Category

News

Diversity: Your Surprise Button

By | News

Disruption. Reinvention. Transformation. Those are the buzz words that have shaped much of the editorial in the ad agency biz over the last few years. Rightfully so. A curious force that goes by the name Digital has been reshaping every facet of the trade for more than a decade. And continues to do so. But it was at a big trade conference hosted in the name of transformation (4A’s 2016) that another buzz word got a grip on the conversation: DIVERSITY. And it’s still buzzy months later.

The issue of diversity surfaced in the wake of too many Mad Men scenarios in too many upper management circles in too many geographies, typically expressed in gender inequality and sexual harassment, ethnic tensions and lookalike cultures (rather than lookalike audiences).

Let’s agree: it is ironic that an industry so shaped by culture, so reflective of culture, so immersed in culture, lags so far behind culture in erasing boundaries, shattering stereotypes and rising above exploitation.

Ali Merifield has wise words regarding diversity in her May 11, 2017, column in Campaign US:

“Diverse teams mean people coming together from different backgrounds, experiences, cultures and educational baselines.” – Ali Merifield

Notice she doesn’t even mention gender or ethnicity, which are the diversity hot buttons. Perhaps that’s by design. Ms. Merifield’s wisdom is in going beyond the headlines to get at the real values that make diversity worth seeking:

• celebrating individual perspective,

• stimulating remixes of culture and cultures,

• dissolving echo chambers,

• welcoming discomfort.

Of course, agencies can pursue diversity in staffing and even approach the mix of thinking it’s meant to deliver. But the aim of diversity will be scuttled if clients do not also accept or demand diverse thinking themselves. Clients have been known to train agencies to turn over strategies and ideas that fall into a comfort zone, in the name of branding. But even brands languish that seek stasis rather than dynamism. Clients, like their agencies, are subject to their own echo chambers, even as they often do lip service to seeking an expansive world of ideas.

To borrow from David Krakauer of Santa Fe Institute, we need to be open to SURPRISE. In this algorithm-driven digital world, we are growing accustomed to being served up films, songs, books and products that match our preferences. In social platforms we immerse ourselves in virtual gatherings of like-minded “friends.” Adjacency is efficient and comforting and can even be interesting. For a while. But finally, it grows boring.

“The tools we now possess, which are so incredible, should be allowing us to have freedoms that are unprecedented.” – David Krakauer

Algorithms end up narrowing our field of view when in fact, they should be instruments of surprise. And frankly, for the foreseeable future, it is the “human algorithm” that promises to be the most creative force we can imagine. As it always has been. We can all benefit from a surprise button as we surf through experiences, both virtual and real, all the while becoming more creative rather than more silo’d. Frankly diversity is not merely the just goal of enterprises and organizations, it makes the world a far more interesting – surprising – place!

Diversity Is That Surprise Button

We may achieve diversity by staffing diverse talents. But we should be doing everything we can to elicit additional points of view. Even ideas that are off-center can lead to a fresh place. Clients should revel in surprise, step out of the comfort zone, see where discomfort takes them. Agencies should engineer themselves to generate surprise. Diversity will deliver, assuming we have the will to pursue it.

“Championing diversity won’t be easy, but it will take you into new directions you didn’t expect.” – Ali Merifield

Boom Ideanet is one of those new directions: An on demand diversity resource that delivers creative thinking from trusted outsiders in a model you’d never expect to generate so much value. In-house agencies, agencies, brands can press the surprise button by engaging Boom. Diversity by design. Boom connects a network of talented people from across the geographic and cultural spectrum. Members hail from 25 U.S. states and 17 countries. While the network is vetted and members sign non-disclosure agreements, they are never asked to identify their gender or ethnicity. When they accept creative challenges they are asked to respect brand guidelines, but more importantly, they are expected to dig into their individual orientations, leverage their cultural experiences — and differences — to create original answers and offer up unexpected solutions. It’s a plug-and-play creative model predicated entirely on diversity.

Diversity, finally, becomes a kind of disruption. Which takes us full circle.

Boom.

Need a Great Idea? Breathe Genius.

By | News

“To have a great idea,” Thomas Edison – possibly America’s greatest inventor – proposed, “have a lot of them.”

“If you want to have good ideas,” Linus Pauling – renown scientist and only person to ever win two unshared Nobel Prizes – recommended, “you must have many ideas. Most of them will be wrong, and what you have to learn is which ones to throw away.”

Granted, this sound advice should be taken with a grain of 21st century salt. While these may have been two of history’s greatest minds, neither gentleman invented Uber…or, for that matter, even just “the Uber of something”; nor did either live in an era when they could’ve merely proposed, “Ideas? Easy. Google it.”

And, thus, following such facile and modern-day direction one discovers the wisdom of Wily Walnut and “10 Things to Do When You Need Ideas Fast!” Mr. Walnut’s initial sage nugget:

1. Breathe and get into state! You are a genius. 

Attention Uberpreneur: Don’t overestimate this glowing assessment; the same man who deemed you a genius felt it necessary to remind you to breathe straight out of the gate.

Speaking from experience, one need not be brilliant to remember to breathe or even to realize that if we all were, indeed, geniuses then the distinction and the very term to describe it never would’ve been necessary. Suddenly, to err is no longer human, to be a genius is.

“You are a genius, so move, breathe and act like one! It’s easy for someone like you to generate ideas – you are an Ideas Person!” 

God bless Google…not only am a genius, I’m an Ideas Person!

If only we could believe everything we read on the internet…if only more people realized we couldn’t…yet, even though we know better, it’d be difficult to deny our current collective philosophy – More! Better! Faster! Cheaper! – aligns far more fluidly with Wily’s wisdom than with Edison’s and Pauling’s disciplined, proven, and synonymous approaches.

Of course, we’re all mostly defined by the state of our era and its inherent limitations…well, most of us “geniuses” are, anyway. True genius defies supposed restraints, persistently asks “What if…” and eventually topples barriers, expands horizons, and recalibrates the limitations that define the rest of us. Be that as it may, and for all we owe the true genius of Thomas Edison (1847-1932) and Linus Pauling (1901-1994), neither esteemed mastermind benefitted from the abundant technology that defines our era.

To put it in perspective, the output of a 1950 forty-hour workweek only took 29 hours to duplicate in 1990. By 2015 that same production could be accomplished in merely eleven hours. It took the first forty years to improve by eleven hours, yet over the next twenty-five years we progressed to the point where the total output could be completed in only eleven hours. Eleven. Hours. Awesome…in it’s purest sense…intoxicatingly so…which might explain why we began to confuse this drastic and seemingly unfathomable advancement for our own personal evolution. We have the technology…we have the capability… we are better than we were before…better, stronger, faster. At everything.

Linds Redding – a former Art Director and unfortunate cancer casualty – kept a journal in which he attributed the origin of our misconstrued evolution and false feeling of bionic prowess to the moment when “the bean counters upstairs quickly realized we could just do three times as many jobs in the same amount of time, and make them three times as much money.” 

“Time moved on…technology overran, and transformed the creative industry like it did most others. Exciting new tools. Endless new possibilities. Pressing new deadlines… As fast as we could pin an idea on the wall, some red-faced account manager in a bad suit would run away with it. Where we used to rely on taking a break and ‘stretching the eyes’ to allow us to see the wood from the trees…we now fell back on experience and gut-feel. It worked most of the time, but nobody is infallible…generally standards plummeted.”

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (though, like Edison & Pauling, they recognize the power of mass input) to detect an indirect correlation between the technological revolution – the supreme intellect it’s bestowed each of us – and these plummeting standards. Of course, when considering the billion dollar valuations of companies at the forefront of this revolution, it’s hard to blame the bean counters, or damn-near anyone, for putting their standards on hold, or even up for sale, in an attempt to cash-in.

And thus driven by a desire to capture a unicorn, fortified by time-slaying technological tools, and tempered by a constantly imminent deadline…if we don’t do it someone else will…we prioritize ‘faster’ convinced speed will breed ‘more’ and ‘better’…or, at the very least, compensate for them. We debunk and dismiss Edison’s and Pauling’s wisdom as outdated advice from a seemingly prehistoric time handicapped by analog thought.

In the process we handicap ourselves and relinquish the true power technology has bestowed on us – tools that improve our vision to mine, recognize, and develop the best ideas; ideas that move us collectively forward while maintaining a set of standards to optimize that momentum. Otherwise, as Mr. Redding noted, “That one thing that we prize and value above all else – the idea – turns out to be just another plastic gizmo or widget to be touted and traded.” It was this very assessment that led Mr. Redding to the sobering revelation: “I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the whole thing was a bit of a con. A scam. An elaborate hoax.” 

Everything starts with an idea; to have a great one, have a lot of them. Armed with ample ideas you can do what you do best, whatever that is…like Edison, Pauling, or even Redding…to make something ‘better,’ ‘faster,’ ‘smarter.’ Earnestly addressing these goals fosters palpable value – something with far greater reach and lasting impact than ‘cheaper.’

Then, take a deep breath and get into state, you’re truly a genius.

-Gooch Denice, Relationship Director at Boom Ideanet

Infographic: A Snapshot Of The Idea Energy That Fuels Boom Ideanet

By | Blog, News

Who Powers The Ideanet?

Boom is not an unidentified mass. We’re a network of vetted, creative problem-solvers. Each with a signed NDA. Our free agent network is more selective, more motivated, more eager, more rewarded and rewarding.

If you have creative energy to spare, you want to enhance your experience, be exposed to new brands and new channels, find out more here. And consider creating a profile here.

4 Teams. 25 Concepts. 2 Campaigns Pitched. Boom.

By | Marketing Proof, News, Showcase

Hot Chicago Shop Runs Cool With Boom As A Resource.

A hot shop in the Chicago market was caught under-staffed when a financial services client requested a fresh take on its branding in the digital space. The firm, pressed for time and in need of ample experienced input, tapped Boom and received more than 25 campaign concepts and dozens of tactical ideas

Read More

5 Days. 39 Creators. 600+ Ideas. Winning Tagline. Boom.

By | Marketing Proof, News

In-House Team Taps Boom Firepower For New Tagline.

HyDrive Energy Water approached Boom to help develop a new tagline to augment its reformulation and rebranding effort. In just five days, 39 Boom creators generated over 600 tagline ideas. The HyDrive team narrowed that list down to10 favorites and one winner. Proof that our model is one great way to generate a volume of original thinking, fast. Boom. Read More

16 Creatives. 35 Scripts. Produced & Aired in 12 Wks. Boom.

By | Marketing Proof, News

PetSmart And Boom Prove To Be Best Friends.

Boom Ideanet worked with the new PetSmart CD and his in-house creatives to develop this new Adoptions commercial. PetSmart tapped Boom for ideas, then we collaborated with them to craft the script and produce the spot, which also features the Queen song, “You’re My Best Friend.” From brief to air date in fewer than 12 weeks. The spot began airing September 07, 2015.

Read More

What’s New in Creative Crowdsourcing?

By | Blog, News

eBook_AOF_Cover1

Agencies and Brands: We have recently published a new, updated eBook you might find to be useful as you puzzle over how to keep up with work load, flex with demand and engage a deep pool of creative talent.

Click here to download the eBook and learn how to:

  • Scale your creative resources without sacrificing quality.
  • Flex with workload and new business efforts without adding FTE’s.
  • Tap into Boom’s vetted, NDA’d creative network to generate ideas for pitches and campaigns.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. Share your challenges with us. Boom may be the the most unexpected way to meet your needs.

Let us know. We can help.
swood@boomideanet.com816.541.2600

5 Teams. 85 Ideas. Pharma Account Won. Boom.

By | Marketing Proof, News

Firm Wins Pharma Account With Boom On The Team.

For a time, a New York Consultancy specializing in the health and pharma field turned to a narrow pool of freelancers to address creative needs. Beginning in 2016, the firm has relied on Boom to provide boundless creative resources – from concept through production, in both B2B and B2C marketing communications.
Read More

How To Avoid Falling Victim To Sameness And Stale Marketing

By | News

Green Pears

It’s likely that Mr. Tom Nowak of BestBuy, is presenting some invigorating ideas for stimulating creativity among in-house teams at the AdAge Brand Summit, Chicago, May 5, 2016. He certainly justified in reinforcing the importance of  “staying true to brand values.” It’s tricky for even highly familiar teams to meet that standard. But there can be a price to be paid in doing so: routinized thinking. Or as described in the agenda, “Sameness and Stale Marketing.” These are real issues. With some traditional and some not so traditional ways to address them.

It does makes sense for agencies (in-house or independent) to staff a creative department. Not just because that’s “the way we’ve always done it;” but because there’s a learning curve on a client’s business. Full-time creative teams earn the advantage of learning the brand personality, corporate mandatories and preferences, as well as audience mindsets and behaviors and category issues. That’s what it means to “stay true.”

However there are risks — when staying true also puts teams in a rut:

  1. One risk is that there is always the challenge to stay fresh, to side-step routine thinking. There is a tendency to narrow the boundaries or rehash old territory when the brand calendar cycles around to the same promotion or media strategy year after year.
  2. A second is that the left-field thinking that often comes from “newbies” — even while going out of brand bounds — can indeed lead to unexpected and positive outcomes.
  3. A third might just be that many agencies, especially in the current employment climate, simply tend to overload their creative staff; too many late nights, too many weekends — just when a new business pitch shows up and all hands are needed on deck.

The comfort-zone answer in these cases tends to be to bring in freelancers. Most CDs have a few go-to free agents he or she counts on to step in and save the day. But what if those folks are booked? What if they don’t have experience in the category or the channel required for this RFP? What if what you really need is a volume of thinking, more than one or two freelancers can generate?

There is an entirely novel option:

  • What if the creative department leadership could call on a vetted network of disciplined creative talent who can step in almost instantly with background in a channel or experience in a category? You’d have a ready pool of specialists to bridge the gap as needed.
  • What if you could call on experience in digital? Direct mail? Campaign concepts? You’d have an abundance of thinking that by its nature pushes the boundaries, explores new avenues of thought, reveals new ways of unraveling old problems.
  • What if the ECD could tap a dynamic network of creatives capable of honoring brand guidelines, respecting a brief. YOu’d have a resource that could turn around original ideas in short order?
  • What if you could engage this creative talent confidentially? You’d have an expansive pool of thinking without going public with your activity; ideal for pitches and campaign development.

This is not about user-generated content or ideas (ala Doritos Crash The SuperBowl). This is not about multitudes of hand-raisers who’ll do almost anything once — for $5. This is about a connected, distributed, vetted network of NDA’d creative experience. At your fingertips. It’s a way to bolster your creative resources and generate original ideas not just on demand, but on brand. More conveniently than wrangling freelancers. More affordably than one might think.

It’s not crowdsourcing. It’s ideasourcing. It’s about as far as agencies can get from stilted, stale sameness.

Want to know about the varieties of creative crowdsourcing and how Boom Ideanet is different? Find out more when you download our free eBook here: http://boomideanet.com/transformation/

No obligation! And no drip email follow-up campaigns. (Another novelty of Boom.)