ! • Create an actual “stunt” that attracts users/prospects ! • Work across multiple media and technologies ! • Record reactions and create a story
  • 109. We asked people to upload an image of a friend on our website
  • 110. Our image manipulators than edited the photo…
  • 111. …and pasted it in photo of a non existing event.
  • 112. The participants received a notification that their manipulated photo was placed into the event album.
  • 113. People could then tag their friend in the photo.
  • 114.
  • 115. Formula: New ways of telling stories • Think about how to “demonstrate” your message ! • Create an actual “stunt” that attracts users/prospects ! • Work across multiple media and technologies ! • Record reactions and create a story
  • 116. Formulas work and you can find them everywhere.
  • 117.
  • 118.
  • 119. Formula: New ways of telling stories • Break big things into little pieces ! • Offer a psychic reward for participating ! • Don’t be afraid to ask, then trust people to do right ! • Be joyful and enthusiastic
  • 120.
  • 121. Formula: New ways of telling stories • Break big things into little pieces ! • Offer a psychic reward for participating ! • Don’t be afraid to ask, then trust people to do right ! • Be joyful and enthusiastic
  • 122.
  • 123. It’s about your customer, not about you.
  • 125. There are no original ideas
  • 126. Find good stuff to steal
  • 129. Think “do” versus “say”
  • 130. I don’t tell my friends about your product because I like your product.
  • 131. I tell my friends about your product because I like my friends.
  • 132. References and Resources A Technique for Producing Ideas Where good ideas come from Creativity Study Attention Span Statistics