At 8:45 am on day 1 of my Baptism into BCM, my life as a university student got washed away. I sat in on two meetings, I was briefed on a campaign for Christmas and I got cracking on writing some radio spots. And it hasn’t stopped since. Yet at the forefront of my mind still lies one pressing question – what could I possibly write about that would be worth reading? And right there, we have it – the fear of mediocre ideas.
The art of coming up with innovative and original ideas is something university can’t teach you. Shocking, I know. We may get taught the science behind the internal creative process and what makes a great ad, but as Bill Bernbach once said, “advertising happens to be not a science, but an art”. Sometimes the idea’s right in front of you and other times it likes to play a few rounds of hide and seek. But most of the time, great ideas don’t come from sitting in your work cubicle staring blankly at your computer screen.
One of the most valuable pieces of advice I took away from my 4-year degree came from my advertising copywriting lecturer. He told us that the more information you feed the brain, the more experiences you’ll have to draw from in your work. So whether I like it or not, I try to say yes to every challenge, opportunity and experience that comes my way. Because if ideas can come from anywhere at any time, the danger lies in the temptation to say no.
What if that chatty Uber driver you shrugged off made you see things from a different perspective? Or what if that stupid looking YouTube video you scrolled past sparked a really brilliant idea? In this fast-paced and competitive industry we work in, there’s no room for people who don’t keep their eyes and ears open. Especially for us graduates trying to get our foot in the door. We’re expected to be at the forefront of the latest trends, be the first in the know about what’s going viral online, be able to plank, successfully complete the mannequin challenge or whatever other phenomenon is surfacing on the Internet.
Reality is the clock that never stops ticking. And nor do the minds of most creatives. Their minds are kind of like sponges – absorbing almost anything and everything that’s circulating in the world around them. That’s exactly what I’m to do with my time here during the BCM Baptism. I will be the ultimate sponge and take every drop of wisdom from my mentors. Minute by minute. Brand after brand. 8:45 am to 5:30 pm. Monday to Thursday.
Georgia Klinakis is a Baptism Intern