Want to have ideas that cut through? Be unexpected.

Want to have ideas that cut through? Be unexpected.

I read a great blog today from the brilliant Seth Godin where he says something very simple that really struck a cord with me. He says:

“Writing and speaking can be easily sorted into two groups:

The expected & the unexpected”

It really made me think about pitching and creativity, and how so many pitches that I’ve been involved in or see now in my role as a consultant rehash what the prospect knows and whilst the idea that is about to be presented may not be known, it is on a spectrum of what’s expected.

With Cannes Lions 2015 looming and all the creative work that is about to be reviewed, pulled apart and judged I also thought that this comment was really interesting in the light of creativity. When you look at past winners and the favourites this year – is there an element of the unexpected there? Is that what helps to make it creative? It’s a filter I’m going to apply when looking at the work on show this year.

It’s a great filter to apply to any creative work at the beginning as well as at the end as an evaluation criteria. It also reminds me of something that rockstar creative Dave Droga of Droga 5 said at Cannes last year.

He asked: “Why would anyone give a shit about your idea?” It’s a great question to apply to ideas and writing.

What’s going to make someone care about your idea and what you did? Why should anyone give you their attention and time? If you can’t find a good reason you really need to work on finding one or your entry will be in the slush-pile.

I  can’t say it any better than Seth does: “Here’s a first step in moving from one to the other: Cross out every sentence that could have been written by someone else, every box check, every predictable reference. Now, insert yourself. Your truth and your version of what happens next.”





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