I think everyone is getting sick of the us vs them argument. The fact is, ideas can come from anywhere. Creative isn’t the sole domain of the creative department. An idea is an idea whether it comes from ones and zeros or it comes on a scrap of a paper napkin.
Rein Inamoto’s definition is, Idea= Emotion x Function. And his article in Fast Company is causing all kinds of fuss. But that’s always been the formula for great advertising.
Here’s what I think is a little better definition: An idea is taking two previously unrelated things and creating something new. For instance, a strategy from point A and a technology from point B.
The thing I’m really getting tired of is this strange inferiority complex that seems to exist with people who don’t have the word “creative” in front of their name. Inamoto’s quote, “They were creative, it’s just that the creative thought they weren’t.” But when you say things like “Embrace the culture of code,” as he does, that sounds like a threat, not an idea. Code isn’t an idea. Algorithms are not an idea. No more than a television spot is an idea. That is, until they’re mated to something strategic plus something beautifully and strangely unrelated. That’s what makes an idea.
So, okay, screw it. Anyone who has the ability to put unrelated things together to make something new is creative. Everyone has that potential so we’re all creative. Ideas can come from anywhere. But let’s not forget our job is persuasion, and the ideas have to be in service of that. The delivery system has changed, the fundamentals have not.
There, I’m done.