What is creativity?
Creativity is not some rare DNA strand. It’s not an uncommonly precious thing. In fact, creativity is no more unique to us than breathing. We’re all capable of it. All of us. Some people are simply told they were born with a creative mind and some people learn that about themselves with time.
So, if creativity doesn’t come knocking at your door, maybe you should knock on its door. But, how exactly can you find creativity? By being curious.
Creativity can be found in the most peculiar places; all we need to do is stay curious and search for it until we find it. It can be hidden in someone else’s old ideas that we stumble across on the internet or imperceptibly waiting for us in someone’s lines of poetry. It’s sometimes concealed within an old feeling or a memory; or teases us ever so elegantly between the pages of the book we’re currently reading. It often camouflages itself in a movie scene or comes flashing in a friendly conversation.
Creativity is everywhere, we just need to stay curious, look for it, find it, and ultimately… grasp it. Sometimes this game of hide and seek can go on forever; sometimes it’s over in the blink of an eye.
This notion reaches beyond the advertising industry and can be applied to any industry.
How is creativity used in different professions?
When a new virus emerges, doctors need to stay curious while developing a treatment until they find the solution. They detail every aspect of the patients’ conditions, while researching and analyzing the behavior of the virus, and finding links with previous data and scientific papers. If they can’t find a solution, they weren’t curious enough.
When an actress takes on the role of a historical person, she needs to be curious about the life this person led. Through interviews and biographies, she learns about her lifestyle, her thoughts, whether she was right-handed or left-handed, the way she raised her left eyebrow when she was annoyed, how she reacted when someone mispronounced her last name… If the actress doesn’t develop this character, she wasn’t curious enough.
Similarly, when a copywriter is tasked with writing a campaign concept, they need to stay curious until they create a story that truly resonates with the topic of the campaign.
Below I’ll list two examples we worked on in the past year:
1. Every Bullet Has a Target
In North Macedonia and the Balkans in general, during celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, holidays etc., there is one widely present custom which often ends tragically. What is this custom? Shooting. You can hear gunshots marking the start of a new love, a first birthday, the New Year etc. A large portion of Balkan people believe that gunshots are the most authentic way to display joy and happiness.
It was our job to develop a creative campaign that will raise the awareness on the dangers of this custom among citizens in North Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo, as well as emphasize the tragic consequences that are often the outcome of this activity. But, what exactly do we want to say? How will we address our audience? What register are we going to use? What is the genre of our story? It could be satire, but it could also be tragedy.
We started at ground zero. No expectations whatsoever, just curiously searching for creativity. We started by reviewing all campaigns discussing a topic related to ours. Not for the purpose of imitating or stealing the creative idea behind them, but rather seeing the different directions our minds can wander to and finding the mistakes that were made by others. Because you can never know when creativity will strike and maybe out of 10 different old ideas, suddenly a brand-new wonderful idea might arise.
But no. Creativity wasn’t hiding over there this time. It was waiting for us in a different place.
We didn’t really have many impactful personal experiences on this topic, but Google did. “Little girl lost her life to a stray bullet at the city square on New Year’s”, “Groom’s brother wounded by a stray bullet”, “Stray bullet ended up in a child’s bedroom” etc.
The sum of these stories produced the main message i.e., the slogan and the genre we needed.
Message – Every bullet has a target. Slogan – Celebrate with your heart, not with your gun. Genre – Drama/Tragedy. Check out the campaign here.
2. Anti-corruption Campaign
The second example I’d like to discuss is the recent anti-corruption campaign. The main videos for this campaign had an actor playing himself as both the devil and the angel. The angel is his conscience fighting against corruption, while the devil is corruption itself trying to get under our skin.
But how did we come up with this idea?
We looked into old campaigns, shared personal experiences, researched other people’s experiences online; we read laws related to corruption, analyzed old corruption cases… and nothing. Creativity was nowhere to be found.
Until someone mentioned the epic Serbian movie “We are not angels” and we realized this was the spot where our creativity was hiding. We started chasing it and ultimately, we caught it.
So, where exactly can we find creativity?
These two cases are proof that creativity exists everywhere around us, hiding at different locations; and the road to these destinations is never the same.
Sometimes creativity is born through inspiration from a real-life event written in the newspaper, other times it emerges from a movie you watch on Netflix.
Scroll back to the first few sentences of this blog. Creative, aren’t they? They were also created through curiosity.
Stay curious. Creativity is everywhere around us.
Check out some of our other creative projects here.
Written by Sara Anastasovska