You often hear urban legends about advertising. About the idea for a Nike-commercial where they play soccer on an airport is actually created when the creatives were actually at the airport on the way to the presentation. About a big campaign for a Dutch airline company from which the scribble is fished out of the trashcan. You never know if these stories are true. But if you're working in advertising you know one thing for sure: these stories can
Especially the part about re-using old ideas must be very recognizable for creatives. Yesterday I was working with Hannah on a big billboard campaign. It's one of the biggest assignments in the agency at the moment so we were working on it for 2 months already. After we found out one of our best ideas was already done, we had to find a new campaign. And we had only one day before the presentation.
Lunchtime was the only time when we could find a gap in our busy working schedule. So we had 1 hour to think of an idea that's so good we couldn't come up with it the entire 2 months. So at first we looked through all the concepts we had before. Just for the sake of having something, we decided to present some ideas that were second choice or simply forgotten because of having better ideas at the moment. It was like taking old scribbles from the trashcan.
And guess what? From the old ideas one of them was chosen in the review and presented to the client today. Together with some new ideas for ads that we've made that same day. It seems that we did the job in just one hour. Like we had some magical moment of creativity. But in fact, what happened was that all the previous work, all the research and all the old concepts came back in one hour of panic. The work was done successfully, but it was actually done in two months plus one hour. The Nike-commercial, the big campaign for the airline company; the stories are probably true, but secret behind all these seemingly coincidental rushes of creativity is obvious: hard work.