Growing up, thanks to the name “Robin”, rude boys inevitably asked me that question. Although I didn’t that Robin, I really do have a superpower – strategic creativity. And I’m ready to share it with you.
People praise the power of creativity, but there is also a problem. Artists have the luxury of being creative without being strategic. Companies and brands do not.
Strategic creativity is the power to design something that solves a problem, anticipates problems, aims empathetically and appropriately at the target audience, resonates with the audience and ultimately benefits people (and not just the brand or company), i.e. does social good, offers a valuable functional or emotional benefit , utility, information or entertainment.
No one notices the mech solutions – pedestrian ideas and execution will get you nowhere but to the unemployment line. With insight into what it means to be strategically creative, you’ll be the business professional most respected and listened to by the creative team – setting you apart from your peers. You also need to know what will work – why it is well conceived, well designed, well written and art directed.
The marketing idea must LAST:
The guiding star: The “Lodestar” idea is your North Star—your mission and the guiding light that makes every execution conceptually sound. Would your idea make people think or feel something? Change your point of view?
Remember to always ask: How does a particular campaign idea connect to the Lodestar brand idea, overarching purpose, essence and larger message?
Attract: Must attract attention. For people to notice, the solution must have outstanding art direction and copy. In other words, be unique, noticeable and attractive. If the creative solution is corny, well…obviously it won’t stand out. Risk aversion is not helpful in this context. The biggest risk is the production and distribution of boring marketing, advertising, branding or design.
Divisible: People should find it remarkable, relatable, and relevant enough to themselves or their community to share it. Sharing is key.
Torture: Need to attract, engage, encourage or move people to feel, think or
do something What emotion do you want them to feel? Evoking emotion is key to calling people to action.
When you don’t use strategic creativity, you expose yourself to the biggest risk – a “creative” solution that causes a big yawn from your target audience, if they notice.
There are many bad options—poor ideas, ill-considered ideas, off-brand ideas, copycat solutions, safe “we’ve done this before, let’s do it again”, formulaic ideas, lackluster design and art direction, boring copywriting, uninspiring brand stories, wrong audience concepts, bad executions and the greatest sin of all—harmful ideas and executions. If you have a superpower, then you already understand that every marketing solution must do no harm to every member of society. In fact, it means that we work to include, uplift and respect everyone – people living with disabilities, vulnerable people, different socioeconomic groups, all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexualities, religions and ages.
Strategically creative ideas and solutions build a better society.
I watched Pennyworth, the origin story of Alfred Pennyworth, a former special forces soldier who lives in London and how he came to work for Bruce Wayne, Batman’s father. Judging by the stories, I’ve witnessed a lot of nimble thinking during challenging times. (And, I don’t mind the intense focus of the camera at all Jack Bannon.)
I may not be Batman’s Robin, but you can think of me as your sidekick, providing the strategic thinking, essentials needed to order and evaluate creative solutions.
As the Boy Wonder might exclaim, “Holy strategic creativity!”
Written by Robin Landa.
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