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Some of the greatest threats to our creativity lurk in our own subconscious in the form of cliches. Mediocre aproaches that have been done a thousand times over. The minute I say floor polish commercial or an ad for car tires, images are likely to pop in our head. Predictably, the majority of us will have very much the same image in our mind. That's because they're cliche. And while I'm hesitant to quote Webster, because that's a cliche.
The reason we're all likely to think of the same image is that our media has become saturated with the overly familiar and common place. To say I've never fallen prey to it myself would be a lie as there's no sure way to keep a cliche out of your head once you've started working on a project. In fact, it's understandable to rely on an approach that's been used time and time again because there's a certain security when you think to yourself. Well, it's worked in the past, sure it'll work again.
The big glitch with relying on the security of a cliche is they're generally not the most creative nor the most effective at delivering your message. Surprisingly, the best way to steer clear of cliches is not to ignore them but to acknowledge those two ton cliches in the corner and here's why. First, we should examine the cliches to identify how commonplace they are and to examine why the competition maybe even use them.
Why does it work for them? Could something else have worked better? Second, we might brainstorm to see if we can find a quirky variation or parody of the typical cliche that could, in turn, launch a great concept. Don't get me wrong, cliches is going to work exceptionally well. But if you're going to consider using one, it had better be a fresh approach. It's kind of like remaking a classic movie. The new version should offer something fresh and exciting, otherwise, why do it? So, let's think for a moment.
Our client connectical is a provider of natural energy solution. Slow panning shots of pristine wind farms, sunlight glimmering over a flowering meadow and happy children blowing dandelion seeds into the wind. See any cliches? Well, we've certainly seen this type of imagery before and we probably will again. But does it work? Even if it does, is it really the best concept solution? These are good questions that we won't know the answer to until we take some calculated risks and explore all the options.
Without taking those risks we're just not going to achieve a level of originality or creativity that will get the message out most effectively for our client. Taking calculated risks is never easy. But we can take some of the gamble out of the equation by establishing a sound creative process that can flush out a variety of ideas and also validate our concept. That validation will be extremely important when it comes time to educate our client. That the innovative or edgy idea we just presented to them is the absolute way to deliver the message to their audience.
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