Coming up with great ideas on demand is like reasoning with cats.

It can be done, but it’s tricky.

The pressure to come up with the never-before-done, everyday, can be terrifying. Where will it come from? Will it ever come? I have a friend who looks up at the sky and mutters, “Lord, just give it to me.” There are those who pray, and there are those who must have their coffee or nothing will happen, and there are those who Metallica in a corner. More than ritual, these are acts of hope.


When talking to advertising people, I don’t like talking about advertising. It is already what we do, all the time. We like brands on Facebook five times more than normal people. Our attention strays during programming but homes in during commercial breaks. We can’t help but comment on type choice, kerning, white space – yes, on our children’s handmade Happy Mother’s Day cards.

So when I had the chance to talk with Lowe people from fourteen countries at last week’s Lowe Institute, I took it as an opportunity to have a chat with myself about creativity on demand, how it drains us, and how to turn it from a siphon into a self-sustaining cycle. I reread Todd Henry’s The Accidental Creative (which I cannot recommend enough). It took me my entire life so far to come up with that talk. Here’s a selection of slides. Each one aims to reason with cats.







All done using Paper by 53, exported as jpegs to Keynote.