Ben Eady - November 17, 2022 - 3 min read
Fresh eyes bring fresh thinking
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
It’s a quote famously misattributed to Albert Einstein, but it still makes a good point: we’re all predisposed to becoming entrenched in our thinking, stuck in a rut. The exception might be for those whose profession is creativity – not because we’re immune (and occasionally insane!), but because reinvention is very much part of how creatives operate.
So, why should you be looking at every moment of what you do with fresh eyes?
If you’re stuck in a myopic rut, then the simplest way to break free is to get a different perspective from a third party: a creative agency perhaps?!
Despite what the ad industry might want you to believe, fresh eyes are not about a constant churn of creative talent – it’s about objectivity, originality, and the ability to discern which idea is right for your brand and your business. And being unafraid to change.
The University of Haifa scanned subjects’ brains to understand creativity. Respondents were given 30 seconds to come up with original and unexpected ideas for the use of different objects. (Note, never ask creatives to serve up an idea in 30 seconds unless you want a riot!) They scored the answers in two parts –
1) Originality: attributing a high score for less frequently used concepts (least obvious ideas) and 2) Appropriateness: scoring their ability to rationalize the application of their idea (it had to work).
The scans showed that developing an original and creative idea requires the simultaneous activation of two completely different networks in the brain: the associative "spontaneous" network alongside the more normative "conservative" network – i.e., inspiration and filtering. Which means, for the accountants reading this, you’re halfway to being a good creative – yay for you!
This may have come as a surprise for scientists but for creative professionals it’s no big shock. Creative agencies use a robust set of processes to originate, fresh and on-brief ideas.
Brainstorm, research, discuss
Reflect, challenge, connect
The “aha!” moment
Assess, interrogate, quantify
Confirm, refine, test
But how do creatives keep fresh eyes?
Well, it’s not Optrex. Creative professionals use their years of experience to speed up this complicated process and make it look easy, but they still need ways of keeping those “spontaneous” and “conservative” neurons firing. The answer is change. The best agencies know it’s essential to constantly reinvent themselves; innovating, pushing the envelope of what today’s technology can deliver and paving the way for the future evolution. With change comes fresh stimuli and perspectives, enabling new solutions to old problems.
There’s a strong relationship between change and originality. Any agency worth its salt will be positive change-makers, constantly challenging the boundaries of briefs and applying fresh eyes to keep its clients’ brand relevant and its customers engaged.
It’s a philosophy we don’t just talk about – we live it. So much so that when we reflected on who we were and what we were for, we found a new identity and a new brand before our very eyes. You’ll be hearing a lot more about our exciting transformation from upstage to Whitewall, and we look forward to you joining us as we explore how much more there is to see.