Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Listing Point

During a brainstorm I often find that an idea (or broader concept) is created that can be easily developed into more ideas by merely replacing one word in the idea. I call this the listing point; clever thought experiments and cerebral dexterity are forgotten for the moment and the focus is one activity alone -- listing.

Example

Suppose I have created the idea "Put adverts for hangover remedies on the bottom of beer bottles (or glasses)". I can step up to a broader concept level with a directive such as:

Put adverts in an unusual place

Now at the listing-point all I have to do is make a list of places and then consider if each of the places could be an interesting location for an advert.

Listing places

List George place
Possibilities: George Harrison's house. The "By George" clothing section of ASDA supermarkets. George Galloway's constituency. The Big Brother house (George Galloway was a housemate in Celebrity Big Brother).

List light place: a street light, the London Planetarium, the sun, lampshade section of a shop. Oxford Street at Christmas.

etc.

Forcing ideas

With a gun-to-head mentality I ensure that I force an idea from each of the places listed:

The blue plaque on George Harrison's house could be shaped like a guitar, with the body providing the information and the fretboard showing an advert for a guitar shop (sacrilegious, I know).

The mirrors in the changing-rooms of the "By George" clothing section could have adverts for image consultants.

George Galloway's office could advertise cat food (what else?)

etc.

The joy of the listing-point is that I can continue listing all day and I know that ideas will result; I can expect a high "failure rate" but I know that quantity eventually breeds quality. Here are some recent ideas I've created by considering interesting places to put adverts:

Adverts for headache remedies on the soles of a boxer's shoes.

The white sphere of a nuclear power station painted to resemble and advertise a make of golf ball.

The phone number of taxi cab offices on the bottom of glasses.

Adverts (for any product) on the walls of the tunnels on the underground.

No comments: