Get uncomfortable with your tools

This seems so obvious but it’s one of those things, like healthy habits, that we forget to do in the rush of daily responsibility.

We spend a lot of time getting systems and tools together that work seamlessly for us. Now, get uncomfortable. Get splinters.

Spend a day, preferably more, dependent on a platform/product that’s not your daily go-to.

Hide your laptop and only use your phone. For everything. Like most of your audience.

If that phone’s an iPhone, get an Android device. Like most of the world.

Go on a trip with only one device.

Use only Internet Explorer for a few days (I know, I know, ow, I said uncomfortable).

“I can’t use IE, I only have a Mac and the simulators don’t work.” USE A PC FOR A WHILE. USE WINDOWS. Apple is fifth or sixth globally in desktop market share this month, depending on whom you listen to.  (I am 1000% guilty as charged on this one.)

Do all your designs/approvals on a triple Thunderbolt display? (I’m guilty of this, too.) Don’t look at them in a big, glossy, pricey format for a few days.

What’s important is to do this not only in product testing (“does it work on IE?”) but in daily life, to understand the real experiences of your real consumers.


Psychemajik “Chimera”

Creativity is a product of the desire to be helpful

“Creativity is a product of the desire to be helpful: help make it better, help make it faster, help make it more beautiful, help make it simpler.” – Cary Paik, architect

This is one of the most beautiful, and to me accurate, definitions of creativity I’ve ever come across.

Full video on creativity and business from the incredible C2MTL conference:

Cover photo courtesy of Sid Lee.

Walking the wire

You have to make a reaction. You have to surprise. You have to astonish yourself. Be always on a wire, a thread. – Jean-Louis Dumas of Hermès

Advertising: Native or Creative?

As so many brands struggle to get beyond digital display, we field a lot of requests for “native” campaigns.

Do you want native, or creative?

We just ran an amazing campaign for the Sims that was a wrap-around, overlay, 3-D effect page takeover. It’s an awesome campaign. It’s not native advertising. It’s creative advertising.

Native advertising is integrating your brand in such a way that it appears to live comfortably in its surroundings. It’s not invisible, but it fits in, just like you do in your home town. Native can of course be insanely creative.

Innovative new ad formats aren’t native, but they are creative. They stand out. They make a shout for your attention above and beyond their surroundings.

Both work – it’s just good to make the distinction.

Photo by Steve Richey.