Pre-Adv. Week Special: Searching for Stones on a Sunny Summer Sunday Afternoon
A friend from Bay Ridge told us a story about how she learned something about using search in the creative process, taking in the last grains of white sand before the summer officially ends.
It goes like this: "It was sunglasses-required sunny. Someone on the beach had some Rolling Stones music playing all afternoon, much to the delight of everyone in hearing distance and much to the chagrin of those who had little taste for Mick & Keith. Those who weren't fans of the "Glimmer Twins" pulled up their umbrella and replanted themselves about 200 feet or so away and left everyone back by the boom box feeling "Made in our shades." We all felt cool as our skin burned hot. Beach Party Bingo on the Jersey shore.
Taking in the waves, listening to the tunes and enjoying the dog days of summer, we all began debating what album various Rolling Stone songs were recorded on.
The sun had definitely gotten to my head, so later in the day I went back and got out the computer to check my "Stone stats" before dinner; to see how wrong/right my fellow Sun/Stone worshippers were and to see how wrong/right I was myself. I discovered a few things:
1. I got online, by "bogarting" another person's wireless, which I was delighted to find; especially at the outer edges of a remote sandbank facing the romantic Atlantic.
2. I typed in "Rolling Stone covers" and came up with about 3,000 of Jan Wenner's masterpieces. That wasn't what I was looking for. It occurred to me that I needed to add an "s" to Stone to redirect the search in order to retrieve the desired data. I then typed in, Pictures of Rolling Stones covers I did so and then came up with what seemed like 3,000 photos of The Rolling Stones on Rolling Stone covers!
3. Search is the most creative tool of all time.
Search & Destroy? No, Search & Employ!
Who doesn't love search? Have a question? Go to google. Need to find something? Go to google. Want to look smart? Go to google. There is nothing quite like search to help you successfully surf the Internet, be it for business, for personal, or for pleasure. I even like how search takes a mistyped subject like "Rolling Stone covers" instead of "Rolling Stones covers" changes the dimension of my inquiry and my thought.
Later over dinner, I told my friends about my accidental discovery. Someone I was with--a multi-awarded copywriter friend--told us about how accidents can have a huge impact on Madison Avenue "art" advertising work. In this day of search, it can mostly help. She then told us the idea she had that would really enliven the upcoming Advertising Week industry conference, since it'd be both hilarious as well as a great tool for a creative workshop at the same time.
The "Jerry Della Famina "What if's" Creative Workshop"
That's what she calls it. The goal is to make up a story about how famous ad campaigns were created from a behind-the-scenes standpoint; possible scenarios if you will of how inauspicious beginnings were brain-childed into MadAve masterpieces. Like for example:
You're working at Weiden & Kennedy in the early 1980's. There you are; up 3 days and nights straight trying to find the tag line that will win the agency the Nike account. So far, here all you've come up with:
"Nike makes you run faster than a Bikey."
"Nike, puts the boom in boomerang"
Or your favorite, the one you are thinking of presenting to Phil Knight...
"Nike, they fit tight, to give your feet might"
So, off you go with your mini works of art into Dan Weiden's office. You run them by him. He screams you out of the office and says, "Get the h*ll out of my office. Now go back there, close your door, sit down and just do it!" You walk out sheepishly and reprimand yourself, "C'mon girl, you can do it. I know you can. Just do it, just do it, just do it." Then, a light bulb goes on over your head. Hmmmm..."Just do it?" You turn around and march back into Weiden's office and slam the door shut behind you...As they say, the rest is history.
Coca-Cola's "It's the real thing." – You were at an auto body shop and learned that the mechanics there used Coca-Cola to peel paint off of cars instead of paint stripper because it worked better.
Campbell Soup's "Humm, Ummm, Good" – You were getting a foot message at a spa run by twins.
My personal favorit:
Absolut's "Absolut" – You wake after a frat boy-like drinking binge. The stranger sleeping next to you turns over and asks how you are feeling. You begin to answer "Absolut...[ely awful]" but then you realize you have an emergency appointment with the porcelain god. You come back looking as green as spinach. Still laying there, the stranger looks up at you with a big smile on their face and says, "Ahh, and you were saying?"
We went on and on like that into the wee hours of the morning. It didn't seem like such a bad idea for a creative workshop idea at all. We all agreed having a Google near by would put it on steroids. I got back to my room and saw my computer was still on. I remembered the whole evening began with me trying to check up on my "Stones stats." I did and found out I was right, that "You can't always get what you want" is on "Let it Bleed" and wrong about "Can't you hear me knocking?" which is not. It's on "Sticky Fingers.""