Why I developed Make Brilliant Ideas

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

Why is it that in advertising we don’t have a unified method for coming up with and developing ideas?

In our great ad schools, we don’t teach a commonly understood process for how to think. A process is taught in almost every other creative field – architecture, screenwriting, graphic design, physics, even stand-up comedy.

It was perplexing. Ideas are the very currency of advertising. We have to come up with lots and lots of them and we usually have to do it in a short amount of time. So learning a smart, efficient method to creative problem-solve would be really valuable.

And that’s what I set out to do – develop a method for coming up with ideas that would help creatives become smart, confident idea-makers. I studied how brilliant thinkers in our business make ideas, and how and what creative thinkers are taught in other fields. Over the course of my research, a process began to reveal itself along with core creative principles that I’ve adapted and applied to what we do every day.

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 them into brilliant campaigns.

The goal is to prepare creatives to jump in and perform at a high level as soon as they enter an agency and to help self-taught creatives already in the business become more powerful thinkers.

The discipline combines three key components

  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 and techniques to apply to each stage 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 test what resonates most with writers and art directors in my course at New York’s School of Visual Arts where I’m honored to have been teaching for twenty years.

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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