Posts Tagged ‘Creative Strategy’

Flex that Creative Muscle—Work out your Imagination!

September 15, 2015

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I’m a runner. More often than not, you’ll find me running countless laps around my neighborhood right after work. But, I didn’t always enjoy running. In fact, I used to be very bad at it. Back in high school, I would struggle to complete a mile in less than 15 minutes. However, after many years of conditioning and long runs, I have no problem running 5+ miles! Years of daily, hard aerobic workouts paid off, and now my mile time is around 8 minutes.

I believe it is also equally important to actively “work out” your mind. Depending on the type of mind exercises you do, you can improve your creativity and/or analytical thinking. As members of the marketing field, we need both creative and analytical thinking skill sets. So, why not set aside time to work out our minds so that we can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our creative and analytical thinking?

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Specifically, since I am currently in IMC 615 Creative Strategy, I want to focus on how to improve creativity. I wanted to share a few things that I personally do to exercise my mind. These “mind exercises” have helped me to become more creative and imaginative:

  1. Change your mindset. Switch from a “I can’t” way of thinking to a “what if?” mindset. This allows you to see a problem or a certain aspect of life from new and different angles.
  2. Daydream. There is no set way to daydream, but you should practice doing it. Personally when I daydream, I like to think of “what if’s” and turn them into detailed story plots. Therefore, daydreaming allows my mind to get better at creating stories and characters. In fact, storytelling has become very easy for me, because I daydream so much.
  3. Try something new. Break away from your routine. I like to take a Saturday trip once a month to visit a new place or State Park. Doing this opens my mind up to new experiences and new scenery.
  4. Immerse yourself in art—movies, paintings, music, sculptures, dances, theater, and novels. This allows you to see and experience other people’s perspectives and ways of thinking.
  5. Learn about other cultures and try to interact with people from those cultures. Many of us have narrow scopes and perceptions about the world; I know I did before I began traveling the U.S. and the world with the military. In fact, I once traveled to Africa for a month, and that experience opened my eyes to new ways of thinking and creativity. They had completely different lifestyles and artistic styles!

What about you? Do you have any specific “mind exercises” you do to improve your imagination and creativity? Please share!

Q&A with Dr. Larry Stultz.

November 13, 2014

I’ve been an IMC student for over a year now, yet the resumes of the program’s instructors still impress me. One of those who is impressive both as a professional and professor is Dr. Larry Stultz. If you haven’t already had Dr. Larry for IMC 615, I’ll let you learn more about his background here.

When I took his class, he provided me with motivating, constructive feedback that contributed to- what I believe- is one of my best projects in the program (a Quiznos campaign, for anyone wondering).

I thought it would be interesting to get Dr. Larry’s take on the direction of the ad industry and advice for students entering his class. Can you guess what his favorite ad slogan is? Read on to find out.

Q: How do you envision the decline of print and rise of digital influencing future advertising approaches?

A: The rise of digital marketing and social communications has changed advertising and public relations in very human ways. Print advertising was always about pushing products, services, and philosophies. Print designers knew how to make graphic matter yell out to us and demand attention.

Ten years ago, Joseph Jaffe urged us to “join the conversation,” and the conversation became social at first. Then, it spread into marketing platforms that we all find much more personal and satisfying than print ever was.

Digital marketing gives us affinity groups we can purposely join and/or identify with. We all feel better about pull strategies, even if we do not recognize them as purposeful, because we feel we are making our own decisions about our media consumption, as well as our goods and services consumption.

Q: In your Creative Strategy & Execution class, you ask students to select a brand that is in need of revitalization. If you were the student, what brand would you choose?

A: Were I to choose a brand for my revitalization efforts, I would first choose an industry category I am passionate about. More importantly, I would select a category that will need me in the future. Creative Strategy & Execution is all about portfolio building.

Big box stores won’t be needing me. Electronics megastores probably won’t need me, and the me-too shopping mall clothing outlets won’t either.

I would try and discover the near-future preferences a growing target market will be developing, probably an online brand or at least one with an online market. I would select one of the struggling start ups and brand them into super stardom. Then, my portfolio would serve me well upon graduation.

Q: Favorite iconic campaign slogan?

A: The most memorable campaign slogans come from my early days in the advertising business, when I think advertising tried harder.

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Hertz vs. Avis- Whose slogan wins?

I remember the early days of car rental companies. Hertz laid claim to being number one. They weren’t number one, but they said they were and we believed them. So, competitor Avis was the one that got it right. They said “We’re number two, so we have to try harder.” Their employees wore big white buttons with red type that read, “We try harder.”

Of course, the iconic Rolling Stone magazine campaign was emulated for years. How many iterations of “Perception. Reality” have we seen since the 1980s?

If we look at current advertising campaigns, my favorite has to be Southwest.com and their slogan, “If it matters to you, it matters to us.” Southwest.com has aligned itself completely with the Internet. It has a social media presence and an online reservation presence that is killing the competition, including the online travel sites. They have rebranded their planes, too, with a bold and bright new look featuring a red, yellow and blue heart. The name on the planes is not Southwest Airlines, it is Southwest.com.

How do we know a campaign slogan is great? It must feel true and transparent. It must surprise us and make us smile or nod knowingly. It must not insult us. And it must make us wish we had created it ourself.

 

Thanks to Dr. Larry for answering my questions!

-R

Week 9!

October 19, 2011

Can you believe it’s Week 9 already? I feel like I just posted about getting back into the swing of things after a summer off. Honestly, I will be sad to see the end of Creative Strategy and Execution. It’s an interesting course which covers lots of current topics.

Next week will be an exciting one for me as I’ll be starting Brand Equity Management as well as taking a short trip to New York City. I have tickets to see Regis & Kelly and a trip to NYC always gets my marketing juices flowing.

Have the past 9 weeks flown by for you, too? Post what class(es) you’ll be taking in Late Fall and perhaps you’ll find a friend in your upcoming course.

Happy First Week of Classes

August 25, 2011

Classes resumed this week for those of us in the IMC Program! I took the summer off, so I was anxious to see who my classmates would be and what type of work Week 1 would require. After all, I had the entire summer to relax and prepare for IMC 615, my sixth class in the master’s degree program. And let me just say, I am a more refreshed, focused Creative Strategy & Execution student than I ever could have been without the break!

I had the back-to-school jitters this weekend thinking “will taking the summer off put me behind?” or “will completing this week’s assignment slip my mind?” All of my fears rested Monday night when I logged into the eCampus website after work and began researching information for my discussion board post – it was truly like no time had passed.

And you know what? The past two evenings, I’ve gone out with friends and had relaxing, worry-free nights. Last night, I spent an hour at a Downtown Canton coffee shop and tonight, I supported ystark! by attending a guest bartending event. I’ve been able to get back into the swing of things while still keeping my personal commitments intact, which is truly the best of both worlds.

I don’t regret taking the summer off – I actually am proud I rewarded myself with a short break. Even though I wasn’t earning credit in the IMC program this summer, I educated myself in numerous ways. Through playing in a tennis league, volunteering, and traveling, I was able to learn and experience adventures that can’t be found in a textbook. Truly, this summer I learned that being out in one’s community is important to professional growth and I’m looking forward to utilizing the skills I’ve learned this summer in the classroom.