Hey Whipple, Blog This!

December 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

It seems like every time I write a new blog post I start out by saying how sorry I am to have been gone for so long and that I’m going to be better about keeping this updated. I’m not going to do that now.

However, what I will do is say that I have started reading the 4th edition of Luke Sullivan’s Hey Whipple, Squeeze This!. Every advertising teacher I’ve had recommended it, so I decided it was about time to sit down and read it. I’m only 61 pages into it, but I thought I’d share some of my most interesting takeaways as I go along.

1. Cork boards.

Mr. Sullivan makes a great point about being able to visually see your great ideas up on a wall. It’s one thing to keep a running idea book, but on a wall you can see the connections in the campaign. I imagine you’d feel accomplished with a wall plastered with ideas.

2. A partner.

Batman had Robin, Mickey Mouse had Goofy and Donald, and even Posh Spice had those other four girls. Smart work can be accomplished by one person, but it’s nice to have a sounding board. A second brain to come up with ideas is useful when your brain has run out. (Although more than one head isn’t always the best). I didn’t necessarily learn this from Mr. Sullivan, but he makes a case for having a good partner. So if you’re an Art Director, or just another creative mind, get in touch.

3. Bad ideas.

Not only do you need to come up with bad ideas en route to the one great idea, but you can’t throw your bad ideas away. Take them as they come, and write them down. (This is especially useful if you have to come up with 100 thumbnails, as I did in my Writing Design Concepts class last term.) Even if it’s a bad idea, get it down on paper because you don’t want to have it sitting in the back of your mind rotting away. Don’t be afraid to share bad ideas with your partner, and to have bad ideas shared with you. Remember to be constructive. Reply with “yes and…”  and add your own idea to it. Shape a bad idea into a not-so-bad idea. There’s no wrong answer when being creative.

4. Be disruptive.

Luke Sullivan calls it being “provocative,” by which he means do something that will get people talking. If people aren’t talking about your work, what’s the point of creating it? He uses the example of villains in the media. Everyone wants to dress up like Darth Vader or Michael Myers because they question authority.

Another Luke (Williams), of Disrupt fame, calls it being disruptive. In Mr. Williams’s book, he says you need to use disruptive strategies in order to get unexpected results. With today’s saturation of media, the only way to get noticed is to do something that stands apart from all the rest. Great work is work that will get people talking, and sharing, and liking (or +1’ing if that’s how you roll).

5. If it makes you laugh out loud, make it work. Somehow.

Of course, when I first read those lines, I thought Mr. Sullivan was talking about using humor in all of your work, which I love because I am a bit of humorist. However, what he means is that if you stumble onto an idea that makes you say, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that?” and makes you laugh at the sheer idea of it, then you should do it. Here he calls back to being disruptive with your work, because if you have to wonder if you could do it, that means that it will be provocative in some manner.

Stay tuned for more takeaways as I progress further into this great read.

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