Great creativity is about great timing

Today I spotted a great idea. An idea probably had taken the creative team a short time to conceive, and then pull it together swiftly, efficiently and more importantly, creatively. The campaign that I felt so strong about did not need a multi-million budget. It did not need two months of revisions, three months of execution. It was not done by an award-winning team. But in my opinion, it is one of the best campaigns I have seen this year so far.

The campaign was in fact created by an intern team at BBH London (well done Bjorn, Sophie, Omid their mentors and the agency that had given them space to be creative). They read about story of an 89 years old barber, Aaron, whose business was ransacked during the riots this week. Aaron has been in the Tottenham area for 41 years, and has no insurance and no way of rebuilding his shop. The team reacted by setting up a website called ‘Keep Aaron Cutting’, a simple design with a richly touching story. After just a few days, the website through the power of social networking, had raised almost £19,000. The money not only will be able to help Aaron to rebuild his business, it will also help the Tottenham community back on its feet.

I was touched by the story of Aaron. At the same time I salute the power of storytelling of the young creative team. They were able to react quickly and made great use of the power of social media technology to mobilise people.

Did the creative team know for sure that their idea work? Were they so convinced that the message will be able to connect with people in a meaningful way? I doubt they were absolutely sure. But that’s exactly that – they did not rationalise it but simply reacted with such genuine compassion that it transcended into a beautiful idea naturally.

It’s so hard to be truly creative these days when nothing is entirely original anymore. Creatives not only have to perfect the craft side of their work, they also have to think in a 360° manner, and in perfect timing. If we want to engage consumers who are now so used to reacting to twitter feeds every second, we do need to give them the timely stimulation, so we can be consider to be worth connected to.

In an ever-changing culture, we cannot stand still.

As creatives we also need to be sensitive to what’s happening around us and act quickly. We need to think less, and act fast. John Naisbitt once said in his book ‘Mindset’ (who was also the author of Megatrend) about ‘understanding how powerful it is not have to be right’. As a creative we need to let go of details sometimes and take some risks.  He said:

‘…If you have to be right, you put yourself in a hedged lane, but once you experience the power of not having to be right, you will feel like you are walking across open field, the perspective wide and your feet free to take any turn…’

Keep aaron cutting blog: