Why I developed Make Brilliant Ideas

Here’s a question I began to ponder a few years back:

Why is it in advertising we don’t teach a methodology for coming up with ideas? A method is taught in every other creative field – architecture, screenwriting, graphic design, physics, even stand-up comedy – but not advertising!

It was perplexing. After all, ideas are the very currency of advertising. And not only do we have to come up with lots and lots of them, but we have to do it in a very short period of  time.

So I set out to do just that – develop a method for coming up with ideas that would help make creatives smart, confident idea makers. I studied how we think and work in advertising, how they’re taught to think in other creative fields, and I uncovered core creative principles that I’ve adapted and applied to what we have to do every day.

And since then, I’ve been teaching it to hundreds of creatives.  (You can read what some of them have to say here).

Summer class photo copy**


Make Brilliant Ideas is a method, not a formula

Make Brilliant Ideas is not a formula – there is no formula for making ideas. It’s a method developed to give creatives a powerful foundation for jump-starting thinking, coming up with lots of ideas super efficiently, and developing the best of those ideas into brilliant campaigns.

The method is great for developing portfolios quickly, but more important, it prepares creatives to jump in and perform at a high level as soon as they enter an agency.

It combines three key components into one discipline

  1. An actual A to B to C road map to follow;
  2. Core creative principles taught in other creative fields that apply to what we do, as well as principles that are specific to how we work and think;
  3. Powerful tools, techniques and tricks to apply to each of the three stages of your creative process.

Make Brilliant Ideas is always evolving

I continue to develop the methodology as I get new ideas from the creative community and learn what resonates most with ad creatives in my course at SVA. I’m honored to be associated with New York’s School of Visual Arts so here’s a quick plug. SVA is one of the country’s great ad schools. The faculty – both undergrad and Continuing Ed where I teach – is the best in the biz, tapped from a resource of New York’s best creatives.

If you have thoughts or questions shoot me an email. You can also join our growing community of creatives in our private Facebook group.

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