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The Graveyard of Good Ideas

March 30, 2009


My Creative Director at Ogilvy, Christina Knight, gave all the creatives a book to read last summer. The book was called ‘Hey Whipple, squeese this’ by a guy named Luke Sulllivan. whipple It was a great read – a bit ironic though that the author several times used Ogilvy as an example of the agency that did things the wrong way. One of the interesting advice that Luke had to give was to hold on to ideas you thought were good even if they were discarded by the client or the agency and keep them in a folder or book. Maybe they would come in handy in the future. Or maybe they could serve as inspiration. Anyway, i jumped on this idea and created The Graveyard of Good Ideas.

The thing was, i had quite a collection of ideas i thought were winners, but that had died a horrible death at the hands of coworkers or clients. This could mean either of two things: A: I am a misunderstood genius of the ad industry or B: i just don’t have the skillz to pay da billz. Putting them all together in a nice PDF would straighten that question out for me – and preferably have me leaning toward option A. Said and done, behold the GOGI.

When the work was done, i had an impressive tome. A hell of a lot of pearls rejected by the swine, IMNSHO. I had classified each case MIA: not shown to the client for work killed by circumstance, internal bickering, or unclear briefs, or KIA: shown to client for work that for some reason didn’t appeal to the customer.

The next question presented itself: with all this effort, and this impressive document, what to do with it? The sad truth is, that even if the GOGI contained a lot of great ideas, taken together they represent a lot of great ideas i did not make happen. In any circumstance, that’s not a very good promotion of me as a creative. With a deep and shuddering sigh, i closed the GOGI and consigned it to a dark and dusty folder on the nethermost reaches of my work archives. There it rests, never again to see the light of day…. or will it?

Anyway, if you’ve read this far, i think you deserve a  little taste of the GOGI. Here are a few gems to hopefully lighten your day, do with them what you will:

finalcountdownPeople respond way better to constructive criticism.  Here’s a CO2-counter who’s main function was that you could turn it around. That is, you could either see the amount of CO2 now generated in your country, city, or neighborhood, or you could let the counter show how much CO2 you currently saved by your actions. Combined with a community site idea based on Nike+, where you could add other things you did for the environment to the counter (other than buying a new Ford, that is)

This idea was a part of a larger concept we called “Cozy” The idea here is simply that the potato chip company create plush pillow covers for the living room sofa so that you could rest your head on a bag of potato chips. Who wouldn’t want that?

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