How to Foster Great Ideas
When I walk into my office every day, a colorful 6’ x 8‘ magnetic board greets me. It holds magazine ads, postcards and flyers from a variety of places. When my marketing team sees something inspiring, they post that advertisement on the board. The board is also used as a dry erase board, so our ideas for new ads and marketing campaigns can also be displayed.
This board stands as a visual reminder of my goal to continually encourage creativity and collaborative thinking within my department. Although many of the ideas that are brought to the board are unsuccessful, there are the occasional ones that work out. Here is the story of one that did:
It was a typical Tuesday morning. I sat down at my desk, turned on my computer and glanced at my inbox. An email from my team member with “Check this out” in the subject line caught my eye. This email provided a link to “mashable.com.” Out of curiosity, I clicked the link and discovered the most interesting resume I have ever seen.
A graphic designer from the UK had designed his resume with just a picture of his face and a QR code in his mouth. The concept was to scan the QR code and place a smart phone over his mouth. The QR code then led to a video of his mouth that audibly described his qualifications for the job, bringing his resume to life. Wow! This was board-worthy!
I jumped out of my seat, ran to the magnetic board and started to draw. Could we use this concept to make our ads come to life? My team started to brainstorm. After an hour of drawing stick figures and writing down multiple tag lines, we chose a product that we hoped would mesh with this marketing tool. We decided to promote our book The First 100 Days using this method.
This book is about one pastor’s journey through his first 100 days at a new church. We decided to have pastors talk about things they wish they would have known in their first 100 days as pastor. We took a picture of the pastor’s face and added a QR code over his mouth. Then we shot a video of his mouth sharing 30 seconds of insight.
When the project was finished, you could place your smart phone over the QR code on the ad and watch the pastor’s mouth share about his journey. We had found a way to make our advertisement come to life!
Once the ad was printed, we were amazed at all of the positive feedback we received via Twitter and Facebook. Even Cameron Strang, founder of Relevant Magazine, called it simple but innovative and suggested that we submit it for an ad industry award. After many failed attempts, it was a huge morale-booster for my team to have an idea that became a success.
Questions: What kind of environment does your team thrive on? Are ideas shared openly?
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