We’ve all heard it before: “I want you to think outside the box.” This usually goes along with other buzzwords including “fresh”, “innovative”, “unique” and “new.” But what does it actually mean to think outside the box? Most marketers want their message to look and feel different. But sometimes there is a hard time reconciling that desire with the risk that comes with it. More often than not, a client will give direction to think outside the box but end up gravitating back to…well, inside the box. Why does this happen?
The problem can occur when a client tells a creative person “the sky’s the limit” when really “the top of the tree’s the limit.” Both parties have to come to an understanding on how far to push the limit of outside the box thinking. Taking a risky approach to an ad or marketing plan requires putting total confidence in the hands of your creative partner. If it is originality that you want, you have to be prepared to get what you ask for.
Marketing is cyclical…once everyone catches up to the outside the box idea, it’s time to think of a new one. Years ago guerrilla marketing was the go-to trend. Now it’s viral marketing. Everyone wants to be the leader, the innovator of the next big idea. How often have you looked at a clever ad and said, “I could have thought of that!” But you didn’t. Someone took the risk and thought outside the box. The only limit you have is how far that box stretches.
Take a look at this website for some truly innovative approaches to advertising. What are your thoughts? What struggles have you had as either a client or creative director with this conversation?