Bill Murray

I was going to add something else to the title of this post, like ":Creative Genius" or ":Master of the Unexpected," or ":God of Mt. Comedius," but if you need more than "Bill Murray," you should be kicked in the nuts.

I just finished this article about Murray in Rolling Stone. Please read it. My takeaway from it, broadly, is that the characteristics that make you a good creative person are the same characteristics that make you a good person. A fun, interesting person, at least.

In addition to some great stories, here are a few gems:

"Someone told me some secrets early on about living. You can do the very best you can when you're very, very relaxed. And I realized the more fun I had, the better I did." 

"Wear your wisdom lightly, so insights come as punchlines." 

On his famously bizarre/amazing interactions with the strangers: 
"My hope, always, is that it's going to wake me up. I'm only connected for seconds, minutes a day, sometimes. And suddenly, you go, 'Holy cow, I've been asleep for two days. I've been doing things, but I'm just out.' If I see someone who's out cold on their feet, I'm going to try to wake that person up. It's what I'd want someone to do for me. Wake me the hell up and come back to the planet." 

Pushing for cool.

Seems every time OK Go comes out with a new video I have to post about it.

What does this have to do with advertising? As I've written before, OK Go does a great job of surprising the viewer. That's what great advertising does. We say "That was cool." What we mean was, "That surprised me."

The band could have made this entire video about those Honda Uni-Cub scooters, and it would have been been pretty cool.

And that's where a lot of advertising creatives stop. We come up with one idea and say, "Cool. Let's do it."

But what OK Go did was say, "Cool. And then what?"

We take them outside the studio and ride around.

"Cool. And then what?"

We have a bunch of Japanese girls come dance around us.

"Cool. And then what?"

We film this with a drone to get a bird's eye view of us and the Japanese girls.

"Very cool. And then what?"

We make patterns that can only be seen from the drone's eye view.

"Cool. And then what?"

We incorporate umbrellas opening and closing to add some color.

"Cool. And then what?"

We use the umbrella's as pixels and create patterns only the drone could see.

"Very cool. And then what?"

Let's not just create patterns. Let's create images. And even text.

They could have just stopped at "Let's ride around on Honda Uni-Cub scooters."

And that's where most of us stop creatively.

But there's always more we can do.

Don't stop too early.

You've got to push for cool.

(On a side note, I just did my first shoot with a drone. Loved it. Shout out to Charlie Kaye, our drone pilot.)

What Makes a Great Creative Director?

3% Conference - What makes a great Creative Director? from Pitch on Vimeo.

These are the comments that stood out to me:

  • The best ones teach you to survive without them.
  • A nurturer.
  • Very decisive.
  • Have a point of view.
  • Hire people who are better than you.
  • Do no harm.
  • The allow the work and the teams behind them to grow.
  • Part of your making is helping other people make.
  • It has to be purely about the work.
The best creative directors I've worked for hit all of these points. How well does your current creative director stack up?