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.


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.


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?)


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.

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