In the world of creativity, if you're not starting a fire, then what's the point? So, we've created a portal to celebrate the most revolutionary and thought-provoking ideas we're seeing in the world today. Some are ideas we've recognized from others and we're tipping our hats to, and others are ones we thought of (go figure). Either way you cut it, you won't find a dull moment here, and hopefully we've inspired you to start your own fire.
How do you turn a nebulous goal like “be more creative” into something tangible? Everyone has vague goals at one point or another, and they’re especially common in the creative marketing, branding and advertising industries. This week, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson published a small tool on Harvard Business Review‘s website, designed to help you reach your nebulous goals in 4 steps.
The tool takes you through four rounds of questions that help you first name the goal, then define sub-goals and what actions will be taken (by whom, when, and where). In addition to this, the tool asks you to create an “if, then” plan, which, as Dr. Halvorson explains, “[humans are] neurologically wired to make”. Essentially, under the specific sub-goals and tasks that you need to complete, you are asked to write a sentence detailing “if x, then y”. By framing actions this way, we are working with our neurological inclinations to accomplish the tasks that comprise our larger, vaguer goals.
Check out the tool here, and see what ambiguous goals it can help you nail down.
What Sparks Our Fire: Turning goal setting into goal accomplishing
This week marked the 12th annual Advertising Week New York conference– a week-long celebration and exploration of topics relevant to the advertising, branding, and marketing industries. After attending events throughout the week, we asked our President, Marc Sampogna, what his best experience was at this year’s AdWeek NY.
As Halloween approaches, discussing something “scary” is never more appropriate. At this years AdWeek NY, I experienced some interesting topics and conversations. All of which uncovered insights that I’m sure I’ll use at some point in my day-to-day. But one in particular really resonated with me, and that was with Seth Godin (sethgodin.com). Now, I’ve seen him speak a number of times, and have read some of his books, e.g., Purple Cow, All Marketers Tell (Lies) Stories, etc., but something about this talk hit me in a different way… a good way — in a way that gets lost in the world of marketing and creativity these days. He spoke about “fear”, and that if you, the agency/creative/strategist/etc. aren’t afraid, then you’re not doing your job (Insert resounding agreement and praise here).
Why is it that we filter down our ideas, and dilute the creativity out of them just so they’ll do something average? Well, it’s, as Seth stated, because “average is what reaches 100 million people”. Average is mainstream. Average is a sure thing. Look, from a business perspective, I get it, we gotta sell tickets, put asses in the seats, move shit off shelves, etc. But for f#@ks sake who the hell wants to be “average”??!! I sure as hell don’t. I want to be scared. I want to be afraid. I want to take risks. I want to hold nothing back. Put myself out there and do things that make me uncomfortable. Because if it means that the ideas I put forth are genuine, and inspired from within, then whether it fails or not, I can move ahead knowing that I stayed true to what matters to me — not being average.
Developing countries have a problem: roughly 20% of the world’s population lacks access to electricity, and kerosene lamps are both dangerous to the environment and hazardous to health.
GravityLight, whose motto is “Doing more with less,” has come up with a clever new way to bring light to poverty-stricken rural areas–without electricity. The lamp operates on gravity, by using the falling motion of a weight to one side to generate light. It began as a project on IndieGogo, and launched in 26 different countries. Now, after crowdfunding almost $400,000 (that’s 727% of its original goal funded), the company is releasing a redesign, which includes a sturdier, less breakable shell, a lighter weight, and a new pulley system.
Best of all, the lamp only costs $20, but will provide free lighting to families all over the world. This proves valuable in places that are generally without electricity, or “off the grid,” or too poor to pay for it. Not to mention that it conserves natural resources, which is always a plus.
What Sparks Our Fire: Creative design that helps move the world forward.
Forsman & Bodenfors wants to make sure drivers “drive 25 to keep kids alive,” and they’ve found an ingenious way to do it. Talking GPS are standard features in modern vehicles, but the agency has conceptualized an app that will switch the voice on the GPS to a child’s when within range of a school, daycare, or other area populated by children.
It’s currently available in Sweden, Finland, and Norway, and comes pre-loaded with all schools and daycare centers in the Nordic region.
The agency hopes that this will serve as an audio reminder to drive carefully and watch for children, reducing the number of accidents in school zones and other kid-friendly areas.
What Sparks Our Fire:Using innovation and unconventional problem-solving to draw attention to an often-ignored safety hazard
In keeping with their new direction, last week Google unveiled an updated logo, a much more simplified and modern-looking incarnation than its predecessors. After hearing what graphic designers had to say about it, we asked our CEO, Marc Sampogna, about his thoughts on the redesign.
By no means am I a graphic designer, but one thing I do know is branding. The latest redesign of Google’s brand identity seems to be a small step for a company that’s introduced innovation after innovation to the world. Its simplicity and approachability elicits memories of how Pepsi transitioned from their bold, bubble lettered logo into their current, more contemporary “brand stamp”. I also think this falls coincidentally on the heels of Apples recent software update — OS X Yosemite, where they moved from a beveled, dimensional treatment to flat. If anything, this new logo actually feels more playful and childlike, but no matter what they’ve done, it surely won’t impact how people interact or use the search engine powerhouse. It’s Google, for s*#ts sake. They change their logo daily to reflect a relevant theme that’s taking place in our culture. So…I have one word to say about the new logo, and that is “whatever”.