My kindergarten daughter was never used to the idea of being told to make exactly a duplicate of the art project her teacher provided. The teacher told her how to color her paper, where to cut it, where to put the glue, how many of each cut-out to put on the paper, and exactly where they should be placed. And, I guess I never helped the situation by telling her that she did not need to color her trees brown and green!

Little kids are so creative and open for such a short time until they go to kindergarten. Then they begin to become self-consciousness and censure themselves all in the name of being judged desirable by society. Chances are, you grew up with the notion that intelligence and creativity are measured by a standardized test because that is how we are all trained to think.

The purpose of creativity in advertising and marketing is to create something new that captures the attention of the intended viewer or target market in a memorable way. And, by new I mean something that as far as we know has never been created by anyone else for this product or service. If a headline or graphic image in an advertisement or online site doesn’t grab me, I rarely read on. Maybe my attention span isn’t great but, for me, first impressions really matter. A good creative marketing idea or message, that is enjoyed and entertains, becomes more memorable for one reason – it breaks through the clutter.

New marketing messages are created everyday. Some are very successful, while others never quite hit their target audience successfully. Creativity plays a critical role in the process of developing a marketing message that stands out. It really doesn’t matter if you are marketing on the web or through print, without a strong unique message, you will never connect with your target market.

How does an agency like ours create a new and unique advertising message? I believe, creating a new idea is all about relating to things in a new and different way. Imagine if everyone who sold widgets, packaged them in the exact same way. Now imagine if someone comes in and packages the same widget in a new and unique way. They have just created something new simply by packaging the widget differently. As an example of what I mean, check out these Christmas ornament Coke shaped bottles sold exclusively at Walmart around the holidays for $2.99.

This Coke shaped bottle ornament intrigued me because of its size and price. I just discovered them this year but in my research for this blog article, I learned that this is the second year that Coca-Cola has sold this exclusive collectible bottle. These 13.5-ounce bottles which are spherically shaped to mimic a Christmas ornament are decorated with the cola’s iconic holiday images, such as the Coca-Cola Polar Bear and contain a very small amount of the soft drink. They are very cute and young adults and kids love them but for the price? You be the judge. This is, however, a great example of packaging a widget differently to create excitement and new sales!

It’s important to understand that even new things usually are created from something that already exist. It’s like pulling in everything you know and finding new and different relationships or connections. So what is the secret in discovering these new relationships? Do something new. Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. Expose yourself to new things, all the time and stop being afraid of the unknown. If you’re a CPA, buy yourself a drawing pad and start drawing. If you’re a construction worker, take a dance or yoga class. If you’re a artist, study plumbing and try to fix that leaky toilet. Step out of your comfort zone, never stop learning or discovering and never close your mind! The more you know, the more you can create from that knowledge.