Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Thomas' group

Tomorrow's class meeting will be rescheduled to Friday, April 3.
All need to come to show me your many many ideas at 11: 00 am, Room 351A.

How to be creative

Look at these slides and you will know what it takes to be creative. Although the analogy is in a work place, it applies to every circumstance where creativity is required.
Take a look here - and don't tell me that you haven't seen them, they are taken from one of the sites I posted yesterday. 

What is your dream museum?

An interesting event which I would encourage all of you to participate.
Please take a look at the website and see what we can do with the dream museum.
Dream Museum
There will be a workshop for you.

日期:  4月25日,星期六
時間: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
內容: /講座:博物館、館藏及展覽
Please register with Ting (61382A students)and Sandra (61338 students).

Monday, 30 March 2009

Top 10 sites for Designers

These sites will surely open your mind.
Beast Pieces
This is a blog that highlights the work of the awesome letterpress shop Studio on Fire.

Departement Design
This small studio in Montreal, has a super cool self-promo site.

Incubate Design
This small Portland, OR-based design firm looks like a fun place to work.

Brand identity house located in Atlanta, GA.

Mike Bertino
Mike Bertino is a young illustrator based in San Diego, CA.

Power To The Poster
This project exists to bring people together around a ready supply of well-designed, wild posters that comment on the issues of our time. The posters are for anyone, anywhere to download, print and post.

Sarah A. King
Designer and illustrator Sarah A. King bends type into gorgeous images.

Teemu Matinlauri is a Finnish freelance illustrator and graphic designer.

tiny gigantic
Tiny Gigantic is a daily-ish inspiration feed maintained by the troublemakers at Language in Common.

A product development and product design firm dedicated to enhancing the human experience did just that with their amazing and unique website.
Source: howdesign.com

Thoughts from my tutorial today -part 2

Don't just focus on one idea, and it's not wise at this stage to lock in your idea and all you did were variations of the same proposition.  Try open new routes for development.  So what will happen to the receivers without the product?  What will happen to the donors? and vice versa.
Use the suggestion we discussed. and elaborate on that.  The before situation doesn't necessarily be "unpleasant" but rather it could be "very happy" - So how come people are happy before they receive blood donation?

Don't bother about the execution at this stage, all you need is ideas.  If the quotes are difficult to digest and stimulate your imagination, try using the book itself. Examine the unique features of a book and try explore with them to generate ideas. Is there an idea in showing what happens with books in the ad? or without them?

You need to visualize your ideas.  How Cantonese opera is among us? Is there an idea showing what happens with Cantonese opera in our daily lives?  Use the example of the supermarket receipt as a starting point to explore what you can do.  Be imaginative and manipulative to turn traces of cantonese opera into interesting ideas. 

Thoughts from my tutorial today

Today I 'saw' some ideas and some sketches, but I didn't see any creative advertising if you don't mind. Because most of you had the habbit of picking up one aspect from your creative insight and had only tried to extend it hoping to find the right combination to work out a solution.

I'd rather see many many different ideas with a variety of approach following one or two identified creative direction. I need to see exploration of those ideas and thinking in real terms, meaning some test and photos to prove the effectiveness of your thinking.

I also request you to conclude your creative idea in a simple sentence and use it to reinforce your thinking and guide your idea development.

You might be amazed how simple and useful it is to open up the direction for your idea development just by asking "Is there an idea in showing what happens "with" the product, (or "without" the product, or "with and without" the product in your ad?" DO try it out and I'd like to see as many testing as possible next time you see me.

Do as I suggested to explore with the various situations and feelings with the different 零食 in your ad. How can you manipulate the products and what will happen? Show me what you'll get.

Show me what you can do "with" or "without" the XTC ice-cream, so that people will understand immediately the the many choices it offers?

Show me what can the Chinese chess do in the ad so that people will WOW and associate it with their daily lives?

Show me what will happen if every people is getting ready for the 花車?

Sorry duty calls, to be continued...

Sunday, 29 March 2009

one more example

"Before" and "After" don't have to be routine, they don't have to follow the assumption of an unpleasant "problem" followed by a satisfied "Solution".  We can challenge the assumption and reverse it by showing a pleasant "Before" and an unpleasant "After".  Like this ad for Han-Brinker Budget Hotel where you will find NO PARKING, NO SAUNA, NO BELLBOYS, NO AIR CONDITIONING, NO MINIBARS, NO ROOM SERVICE... except clean basic rooms.  No wonder you will be exhausted "After" your stay.

How to get your idea?

We talked about getting ideas by showing what happens With the product (Stone No.8), and we also talked about getting ideas by showing what happens Without the product (Stone No.9). So what about joining the two stones together?  Here you go -
Stone No.10 - Is there an idea in showing what happens With and Without the product in the same ad?
It is like a "Before" and "After" shown side by side.  Or in the form of "Problem" and "Solution". I bet you have seen this kind of ad before.  However, I'm not saying you should follow literally, but use it as a stepping stone to trigger your ideas.  Like the Kiminomoto ad I showed you, it is a good example of showing what happens with and without the product in the same ad.  And if you are still not sure, here is another example. Zoom in the right bottom corner of the last two lines of body copy and you will be amazed by the typographic handling to reinforce the product benefit of Range Rover.

So think about it and try applying this to get your ideas.  What happens with and without blood (or donors, or blood pack, or...) on the same ad?  What happens with and without LUSH (or the effect of using LUSH) on the same ad?  What happens with and without Chinese chess on the same ad? What happens with and without Chinese opera (or the influence of it) on the same ad? What happens with and without CNY...  Hope to see some exciting ideas tomorrow ;)

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Be careful with the Kaminomoto

What is this ad about?  Can you say something? FYI, Kaminomoto is a cure for bald people.  And the headline is put inside a bracket "Be careful with the Kaminomoto). How are you inspired?

Friday, 27 March 2009

Getting ideas

Stone No. 9 - Is there an idea in showing what happens without the product?

The example shown here is an ad for a piles ointment. Insight: For people who suffer from piles, sitting on a bicycle seat is horrible.

This is like showing the "before" without showing the "after" (As I suggested Gigi). You have to see from the eyes of the TA and emphasize how it "feels" without the help of the product.

So what ideas can you get by showing what happens without the chess? What happens without Cantonese opera? What happens without LUSH products?  What happens without  XTC ice-cream?  What happens without creativity (61382A)? What happens without snacks? What happens without books? What happens without blood? What happens before the CNY? etc.

Earth Hour Hong Kong

Please support the Earth Hour Hong Kong on tomorrow 28/3 at 8:30 pm.
We can make a difference!
Sign up now!

Getting ideas

Stone No.7 - Is there an idea in something that's happening around you?
Ideas are around us. If you are open and observant, you'll find the humor and the fun of things.
Example: John West and Volvo. John West is a canned fish and seafood.
Stone No. 8 - Is there an idea in showing what happens with the product?
This is like showing the product in use. Or this is more like showing the "after" without showing the "before". The Nugget example is self-explanatory. source: Ad Forum
Nugget is a shoe polishes.

Give me some comment please =]

停車熄匙 ideas:
- 斬腳指避沙蟲 : 唔通要你係一森樹/魚(過海taxi) 就無後顧之憂?

- 廢氣恐怖到一噴車都溶

- 你介紹架車琴副"計" 你副"計"都唔抵啦!



Ad-Rule No.15 - The rule of the Chat

Now here's the reason of my previous question " Who are you talking to?"
The important part is the second part of the question "talking". If you talk to your friend, you talk about your life, your experience, your love and hate, your anxiety, your happiness, etc. You are talking with a personalized tone about anything that has happened or will happen to you in real. You don't make up stories for it will be impolite and will depersonalize your good self. So what does it tell us? If you talk to your TA, try not to talk in a way like you are talking to a demographic, talk to them like you are talking to one person directly, like what you would talk to your friend. Tell them some real stories, so that they can be touched and engaged.

The "talking" refers to your ad content. It has been shifted from a " tell them what to do" to a "tell them what they really need and want" manner. Ad people are not experts anymore (in telling them what to do, so product features do not sell), they become storytellers (giving out stories that their TA really need and want).

So it's the "talking" part that's important, and it will drive creative ideas.

The rule of the Chat tells us that what people really want from your ad is engagement. In other words, they want dreams, memories, passion, laughter. They want stories that could nourish their lives. Don't tell them what to do, as is "my ice-cream is good for your health, so buy me", or "giving blood is good so please donate", or "this course is practical so do it", or "this snack is from Japan so you should have gaurantee" (- unless you are selling milk powder to mainland people, where safety is their most important concern), or "reading is not limited to indoor, please learn the new ways of reading", or "this is the year of tiger and you should bring your valentine to experience the exotic CNY"...

The rule is about knowing your audience...so that you can talk (chat) to them like on a one-on-one basis, not as an "audience" - that's why you prefer a tutorial to a mass lecture. See what I mean? ;)

Thursday, 26 March 2009

How to get your idea? - More stones, watch out!

Stone No.3 - Is there an idea in how the product is made?
Look carefully into the manufacturing process of the product, don't take it for granted, use your disciplined eye and wild mind to find out the story.  If you can find one that can excite you, it will excite your audience.

Stone No.4 - Is there an idea in where the product is made?

Stone No.5 - Is there an idea in the product history?

Stone No. 6 - Is there an idea in the product's old advertising?

How to get your idea?

Let's continue with this topic...

Stone No.2 - Is there any idea in the packaging?

Can you find any insights from the packaging of your product? Look at the shape, colors, form, material, tactile feeling, how is it opened and closed. Is there anything you could elaborate in the surface graphics - typography, slogan, ingredients, manufacturer's info, country of origin, etc? Really need to scan it careful and see what you can find.

Who are you talking to?

This is a very simple but important question before you start your advertising.
I'm sure every body knows it so what am I going to make a fuss here?

Yes, you know it's about targeting your audience. But I am challenging you that you might only know half of the question. Why? Think about it and post your thinking here, I'll let you know!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

How to get your idea?

This is a very common question that every one of you wants to know but is afraid to ask - at least that's usually found in my tutorial sessions.
Creativity is a disciplined eye and a wild mind.  So you don't get creative ideas without some form of methodology, you've got to look around you and "see" things sharply and dig out the "insights". However, this is not enough, many of you have spent so much time and many effort in the discipline, trying to analyse and hoping to find out what could be the USP before kicking off to the idea stage.  That's useless!  Because you have forgot the "wild" side of creativity.  You've got to trust your intuition and be brave to go as wild as you could just to explore and experiment with whatever that hits your mind.  They may be crazy ideas and strange thoughts but they will form the bridge to your creative advertising.  It's time to forget about the bloody research and rational analysis about your TA or products, facts could only lead you to mediocre and boring ideas.

I'll try to throw out some stones here to help you think "wild".
Stone no.1 - Is there an idea in the product Name or Logo?
Can you kick off from your product name or logo and start to think wildly and associate anything that comes to your mind to form an idea?
e.g. 61382A. You want to position 61382A as a programme that encourage FREE thinking and expression.  The idea:  61FREE82A.

XTC.  You want to tell people that XTC  ice-cream has EXTRA TASTE.  The idea: Ice eXtra Tasteful Cream.

Red Cross.  You want to play around with the blood donors.  The idea: Bloody donors.  Does it mean anything to you?  Go on and be brave!  I'll continue tomorrow.

Ad-Rule No.14 - The rule of Topicality

Have you ever watch Project Runway? Grand Design? or even 電波少年? Do you know what they are called? Yes, Reality Shows.

The reason why so many people like to watch girls competing with each other beacuse they appeal to the audience that they are real, their experiences, their emotions, the behaviors, their words, their looks...

Real life are most interesting and compelling than advertising.

The rule of Topicality tells us that if you can create ad that builds around current topics, it sells! In other words, if you can make ads like news, you will have the most powerful advertising technique working for your brand. In short, make it newsworthy!

Take a deeper look of the Benetton campaigns, you surely know what topical ad can do and how they connect you with an authentic dialogue to the world.  Topics were newsworthy which draw your attention immediately!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Monday, 23 March 2009

Watch Benetton's Ads before the next Ad-Rule


Yes, today I talked about AIR in my tutorials!

Now that you have presented your work and got some fedback from the other tutors. The key thing is to utilize some of the feedback and refine your strategies and creative thinking so that you can move on to the next stage. It is not far from the second presentation where you will be asked to show your big ideas and layouts after the Easter holidays. (15/4 - 17/4)

I have started from the letter R.
R is for Response which your target audience will give after viewing your ads. So just think about what response will you expect from them is easier to get start and to test the effectiveness of your ads afterwards.
Try to use an everyday language to describe those responses. e.g. 咦?61382A制得喎過!
Just list down the possible responses that might come from your audience and select the most approprioate one(s) for your development.

In order to make sure your T.A. will response to the selected possible response, you need to draw their ATTENTION, right. That's right, A is for Attention. Before that, you need to understand who they are and WHAT are in their minds. So list down from your previous insights and analysis What they might think about the product. In 61382A's case, they might be: HD 唔係好正, D tutors 好吞pop, 冇保証, 好hea... Again, just list them down, probably they are slightly negative comments otherwise there is either no or a different need to do the advertising.

Then you ask yourself "Why should they bother (to response to your ad)?"
When you ask this question, you should answer the positioning of your product first. Remember the rule of Positioning? Because if you have positioned your product correctly to fill the gap in the market, you have addressed the questions in your T.A.'s minds, meaning you have done half the job. Because what you will offer is what they need.
So again, in 61382A's case, the positioning should include these offerings: (you may use this structure for setting the positioning of your product: "61382A 係...") 好正, D tutors 唔吞pop, 包有嘢做(学), 好好玩, 扺讀...

The positioning will help you to create the STORY of your product. Here we come to "I". I is for Interest. This is the most important part cause if your T.A. are not interested in what you are saying, they will run away, not to mention response. So this is where you make your ideas and big ideas come to life. All the creative thinking happen here. I stress the word "Story" because we are all story tellers. We can create stories based on experiences, emotions, people, place, time, behaviours, environment, etc. Remember the story of Apple (1984)? Story of Volkswagen (Funeral)? You see what I mean?

Now you know why AIR is what we need in advertising!

Time to show me how interesting your ideas will be. I'd expect many many creative thinking and ideas sketches from now till Easter.

Ad-Rule No 13 - The rule of Irreverence

I like the way you talked about the Volkswagen's and the Amertican Tourister's Ads. That's how we should learn - think > talk > share > rethink > ???
Now it should not be difficult to understand this Ad-Rule.

The rule of Irreverence tells us that satire works in communication because it just gets into the sceptical consumers about the sincerity of the advertising (remember most of them do not believe in ads). Audience are always ready to laugh at your ads, because they are becoming more cynical. So if you can offer them a laugh with a bit of naughtiness and satire with a degree of irrevence, it will generate a rewarding communication between the brand and the consumers.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

To Thomas's group

Please come at the same time as you have booked last week for tutorial tomorrow.  You are also welcomed to attend all sessions for sharing.  1st session at 10:30 am, AuWing's group. 

Another must see before the next ad-rule

Here's another example which I want you to take a look and think about it.
American Tourister TVC
Listen carefully to the VO and here are the extracts for your reference:

"Dear clumsy bellboys, brutal cab drivers, careless doormen, ruthless porters... and all butterfingered luggage handlers all over the world, have we got a suitcase for you..."
Say something here and I'll let you know the next ad-rule.

Friday, 20 March 2009

A must see before the next ad-rule

Volkswagen's Funeral TVC
In case you have difficulty understanding the voice over, it is the dead rich man, telling us about the distribution of his money to his beneficiary. And here you go:

"To my wife, Rose, who spent money ike there was no tomorrow, I leave one hundred dollars... and a calendar.  
To my sons, Rodney and Victor, who spent every dime I ever gave them on fancy cars and fast women, I leave fifty dollars... in dimes.
To my business partnes, Jules, whose only motto was 'Spent! Spend! Spend!'... I leave Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!...
Finally, to my nephew Harold, who oft-times said, 'A penny saved is a penny earned,' and who also oft-times said, 'Gee, Uncle Max, it sure pays to own a Volkswagen,' I leave my entire fortune of one hundred billion dollars."

Tell me what you think :)

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Questions/Insights from today's 2nd presentation session

Here are some questions for your further thinking re your NFP.

Ling, Sophia - QB House
Q: Is "快" the only criteria for hair cut?
Q: What is the most important thing young people want with their hair cut?
Q: What can you do in 10 minutes? Can it be related to Style, Quality, Satisfaction...?

Leung Chung-ming, Siu-chi - Lumography
Q: What are the unique characteristics of Lumo?
Q: What can you do with the 10 rules?
Q: Lumo is expensive, inconvenient... how to turn these defects into strengths?
Q: What can be achieved with a Lumo camera?
Q: How can you differentiate Lumography?

Kenji - Baasher
Q: How to nurture creativity through books? or Bookshop?
Q: How to tell people that creativity can brighten up our lives?
Q: If creativity is power, how?
Q: What's the use(s) of art and design books?

Emily - Monopoly
Q: Is the Wii version necessarily more interesting than the old one?
Q: Why should I (the target audience) bother?

Chan Yuen-shan, Tinson - Zoro Zoro
Q: Why can't you smash the cockroach to dead?
Q: What good is an intact dead cockroach body? And what can you do with it?

Wu Cheuk-yin - SAA
Q: What is your main role (purpose) of advertising?
Q: What will happened to stray animals?  
Q: What can you do with their experience?
Q: Can you turn "annoying" into an idea?

Takkie - Drunken Driving
Q: Who are you talking to?
Q: What will you do if all drivers are drunk?
Q: What would happen to the drivers if all pedestrians are drunken?

So siu-wai - Hawaiian Tropic
Q: What do you want to say in your ad?
Q: What can be done with a natural tan?
Q: Why people have to choose their products?

Kenny - Yahoo Knowledge
Q: Why people have to go to Yahoo Knowledge?
Q: Is it an online encyclopedia? or an online "know how"?

Test for Smart People

This is a test for Smart People.
The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether you are qualified to be smart. The questions are NOT that difficult. But it will tell you how you think.  I shall give you the next question when there are 10 responses or until you have answered the 1st question!

1 How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Questions/Insights from today's 1st presentation session

I found these questions from your presentation, see if you can answer them and find out the insights for your further thinking.

Shelli - Anti Cancer
Q: I can die because of many reasons, having the MPV vaccination cannot solve my fear for death.
Q: Isn't it too early for a 9 year old to take the MPV?
Q: Why can't I wait?
Q: Why it is relevant to me?

Nounze, Jennifer, 3F - Owindo
Q: What are the user insights?
Q: What are the characteristics of light? What can they do?
Q: What can we do about the co-relation of light form and organic form?
Q: What kinds of experience can light offer?
Q: Can light generate emotion?
Q: When there is light, there is shadow. Can we do something about shadow instead of light?

Chu, Sofei, Flora Pun - SkinFood
Q: What are the client's insights?
Q: What are the user insights?
Q: What if I "spread a banana" on your face?
Q: What if my skin turns into an "orange"'s skin?
Q: How do people smell me if Iam an apple?
Q: When is the time my skin feels "hungry"?

Hung YT, Kwok HY, Vicky - YHA
Q: Can I narrow it down to a Single-minded proposition?
Q: Are backpackers truely 唔怕死?
Q: If not , what will they be afraid of?
Q: 摸得到的世界係乜? 摸唔到的世界又係乜?
Q: 乜___(填充)係___(填充)架? e.g. 乜地球係三角架?
Q: How extraordinary will the experiences be with YHA?

K, Wang - Yahoo Auction
Q: What are the user insights?
Q: What is a web addict? What do they do? What are their characteristics?
Q: What do people want when they are shopping?
Q: Why do they go e-shopping? Except for convenience?
Q: What are missing in the shopping world that might be sold on line?
Q: Why is e-shopping (Yahoo auction) relevant to me?

Law Yu-fai - Consumer Power
Q: What are the client's insights?
Q: What are the user insights?
Q: Why do people need to buy?
Q: What can stop them from buying?
Q: Have you heard about "I buy, therefore I am!" ?
Q: Is the act of buying a sin?
Q: How about buying wisely?
Q: What is the win/win situation for consummerism?

Faye - Garden Life Bread (GLB)
Q: What are the client's insights?
Q: What are the user insights?
Q: What is the lifestyle today compared to that in the 60s?
Q: What is the uniqueness of GLB? Or is there any?
Q: Why should I choose GLB, when there are so many choices from fresh bread providers?
Q: How can GLB differentiate itself from fresh bread?
Q: How can you guarantee that people will choose GLB to make sandwiches?

Zoe - Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Q: What are the client's insights?
Q: What are the user insights?
Q: Why is it relevant to the target audience?
Q: What is the need of the TA to donate?
Q: If it's painful, why should I bother?
Q: What can I do about the matching in a positive way to attract our TA?

Rachel, Zita Leung - WWF
Q: What is the design problem?
Q: What is the role of Ad?
Q: Who is the target?
Q: What is the USP?
Q: What exactly are we doing? Protect the ocean? or endangered fishes?

Chow Lok-hang, Meao, Tse-ying - WWF
Q: How can I improve the idea, to create stronger impact and originality?
Q: 放屁都关我事有冇得林?

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Ad-Rule No.12 - The rule of Fascination

This is to follow up with my previous post about the sameness phenomenon.  This attitude is absolutely dangerous in creative advertising. When every product, every brand is selling the same message using the same strategy which once has been proved to be effective, chances are all ads will become homogenous.  Then what's the use of creative people?  Such kind of "me-too" strategies seldom work, because people cannot tell their differences.  In order words, they have no differentiation. Above are two examples of sameness.

The rule of Fascination tells us that in order to attract the audience, the ad must be "fascinating".  Meaning we need to differentiate the product/brand, so that it can be easily memorized and liked by the audience.  When differentiation works, likability works and so is the advertising.  Perhaps it's time to rethink about the role of advertising.  It's not about selling but it more about building a good relationship with the consumers in a clever, fascinating and likable way.  It's not about helping the sellers sell, it's about helping the buyers buy.
Watch these fascinating ads which achieved differentiation:

Talk about insights again

Recently I've been talking a lot about insights. Insights from your research, insights from your clients, your target users, insights for your ideas, insights from the talks, seminars, Ad-rules, insights here, insights there, insights everywhere. If you have followed my tutorials or this blog closely then you'll know what I mean.

While I am struggling for what to say every night before I go to bed - believe me, it's a difficult time for people my age logging in and start a new post before 12 pm just to make sure the time of my post would still be on the same day although in reality it was always finished after 12 - because I have promised to give you an Ad-rule a day. This insight thing has always come up to me. "What are the insights I got from my students?" and I found some which interestingly, have similarities with the main topic we are talking about on this blog - Advertising. I'll use them as sources of provocation to hit you on the head.

One of the insights I found is that students are, like most of the ads these days, alike. To elaborate it a little further, i.e. they look and act the same. There is a great inclination towards a certain level of sameness, a me-too mania, and the kind of clone thinking which I think are the reasons why most of our ads are boring. The fact that we all pay safe and thus be well indulged in our comfort zone, taking for granted what ever ways told and proved to be successful ( I did it in the last project and I got a good mark then it should be good to adapt the same old trick again to sell my product). Sorry, it's not! Creativity has no reference point. It all starts anew.

So what does it lead you to think about your creaive concept or big idea?

SAO workshop for 2B this Friday

2B students please note the SAO's workshop.

Class: 61382A/2B
Program date: 20 Mar 09 (Fri)
Venue: Rm 431
Topic: Personality Dimension Workshop
Time: 1430-1830

Monday, 16 March 2009

Ad-Rule No.11 - The rule of Jump

We all know what it means by "未學行先學走", right?  It's usually a negative comment.  It implies an accepted norm of doing thing step by step.  So if you are "未學行先學走", or even "未學行先學跳", then you are in trouble!

Most people walk on the street, step by step.  So what would happen if you "slide" or "jump" instead of "step"? Answer is simple, either you are in trouble or you will change the way people "move"on the street - Skateboard and Parkour.

The rule of Jump tells us that jump is the simple and universal principle to move people.  Jump refers to a sudden break away from the ordinary, and becoming extraordinary. Jump creates great experience.
So what would you do with your creative thinking?  Step or jump?

Something different but insightful

I got this blog from an ex-student, take a look!
Pirouette Cacahuete
Dun no how to pronunce it!

Points to note from my tutorial today

Today I had some tutorials with my group and I had some observations which I'd like to share with all of you here.
Picture this, and tell me what would you do if you were me (the lecturer)?

One group stared with miserable faces telling me what they were going to do with the charecter, and attempted to tell me the "story" why they have thought it was useful and interesting. I stopped them immediately because I didn't need to know the story before I knew it would work or not. Because creativity needs not be explained. It just happens! So how could I react without seeing the visual (sketch)?

Another group showed me a few sketches (which was already seen as a bonus because sketches were just so rare these days) and attempted to seek for my approval to go ahead. I demonstrated how easy it was for them to decide by simply asking questions of "so what?" and how to identify the "insights" even in the idea development stage. So my approval was unnecessary.

A third group told me that they could not give me the idea sketches because they were still struggling for the "big idea". What a 本末倒置's thinking? Isn't that big idea is the purified idea after all the testing and abandoning of the many many small ideas? So how can you find big idea without working over with the small ones?

Or some might said that they were not 100% comfortable with the insight, so they need a bit of time to drill more before they could make an idea. Come on, creative people hate anything comfortable, that's why we are in a constant search of exciting things, people and places. Creative people are restless, they have the guts to deal with everything on earth, because they have the gift of unlimited resource - imagination.

So What I'm trying to say here is, the research part is over, you've got your insights (if you are lucky), it's time to move on and start the creative thinking. Forget all you have found out about the client, product, users, market, etc. They are unlikely to give you any hints if your creative mind still refuse to work. As the philosopher Emund Burke said, "You can't plan the future by the past." It's time to take up a pencil (don't even think of the bloody computer, they are useless at this stage) and start doddling and draw down your ideas, no matter how raw they are, just think, and show it to your peers, tutors and then you should get their responses.

Remember my saying, I am here to do the talking, not you. You are here to show me your doing, don't talk. So don't talk your ideas, show them. Creative idea doesn't need explanation, they will sell on their own and everybody will love them instantly. As I demonstrated today, don't under estimate yourself and the power of force fitting and free association, you know what I mean, Brian, Wingo, Die, Wingky, Wah...

And all these will lead you to the next ad-rule. Stay tunned! and give me some feedback if you want me to write more.

Japan Study Tour Sharing

If you missed the sharing session today, try to visit the exhibition at the foyer of the hall. Good stuff and insights there.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Ad-Rule No.10 - The rule of Disruption

Let's flashback to your secondary school, say F.2, on a normal day you were walking to school wearing the god damn boring school uniform and you know you couldn't do much about it as it was almost a convention and wearing school uniform was the status quo not only a school regulation. Suddenly you had a thought and rushed to the toilet for a change. When you came out everyone was in the shock, some of them laughed at you, some turned their heads away, some looked at you with their wide-opened eyes, WHY? Because you had just changed the way you wore your uniform - you had worn them inside-out! You were crazy enough to shock the world!

All I want you to know is that conventions only train us to do the conventional. If you want to make great impact, you have to break away from the accepted norm where everyone is thinking and doing the same.

The rule of Disruption tells us to reframe the product and discontinue it from the status quo so that the audience will see it differently and will be rewarded with surprise and delight.

In their 1984 ads, Apple had disrupted the conventional notion taken from George Orwell's novel "1984" about computer technology ruling the world by saying that computer should work the way people do - that's "why 1984 won't be 1984".

Well, time for some brain work yourself, I'll leave to your interpretation of the "think different" campaign.

HKSI香港插畫師協會-專題講座及研討 - PHOTOS

Photo Gallery

Oscar Awarded Animation 01

Watch the simplicity of this award-winning animation.

A father says goodbye to his young daughter. In time the daughter grows old, but within her there is always a deep longing for her father.

Tell me what you think.

NFP 1st Presentation

Please mark the date:

Wednesday, 18/3 AM
Wednesday, 18/3 PM
Thursday, 19/3 AM
Thursday, 19/3 PM
Friday, 20/3 AM

Presentation Notes and Time table will be sent to your email soon.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Watch these!

Here are some TV ads by Apple. Watch them and let me know your thinking. See what insight you can get from them, and it will lead you to the next Ad rule.

喂! 又冇反應? 係咪讀AD架? (TK13/3)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Ad-Rule No.9 - The rule of Humor

Only humans laugh.
So what's the insight here?  Well, follow this simple logic: if laughter can make our lives better, and if advertising is persuading us that their products can make life better, then how about making some laughters in advertising? They should work better :)

The rule of Humor tells us that humor can make the viewer like your ad.  Because it requires an actual participation of the viewer, then it is more likely that the viewer can remember it.

Can you find some more examples and post them here?

Question that leads to the next Ad-Rule

What's the act that only humans do but animals don't do?

Monday, 9 March 2009

Ad-Rule No.8 - The rule of Relevance

Here are my answers to the questions I posted earlier today.
"I bought a spaghetti lunch box form the canteen after the tutorial this afternoon because I knew that my colleagues had gone for lunch so I decided to go to the canteen because it's convenient and it saved me a lot of trouble walking all the way down hill to answer my lunch problem."
"I saw Visa's "Let's Go" commercial on SlendAd.com this afternoon because I could use it to illustrate the Ad-Rule which I'm going to post to students today."
Visa - Let's Go TVC

Do you see my point here? Well, with the first four questions, I want you to find out the motivation behind your decision to buy the product, and the motivation to pay attention to an ad with the last four questions.
The keyword in my case is "relevance". So what is/are the keyword that can sum up the motivation in your case.

The rule of Relevance tells us that it is essential to create ad that is relevant to the audience. We must provide the solution to their emotional problem. Note that emotion need is emphasized here because we don't sell product features entirely on its own. We need to tap into the psychographics of our audience. We need to care about their feelings and thus emotional connections are important. For all they are consuming now is desire, not need. Great ads are the result where creativity meets relevance.
Recommended reading: Creating Desire by John Machado

We have to understand that creating ads that based on customers' need is easy. Why? Because it will be relevant to the customers anyway.  Back in the 50s after WWII, everything was relevant to the lives.  Everyone not only wanted everything but they needed it.  E.g. 維他奶, Pak Fa Yau, 保濟丸.   

Questions that lead to the next Ad-Rule

1. When was the last time you bought a product or service?
2. What was it?
3. Where did you get it?
4. Why did you buy it?

5. When was the last time you saw an ad?
6. What was it about?
7. Where did you see it?
8. Why did you pay attention to it?

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Ad-Rule No.7 - The rule of Experience

Well, since I got some responses to my previous question leading to this Ad-Rule, I'm going to tell you what it is.  For those who haven't posted their answers, just calculate yourself how many "yes" and how many "No" in your answers. If you can answer "yes" to half of the question, congratulations! Because you will know what I'm going to say today. If you have more "No" than "Yes", then you should pay attention, because likely you are not going to create good advertising :)

The rule of Experience tells us that only with actual experience can we create something unique and original. To help you understand the importance of experience to advertising, please follow this rationale: what makes a person unique is the personal way of seeing things of that person. The way of seeing things is a reflection of all the experiences that had happened to that person. So if your experience is boring, you would end up a boring person. Similarly, if you cannot offer good experience in your ad, it will end up being a boring ad.

If you think your way of seeing is not interesting enough, or your experience is not that special to catch attention, try mix it up with others' experiences. It is always better to mix things up in advertising. Mix up experiences from people of different background, different culture, different career, different sex, different race, different age, and if it is honest and unique, it will work. Now you know why you are encouraged to pair up with others to do project.

So I suggest you to get a real experience everyday, every week and every month (or when ever you could), so that you can get many different ways of seeing things.
Go wild camping in a cold winter; sleep on a truck; live in Beijing, go experience something new elsewhere, and you will have many stories to tell.
Diet Coke - Swimming Elephant
Nike - What are you getting ready for?

Ad Resources 02

Spend the rest of your project in this cool website and I'm sure you'll get something out of it!
All I'm asking you is to return your comment everyday about what has inspired you there - if you want me to post more amazing stories and insights here.  I'll be waiting.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Friday, 6 March 2009

Joke of the day

A 樂壇天王 was on a plane getting back to his seat from the toilet but he couldn't get pass the walk way while the stewardess was serving a passenger. So in normal circumstance, what would you do if you were the 天王? Probably you would say "Excuse me" or "May I..." right?
Have a guess! I'll post the answer later.
Hint: the answer is in English.

Questions that lead to the next Ad-Rule

Answer these questions:

1. Have you been beaten in a street fight?
3. Have you exchange stories with a stranger this week?
4. Have you been kicked out from school?
5. Have you had a near death experience?
6. Have you been looked down upon?
7. Have you cried so seriously that you have to vomit?
8. Have you ever been lost without money in a place far from home?
9. Have you ever drunk a glass of vinegar?
10. Have you ever been bitten by a dog?
11. Have you ever had your heart broken?
12. Have you ever smoke?
13. Have you ever taken refuge from disaster?

Come on, give me an answer, everyone please!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Ad-Rule No.6 - The rule of Love

We all need love. We all need someone to love and we all need to be loved by someone. "All you need is love!" Can anyone argue with that title by the Beatles?

When you start your project, and almost every time when you start your project, first thing you do is to go find something, some ideas, some information, some data. Well, that's what we call research and since it is specified in your brief as one of the assessment criteria, so there you go. Go to the Internet, library, set up some questions, go to interview, talk to your friends... then you try to turn your findings into something useful, cause you know you have to back up your proposals, ideas, strategies or whatever with facts, and you need to rationalise your act with what you have got in your hand.
So you have got yourself loads of information, if you are lucky, feedback from your online questionnaires, photocopies of materials borrowed from library, printouts of web pages that you have visited, notes from your client interview, etc, etc. But how many times have you encountered a going no-where and still you think that the research is more or less "useless". Do you know why? Because they are lacking of a connection.
That means unless you can "connect" the materials on hand, they are not going to work for you. And the strongest connection you can have to make it work is by an emotional connection called - LOVE!

The Rule of Love tells us that in order to survive after all we have succeeded in the past century from selling products to trademarks to brands, brands have to build close relationships with their consumers. To achieve this, we should turn from the rational side of analysis using reports and statistics, to the emotional side of building connection with our consumers with love - the strongest emotional connection of all.

Here are 7 insights by Kelvin Roberts showing how Love can be used to create the emotional connection.

1. Love creates Lovemarks
Think of a super brand that you love and simply that's a Lovemark! What's on your head? Apple? Brands that are placed at your heart are Lovemarks. They will create loyalty beyond reason. How did they do this? They put emotions into their brands and connect you with them.

2. Love inspire people
Sooner or later you will be working in an organization with people, and as you have experienced in your group work, you are required to work with people, only this time you cannot choose your teammates. How to ensure that you and your teammates work together and inspire each other, again, requires the emotional connection. Because great ideas can only come from people who are inspired with passion and emotion.

3. Love brings back emotion
You have to understand that emotion and reason are intertwined with each other. And when they are in conflict, emotion usually wins. How many times you have decided to come late to school because you just don't like the idea of being early - although your reason tells you to be punctual. Emotion controls our rationality and guides our decision-making.

4. The Love/Respect Axis
Today it's not enough just to earn Respect in order to stay in the market, brands must invest in Love.

5. Love draws on Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy
Our lives are filled with mystery, sensuality and intimacy and so are successful brands. E.g. Starbucks.
New emotion and ideas can be generated by focusing on mystery, sensuality and intimacy.

6. Love connects with consumers
It's simple as this! Care for your consumers and connect them with emotion created by Love.

7. Love revitalize market research
Remember as I always said in the tutorials, do not do research for research's sake.  Research needs to help us discover what we don't know, and to inspire us to go further. Draw insights with the emotion connected in your research.


「文化研究在香港」公開演講系列 第三講




Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Ad-Rule No.5 - The rule of Emotion

Today when we talked about using the binary brief (1. WHAT? 2. WHO? and 3. HOW?) to help us setting the advertising strategy, we mentioned about ESP and we haven't spent much time discussing it.  I suggested to put it aside temporarily when we chose between using USP or Brand advertising as an approach, in order not to mix up with the latter.  I want to add that while USP relies on facts and reasons, ESP is emotional, intuitive and subconscious; USP sells the product itself and ESP sells the idea of the brand.  So it is useful to think of an ESP when brand advertising is chosen in the "HOW" section.

The rule of Emotion tells us that if an ad triggers an emotional response, it will then grab the T.A. by their hearts and leave them with good feeling about the product or service.

又冇意見? (TK 6/3/09)

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Ad-Rule No.4 - The rule of Selling

Have you thought about why we are doing advertising?  Well, here are some of the answers you might have: to communicate a product or service to the target audience; to make known of the positioning of the product or service; for brand building; to show and apply creativity; to get attention, to win awards, etc. Your answers will also lead you to the purpose of advertising, and the true goal of advertising.

The Rule of Selling tells us that the purpose of advertising is to sell - to sell the product before you can sell the brand.  Because all that existed at the beginning was the product, if we could not sell the product in an appropriate way, we could not sell the brand, because the brand didn't exist.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Ad-Rule No.3 - The rule of Consistency

It might sound odd to you. You might think that advertising is about change, it's dynamic and ever-changing. So how does consistency apply here?

First of all you need to know that all ads are brand ads. That is to say, they all contribute to the brand building of the products or services they are selling.
The Rule of Consistency tells us that in order to keep good brand equity and to market a brand successfully, we need to be consistent. In advertising, a single message must be kept across time, place and media. Well, let's use this analogy. Building brand is like building relationship with people, or to be specific, with your loved ones. If you connect them regularly and in a consistent manner (body, personality and mind), you'd have more chances to keep and grow the relationship. Of course, you can still add a bit of surprise from time to time on your body but you should be the same person who they know, I meant personality and mind.

Similarly, brands are also made up of three parts - Body, Soul and Conscience.
Body refers to the product or service offered by the brand. It's the engine of upgrades and innovation.
Soul is the unique character and personality of the brand. It's the mother of the brand.
Conscience is the corporate responsibility and values of the brand. Particular importance for global brand.
So where do you apply the rule of consistency here?

Singapore Airlines - "Singapore Girl" - The brand proposition has been delivered for over 30 years.
Any comments?

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Ad-Rules No.1 & No.2

Who's going to comment on these ?  Please write something.

HKDI Cultural Trip Seminar

HKDI Cultural Trip Seminar

Date: 2 March, 2009
Time: 4:30pm
Venue: Room 043
content: (1) introduction to the HKDI cultural Trip (sponsorship, objectives, project)
(2) Sharing session of students of Beijing Trip (GiGi is one of them!)
(3) Briefing session of 3 trips: 山東, 廣東, 貴州

Application forms of the trip have beem distributed for you. For any details, please contact ting.

See you there!