What makes a good idea, a cracker? Is it thinking outside the box? Nailing insights? Exposing the unexpected? Fair to say, it isn’t as easy as one or the other. But what we do know is, good ideas hit all the right nerves, while great ideas can change the world as we know it. So to prove creativity has a way of turning the obvious on its head, I’ve wrangled a few of my favourite creative solutions to date.
COUNCIL AND CANCELLED STICKERS.
Back in 2007, Glasgow’s council had an issue with illegal event posters being plastered around the city. Naturally, they could’ve gone down the legal route. But creativity stepped in – and her solution was brilliant.
The obvious: Introduce fines and threaten legal action.
The genius: Create a ‘CANCELLED’ sticker and plaster it over each poster.
The result: Confused event goers. Poster owners got the message.
THE WALKMAN EFFECT.
The Walkman. Remember that? We’re going back a few years now. So for those of you who identify as ‘millennials’, you’ll be forgiven for not being too familiar with this revolutionary piece of tech. You see, in the archaic pre-smartphone era, portable music wasn’t a thing. But everyone was desperately wanted it to be. Or at least they just didn’t know it yet.
The obvious: More music in more places.
The genius: Your music in your pocket.
The result: A whole new world of personal music.
SNACKS AND SELFIES.
Who loves to take selfies? Humans. Their pooches? Not so much. So to strengthen the bond between dog and man – and promote the irresistibility of their new dog treats, pet food company, Pedigree, took it upon themselves to invent something that pleased both parties.
The obvious: Take 74 photos until you get the right one.
The genius: Make SelfieSTIX – a phone accessory where one end clips to your phone and the other holds dog treats.
The result: Nail that dog selfie, every time.
We’re all guilty for forgetting the ‘look both ways before crossing’ mantra, at times. So when the annual Rail Safety Week rolled around, KiwiRail put forward a puzzling solution.
The obvious: Warning signs, sirens and public service announcements.
The genius: Set up moveable gates. Basically, a maze.
The result: People had no choice but to pay attention.
THE FEARLESS GIRL.
Right around the world, gender diversity remains a problem. So to spark conversation, and draw attention to the SHE fund, State Street Global Advisors sprung a slightly left field idea.
The obvious: Protests and awareness campaigns.
The genius: Put a defiant bronze girl statue in front of Wall street’s charging bull. And do it unannounced. And on the eve of International Women’s Day.
The result: Global attention, $7.4 million in free advertising and four Grand Prix awards.
CRACK IT WITH CREATIVITY.
Sometimes, the best answer is the most obvious one. But more often than not, it takes a bit of lateral thinking and sheer genius to really create change. So if you’re in the business of solving problems and are stuck for where to start, here’s three quick ways from us – and a whole stack of rules for having ideas.