Arts Thread: A Textbook For Generating Creative Ideas

Arts Thread: A Textbook For Generating Creative Ideas

Ideation, the combination of 'idea' and 'generation,' is a natural process that can be spurred along with specific techniques.

Katie Dominy
  • 22 november 2011

Nik Mahon, Senior Lecturer in Advertising at Southampton Solent University is the author of the recent AVA Basics publication Ideation that explains the process of generating creative ideas. A must for all advertising students packed with interesting case studies from all around the world, plus most importantly – practical exercises to complete along the way.

Nik starts by saying how Ideation, devised from the words ‘idea’ and ‘generation’, can be a natural process and can be spontaneous. But, working in advertising, as Nik has done as Creative Director, means that there is always a looming deadline and ‘it is necessary to take proactive measures to gain inspiration and generate creative solutions.’

Nik runs through the general principles of how to come through to ideas, from breaking routine and re-interpreting the problem to lateral thinking and challenging assumptions. Interviews with creatives such as Nigel Clifton of EHS 4D show how the creative process works at different agencies.

Next Nik tackles creative techniques such as mind maps, group brainstorming and working out the real benefits to consumers from a product – beyond the obvious and the creative use of metaphors and similes to engage the audience.

The final section deals with the different ways in which advertisers can jolt the public into engaging with a product though ways other than conventional print and also how to use those key triggers of humour and shock and sex – sometimes all together.

We also liked the Working with Ethics section at the back of the book which is designed to make readers question their work through topics such as sustainability and stereotypes.

For more information on AVA Basics Advertising: Ideation

[Written by Katie Dominy. Originally published on the Arts Thread blog. Republished with kind permission.]

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