Finding Creative Inspiration for Your Video Content
Have you ever been assigned with coming up with an original idea, and instantly felt your brain go completely blank? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Last year, we were approached by a client who wanted to rebrand their eyewear products by creating a series of spots with creative that would appeal to a wide audience, and inform them of their brand promise: to deliver quality glasses at a low price, in the fastest time available.
We scratched our heads and scheduled a creative hack to brainstorm ideas. However, before I get into our process, it’s important to ponder on an enlightening piece of information shared with me by a writing teacher years ago. There is no such thing as an original idea. Every idea is and has been recycled from a past one, since the beginning of time. It may have been modified, built upon, or twisted around, but in the end, the idea borrows from an existing one. With that being said, there’s nothing wrong with finding inspiration from something that already exists!
At AMP, we have a particular process to help us find creative inspiration and to get our creativity going, and it all starts with a creative hack…
A creative hack, or a meeting of the minds, is a helpful step we take in gathering thoughts and different perspectives. In these meetings, we usually share inspiration from existing formats to create something new. Whether it’s a movie, a music video, a picture, or even a sketch, finding inspiration in existing works is a perfect first step.
The benefit: The benefit of a creative hack is really in the people themselves. Gathering a group of people, all of whom think differently and find inspiration in different places, gives you access to a deep well of ideas. What’s even better is when you have a group of people that not only throw ideas out there, but also build upon existing ones. This allows ideas to grow and morph into something entirely new.
What we did: When the client shared their wants and needs for their product, we sat down for a creative hack. In the end, we took inspiration from the popular and successful Progressive commercials and their main character, Flo. Progressive Insurance did a great job at spotlighting their product by placing it in a neutral world and indirectly selling it by using a loveable, funny personality.
We ran with the idea of a neutral world, and created a limbo Eyemart Express store, which could be located anywhere, and would allow for the focus to be on the brand logo, chevrons, and walls of glasses.
Taking an Existing Idea and Making It Your Own
Now here’s the important part: you have your inspiration source, but now you need to tweak it to make it your own.
For us, we had the idea of Flo, but was it good enough? Would the spokesperson-inspired approach fit the need of our client? Of course, using a spokesperson or personality isn’t new to the world of commercials (think Old Spice, Allstate, etc.), but we wanted our client’s rebranding campaign to stand out.
That’s where things got interesting.
The benefit: We took the idea of a brand personality and we built on it. The result was something fresh, new, and unique to our client’s goals. When you use your creative inspiration point as a launch pad to create an idea customized to your needs, that’s when real solutions emerge.
What we did: When we approached the idea of a character, we thought, why stop at one Flo selling the product? We decided to take the three brand promise features — Right Glasses, Right Price, Right Now — and personify them in three individual characters.
Each character would fully take on the qualities of their brand promise, and live in a limbo store where they would interact with customers and tend to their unique needs.
In our first series of spots, Right Glasses, a suave, stylish guy, helped people select the best pair of frames for their unique facial features.
Right Price, the practical bargain hunter, assisted a busy mom with two pairs of twins with finding the best deal for her specific needs.
And Right Now, the quirky, nerdy lab technician who hates waiting, turned a pair of glasses around for an umpire with poor eyesight and very limited time.
When the campaign launched and the spots aired, the results came back in higher sales for our client and a gain in popularity for our characters. More situations were created around each of their individual quirks, as well as their team strengths, and a year later, we’re well under way with another set of spots.
The audience is now able to familiarize the characters with Eyemart Express and their brand promise, resulting in loyalty and trust when choosing an eyewear provider.
Borrowing from a successful campaign allowed us the creativity to run with the idea and mold into our own vision for our client’s needs. This method is certainly not new or secret and is very much encouraged the next time an assignment for an original idea arises. The possibilities — and formats — are practically endless!