By: Kristin Cardullo, Senior Account Manager
What inspires you? My manager took me a little off guard recently when she asked me that question. It was a simple, yet powerful question; one that shouldn’t only be asked during performance goal setting, but each and every day when you work for a digital agency. Through my journey, I was a little surprised by not only what inspires me, but also what leads to inspiration.
When I went home that night I was doing one of my absolute favorite things – baking cupcakes. While being careful to measure out the perfect amount of ingredients, I reflected on the question I had been asked earlier in the day. My thoughts subconsciously began to mesh with my baking task at hand and led me to arrive at a striking “aha” moment: I realized that delivering creative is a lot like baking a cupcake. When I bake, I put my all into the finished product, and I want nothing more than for everyone to be happy with what I have made. Similarly, as a member of client engagement, I strive to make my clients happy and leave them craving for more after we have presented creative material.
Everyone remembers their favorite meal or dessert. We may not think about it while we are eating it, but a strategic combination of ingredients and timing went into creating that perfect dish, just like ideas and talents that go into a great piece of creative. When baking, there are some key ingredients to every cupcake: eggs, sugar, flour, butter, and baking powder. Change the amount of those core ingredients and you will end up baking a sugar cookie or a muffin.
A great piece of creative is also made up of very specific, very intentional ingredients. It should be inspiring, emotional, memorable, appropriate for the target, and shareable. Adding more of one ingredient can lead to a different approach, and missing an ingredient can sometimes cause us to miss our mark entirely. Just the other day, I saw a commercial for Google Chrome that I would consider THE perfectly baked cupcake of commercials.
It starts out with a guy asking his ex-girlfriend to meet for coffee in an email. He uses features on Google Chrome to put together a story that explains why she should say yes. It starts by showing their awful first date at a rundown taco shack and then moves on to a video of their great second date at an amusement park. As more pictures of the pair captured in various locations are featured, a Spanish blurb surfaces. The girl is prompted to use a program tool to translate the words and finds that they read, “because I miss my travel buddy.” He pins tons of places in their town on a map showing all the places he thinks of her, including the bench where they broke up. He ends his case by showing a picture of his desk at work, followed by a typed confession that he should have spent less time there and more time with her.
When I rewound the commercial and watched it again, I started to think about the wonderful ingredients that made it so special:
• The commercial showcased the product through a story that highlighted key features in memorable ways.
• It pulls at the heart strings; I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I shed a few tears watching it.
• The story spoke to the 20-30 something target audience since it featured things that young adults do, such as travel, work long hours, and post photos and videos of well, everything.
• The commercial showed how the product reach goes beyond the digital space and how it can facilitate the interpersonal relationships of its users.
• Finally, the commercial left a lasting impression that drove me to search the product.
The delivery of this commercial and all the work that probably went into making it is truly a reminder of how impactful our jobs here can be and how a team of different minds and ingredients can create experiences that change lives.
We have a lot of different departments and different minds that make up Razorfish Health. We may not all work in the creative department, but we all participate in the process that inspires good creative.
Take time to notice the creative around you. The best cupcake has the perfect amount of each ingredient and so does great creative. If we all contribute, we can bake the perfect creative cupcake for our clients. What could be more inspiring than that?