Don’t overthink it. Solving a problem creatively is child’s play. Literally. Growing up, children ask many questions and come up with wild conclusions. As we grow older we tend to relax on the wild questions and focus on the boundaries set around us. There’s nothing wrong with this when it comes to all professions such as accounting, following the processes of law, rules of conduct for business, carrying through branding elements on a new project, etc. When a problem surfaces in any industry it does requires asking these questions again in order to come to a solution.
Break It Down
A common obstacle to creative problem solving is functional fixedness, a concept of Gestalt Psychology. The gestalt effect is the form-generating capability of our senses, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection of simple lines and curves. Basically, our eyes work by building a perceived whole from the sum of an object’s parts. Solving a problem creatively requires one to break down these parts and examine them individually. Only then can one begin to solve the parts of the whole problem in question.
Case Study: Ariel Laundry Detergent recently unveiled a new ad campaign that rebranded designer clothing with familiar stains we don’t want on those brand clothes. A fantastic and subtle approach draws attention to a wonderful photograph of clean clothes and after reading the tag on the shirt or jacket you’re eyes head down to the tagline: Get your cardigan back and Get your jacket back.
“Banana Pudding” and “Dolce de Leche” for Ariel Laundry Detergent campaign; produced by Baumann Ber Rivnay in Israel.
What Am I Implying and What Was Inferred?
When presented with a problem to solve, creative firms and marketing agencies brainstorm after breaking down the elements and assemble a solution. What most tend to forget is to ask further questions upon viewing the best selected answers for the problem: What am I implying?
An advertising agency pitched a campaign to use condoms. They examined the facts that were needed to achieve this goal by pointing out a single argument in the headline and adapted a simple illustration to convey a bad guy who is wearing the product; essentially stating you won’t be a bad guy with this on. The colors and simple illustration bring attention while hitting the slogan’s message … head on. A Dutch carwash company wanted to promote their services as a protection to the car’s paint. To do this they focused on an iconic issue all car drivers, no matter what country you live in. A series of birds wearing diapers draws in the eye and conveys the message that there is nothing to stop Loogman from cleaning your car and protecting it from the next assault.
Left: “Don’t be the bad guy. Use condom.” produced by Aquatro in Vitoria, Brazil. Bottom: “Your car paint needs protection.” for Loogman Carwash; produced by Social Glue in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Case Study: Above are examples of advertising solutions. One implies you’re being the bad guy if you don’t take responsibility. The other implies protection from the elements, for lack of a better word. The goals were achieved and obviously in a creative manner. They both grab attention immediately while conveying the basic message without inferring anything other than the intended message.
Does It Work?
Roughly a year ago we were approached by a small supplier of preservative-free and homemade dog biscuits. A logo for the company was created elsewhere so it was in our best interest to help our client expand upon the design and brand the product according to promote the idea of fresh, healthy and tasty biscuits for your pets for the average pet owner. We explored many small boutique and business brands from across the world and compared what was working and not working in each message. Finally we narrowed down our designs to an overall, nostalgic and vintage color scheme that illuminates the DIY approach of the product and is represented within the company’s brand.
Wags N’ Kisses Bakery was promoted lightly and the product took storm across the Eastern coast and from one person’s kitchen to several retail chains in over nine stores nationwide. By simply giving a hearty substance to the online store and website we were able to connect the logo and brand to a hearty product. This is your final question: Does it work? It is rhetorical and answers itself throughout the creative process. As long as you are able to address what it is you want to imply and understand everything there is to infer then you are able to realize if it works. If not, might as well get back to the drawing board and continue asking yourself and others a lot of questions.