The Generation Game


I recently judged this brilliant case study for Paddy Power’s World Cup campaign that you probably saw last year. I’m pretty sure that Paddy Power brainstorms are a fun, outspoken and edgy place to be.

This reminds me of a few years ago when I found myself at the hands of a ‘brainstorming consultant’ who had us playing ‘idea catch’ around a boardroom table. One of those awkward ‘if my friends could see me now’ moments.

Systems and exercises to think outside the box and generate ideas are nothing new. I’m glad to say that most of the methods I have had the joy to sit through generally don’t work.

This is good. Creativity can’t be automated just yet and is seen as one of the last bastions against the rise of the machines. Creativity is about connecting stuff that’s unconnected and our brains are pretty good at it.

So I have a suggestion to throw into the circle which is easy to do and is, well… fun. If you’re a creative reading this I’m sure you have lost count of the times when you have filled the walls with ‘on brand’ ideas and started to run a bit dry.

My advice at this point is to throw caution to the wind and come up with some funny, rude and un-pc ideas. Basically something that would get you fired if it ever got near the client.


Scamp credit: Tom Bellamy, additional details by Nick Hearne

In my experience coming up with ideas that you could never run leads to something that you can. After all, the best work often pushes the client and brand outside its comfort zone and stretching this can lead to something fresh and unexpected. Something Paddy Power is great at it.

After all, if you don’t have fun coming up with an idea, how can you expect people to have fun sharing it.