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Lorna Ochieng'

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Creative Thinking
by Lorna Ochieng'   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, October 27, 2006
Posted: Friday, October 27, 2006

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I wrote this article in the premiere issue of Masterpiece Magazine (November-December 2005)


Where do we see creativity? Art, books, engineers, architects, design, fashion, sales, mathematics…many occupations are creative. They use innovative ways to overcome problems and obstacles. Microbiologists attempt new techniques in order to hopefully come across cures for diseases or new discoveries. Archaeologists must be creative to discover how animals roamed the earth and where that tiny little bone came into play. City structures are results of creativity. All of these occupations demonstrate creativity, but they also lend themselves to new limitless avenues and are therefore accepting of people who try new things.

We have all seen adverts that we love and we have also seen adverts that we hate. The ones we love we refer to as "great". A great ad is one so remarkable , so stunning, so convincing that it leaves a long-lasting impression of the product or service on the audience. In order for an advertisement to do well in the market it needs to have an ounce of creativity so as to attain its basic mission of informing, persuading and reminding thus achieving the boom factor.

Advertising is the structured and composed non-personal communication of information, persuasive in nature and paid for by identified sponsors through various media. Advertising is "Truth well told", thus ethical advertisers and their agencies foster teamwork and use the best methods to sell their services truthfully and captivate their audience.

Advertising is one of the most visible activities of business. By inviting people to try their products, advertisers run the risk of negative publicity and attack if their advertisement displeases or offends consumers and their products don't measure up to the expected standards. Proponents of advertising say it is safer to buy advertised products, because when a company's name and reputation is on the line, it tries harder to fulfill its promises, especially when it lists the products' benefits.

Creativity enhances advertising's responsibility to inform, persuade and remind. Good creative work therefore makes advertisements more vivid thus attracting attention, maintaining interest and stimulating consumers' thinking. Legends and myths about ancient gods and heroes were created as symbols for mankind's instincts that consequently affects their thoughts and behaviour. A creative story/ persona establishes a unique identity for the product that enables it to beat competition.

To be persuasive, an advertisement's verbal message must be reinforced by creatively using non-verbal message elements such as colour, layout and illustration to increase vividness. Outdoor media is one of the hardest media to work with. The execution has restraints due to the fact that the message of creativity has no limits, no boundaries. It is original. Now, many may ask, is advertising original? Are there ideas that have yet to be used?So, is advertising creative? Yes. It is one of the biggest creative challenges. Being creative and following certain guidelines takes time, but in the end produces some of the better creative thoughts. Advertising creativity goes deep into the subconscience and makes everyone aware of what they do. Creativity is great. It should be encouraged in every circumstance. Creativity under pressure and constraints produces Powerful Advertising.

Imagine using the same invitation without any innovation, again and again, year after year to convince people to try your product. Your invitation quickly becomes stale and boring. Only creativity can transform your boring reminders into interesting and entertaining ads that attracts most consumers. Nike is proof. Several commercials in a Nike campaign never mentioned the company's name or even spelled it out on the screen since it is easily identified with the single elongated 'swoosh' logo inscribed on the final screen.

We are entertained daily by creative ads on soft drinks, snacks and cereals whose primary mission is simply to remind us to indulge again. Innovative advertising for the small to medium sized enterprise can either work or not since some businesses think they already do this, chances are - they may not.
A company has a clean van, onto which they fixed their advertising. They park the Van in eyesight of a busy road heading into London where commuter traffic always slows to a crawl every morning and afternoon. Result low-cost "billboard" style advertising to a targeted, captive, suitable audience.
Body Billboards are quickly becoming a novel way for advertisers to get their business or website noticed. Renting body parts in exchange for advertising dollars is the hot new trend in marketing, promotion, and advertising. is an online community that brings together corporation sponsors and those willing to get 'branded' and be human ad space.

This new form of advertising which was launched on February 2, 2005 is receiving massive exposure due to its exciting and trendy nature. It is especially popular with college going students trying to pay off college debts and earn a little extra cash. Fantastic opportunity for advertisers to get their name and/or product brand out there, especially if they are a new business or website, is gaining a lot of notice and press from major television, internet and newspapers. It is especially popular in the United States and is quickly catching on in the UK and spreading fast to other parts of the world where people are willing to lease their body parts such as foreheads, cleavage, pets, and even pregnant bellies in exchange for lucrative advertising returns in cash. is a brand new classified ad type of website that brings the advertisers and those willing to rent their 'human ad space' together. Profiles are created by the willing participants and match the corporate sponsors, who can identify each participant's demographic and psychographic sector to match their target market. Members are from the United States, Canada, and Germany in the age range of 19-35 years and are allowed to upload photos so the advertisers can view the potential image of their 'walking billboard'.

Your ad never looked so good and what a great idea 10/10 for innovation!
Why is this advertising audience targeted captive and suitable?
Carting is a driving experience, the audience are mainly drivers. Carting costs money, the commuter traffic is going to and coming from work, they have money. The advertising audience is therefore targeted, and in rush hour it is almost completely "captive", you should see the jams!
Some will say but we have our logo on our vehicles, even our salespeoples’ cars.
When salespeople park their cars, they are outside a company or at home in some dormitory suburb in evenings, this is not targeted advertising. Worse still, some companies claim to do this but do not enforce disciplined cleaning of their vehicles. No one will be impressed by your advertising on a dirty truck which has finger graffiti written into the dirt on it.

In a business to business situation, it may come from sudden recognition of how a high-tech product can improve workplace productivity. Boom factor may come from many places and sources but it always requires application of Creativity. Different people understand creative thinking thus some exhibit more of it than others. Human creativity developed over millions of years and enabled our ancestors to live. Without creativity, we wouldn't have discovered how to harness fire, domesticate animals, irrigate fields and manufacture tools. As individuals, we use our natural creativity every time we select what to wear, style our hair, contrive an excuse, cook a meal or decorate our homes.

At the turn of the century, German geologist, Max Waber determined that people think in two ways:
 An objective, rational, fact-based manner and
 A qualitative, intuitive, value-based manner.
For example, while studying for a test, we use our rational, fact-based style of thinking, but when buying a car, we call on taste, intuition and knowledge to to make a qualitative value judgement of the car's features, styling and performance weighed against its price.

Everybody experiences times when the creative 'juices' just won't flow mainly because of information overload, mental/physical fatigue, stress, fear, insecurity to name just but a few... Creative fatigue sometimes happens when an agency has served an account for a long time and all the fresh ideas have been worked and reworked. One of the worst blocks to creativity is getting stuck in the wrong mind-set for the task at hand. The problem is simply the style of thinking being used. Creative thinking requires an attitude that allows you to search for ideas and manipulate your knowledge and experience.

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