Creative Genius in Us

I was brought in on this project as the writer / director and DP to help create a TV spot for the NISSAN LEAF. The idea was to show Adrian College students what it might be like to work with an ad agency while working for a company. At the time, I owned an ad agency, was local and had some free time. I was lucky to be picked because what we created was FUN.

It’s been almost 5 years since we produced the spot and I hadn’t watched it in years. Upon viewing it with older eyes, I was absolutely blown away by the commercial. It’s not a great proof of concept for the LEAF car it’s GENIUS! The commercial is funny, relatable and even could be a catch phrase for the LEAF. Here is the commercial: LINK

“Every time I see a LEAF car I scream “It’s a LEAF!!!!!”

What struck me the most was remembering the creative energy and cooperation of the team. The two students were doing everything on a blue screen laid out in a cafeteria. NOTHING was there. I asked them to imagine a wall of switches and a Frankenstein Lab setting. Oh, and yes there was no car either. The actors had never done anything like this. They were enthusiastic and acted like the lab was there. It worked beautifully in the editing room. The final product is a marvel of ‘can do spirit’ using nothing but acting and costumes.

The point about making this commercial is simple, we all have a little creative genius living inside us. It’s like a genii inside a bottle waiting for someone to come along an release it. Today’s world is filled with quick answers, intolerable stiff working environments, companies too big or too small to take a risk or jobs that are not supposed to have any humor. We have to let that genii out more often. My challenge to you as a company leader is to propose time to get your employees together for “creative time” at all levels.

Let that creative genii out of the bottle. An old tycoon once said, “put a lazy man on the job and he’ll find the easiest most efficient way to get something done.” That’s absolutely true. People are not lazy when they are allowed to let creativity shake loose when it comes to work. Allow some play time with an idea, new product or solution. Like the LEAF proof of concept, you just might come up with an amazing idea that didn’t cost you a dime.

© September 2018 Stuart MacDonald. All rights reserved.


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