Life is often described in picturesque and expressive ways — take the expression “stuck in a rut”, for instance. This turn of phrase easily conjures up a visual representation of a time when people used to travel about in carriages. Along such journeys, well-travelled routes would see carriage wheels leaving tracks in dirt roads. Day in and out, these well-travelled roads would see the deepening of these tracks into well-formed ruts. As these ruts deepened with the passing of time, and frequency of people travelling along the same old roads, so formed the idea and expression of finding oneself stuck in a rut.
This throwback to yonder years isn’t the only idea conjured by the age-old expression. The thought of ruts forming from overly-frequent journeys over the same tired roads serves as a reminder: without taking ‘the roads less-travelled’, one would hardly gain fresh perspectives. So how does one identify opportunities to venture on these less-travelled journeys? Although modern-day habits might see us instinctively reaching for our mobile phones to find answers to the question, there surely are easier ways to discover creative influences in everyday life.
Creativity can be cultivated, simply from identifying the ruts that tend to form with the familiarity of daily routine. By stepping outside of these ruts of habit, creativity can not only help us in moments where we feel ‘stuck’ in routine, but also provide us with the edge and vigour that so many often seek in our professional and personal lives. Speaking on the topic, we explored what our Executive Creative Director, Darren Lim, had to share when it comes to planting the seeds of creativity and helping them flourish.
The Latin root for “stimulate” was used in the 16th century in the same way you would describe a person’s reaction to a bee sting. Routine can often lull us into a state of apathy towards other influences that may seem out of the ordinary: which underscores the importance of trying something new every day. This stimulates and builds the unconscious library of ideas that exists in a person’s brain.
“Take a different route to work,” suggests Darren, “or use a different mode of transport. You never know what inspiration you could draw, even from simply striking up a conversation with the bus driver or the commuter seated next to you.” To him even something as trivial as picking out something different to have for lunch could provide a person with enough inspiration to appreciate their reality in a new light.
Before you dismiss something unfamiliar, take a moment to consider what might be good about it. There may even be an aspect of what was unfamiliar, that you could find useful for a practical situation, whether to directly benefit your life or those around you. Discovering new influences could even lead to more discoveries down the road that prove valuable. However, you’ll never know if you don’t put the effort into exploring the unfamiliar.
Darren recommends being receptive to information, visual or otherwise, and to all stimuli that come your way, without bias. “Be curious to ask the four W’s and one H to find out more about the subject,” he says. “Don’t be afraid to go down the ‘rabbit hole’ when it comes to making new discoveries in life.”
“An impressive creative concept can be made up of fragmented ideas — it all boils down to a creative’s ability to connect the right dots,” says Darren. Finding and building on the relationships between seemingly unrelated ideas and elements is one of the ways he recommends for exercising one’s creativity. To Darren, it so happens that even fragmented and seemingly out-of-place ideas can present common themes and unifying elements — if one were to examine them closely enough.
“There are always many angles to appreciate any subject,” he adds. “Be sure to take the time needed to truly explore them all.” When you’re able to connect the dots to your grand idea or concept, you’ll be able to put fragmented inspirations to work, often with magical and very practical results.
Beauty & skincare are unquestionably highly-saturated industry sectors. For any brand to stand out in the hearts and minds of a 20 to 40-year-old female target audience, creativity is key.
The creative team at Mediatropy identified an unlikely relationship between time travel and naturally shiny hair. Connecting these dots resulted in a fairytale storyline that they rendered with dreamy visuals used across various digital channels, capturing target audiences across the APAC market. The campaign went on to generate a 460% increase in brand interest. See the full case study, here.
Expanding on the campaign idea further, the creative team explored an off-the-beaten-track relationship between beauty & skincare and a hidden village in the French countryside. This led to the creation of a fully-interactive website, styled in the fashion of a first-person role-playing game. Visitors discovered the French origins of their favourite eco-friendly skincare brand as they virtually explored the village of La Gacilly. The campaign reached 9 million people and generated 39 million impressions. See the full case study, here.
Led by Darren Lim, our creative team makes inspiration, curiosity and connecting the dots a way of life. Every creative execution, be it for a video, an interactive website, social media content or even a blog post image—all starts with keeping an openness to stimuli, regardless of its source.
Count on our team of experienced designers, writers, photographers, video producers and web developers to make marketing magic in ways you never thought possible. Let us explore every angle and make all the right connections to bring your brand to life for your target audience and to achieve the stellar results you need.
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