Thinking like a Genius

How many times have you heard “it’s not rocket science, it’s only ____________” (and it’s ok to substitute “brain surgery” for “rocket science”) and thought I should be able to do that? It’s one of the things those of us in advertising hear all the time- as if creating this great stuff is so easy.
How long did it take Wieden + Kennedy working on Nike before “Just do it” came along and changed everything? Do you think “Where’s the beef” was a happy accident on the set? Hopefully not. The fact is- some very talented and smart people worked a lot of hours to come up with those famous three word combinations. Three words- and they propel sales and awareness through the roof.
So- is there a secret to coming up with this stuff? I ran across a site that has eight strategies to “thinking like a genius”- and wouldn’t you know it- they all apply to coming up with great advertising.
If you want to have genius advertising- I can add one more thing strategy to the list: hire an agency and work together at learning each other’s business. It’s often said that clients get the advertising they deserve- and most of the time this comes from an arrogance – often founded on the premise that they don’t believe that advertising is actually creative rocket science. So before you hire or fire your agency- look at how you handled the relationship- was it one of mutual respect? Did you work as hard at educating the agency as the agency worked at educating the client? If the equation wasn’t 50/50- you probably didn’t get what you could have.

What do you think?