When I say the words “do you remember,” what’s the first thing that you think of?
The first time you got on a plane and your stomach dropped as the wheels left the tarmac?
When you walked through Times Square for the first time?
That time TSwift deleted her entire Instagram and came out with the snake for the Reputation tour? (You can admit that you love her, I know I do.)
But whatever that moment is, there’s an important thing to take note: You’re defaulting to a particular moment because memories leave marks. They’re tied to instances, impressions, and most importantly, to experiences. And when that moment happens, it’s amazing — flashing lights and fireworks kind of amazing — and it’s an integral part of what we do over at the PullSpark offices every time we produce something. It’s not just about capturing an event or a moment, it’s about making the memory. It requires a lot of creativity on our part because if there’s one thing we know, it’s that creativity is a highly subjective matter, and it means a little something different to each person.
Think about it: If I say blue, I’m personally thinking about my favorite shade of robin’s egg. But because we have different perspectives, you might be all in on the cerulean train. (Special shout out to the Crayola 64-pack for my extensive color vocabulary.) But it doesn’t matter if we don’t agree on the same shade of blue; what matters is that we connect on the color blue. That’s the key.
When you apply this idea to the development of engaging marketing material, strategies, and campaigns, is that it all goes back to connecting your audience with a memorable experience — even if those memorable experiences may be different. When your audience says “Wow!,” “Jinkies!,” “Ay Caramba!” then you win, and you get there by zeroing in on the experience. So, where do we start?
My ultimate recommendation: Take stock of your experiences and make sure you’ve experienced something amazing, recently.
If your goal is to create a memory, an experience, a moment that makes your audience stop and say wow…how do you get there? Where do you begin the search for the spark that will burst into the flame of the billion-dollar campaign? Why can’t it be as simple as Oprah giving out cars to her studio audience?
(You get creative brilliance, and you get creative brilliance, and you get creative brilliance!)
It’s because creativity and creation are things that must be sought out, worked for, and uncovered. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s largest US stadium tour.
But, there is one simple fact that I know to be true for all of us, one highly applicable thing everyone can use to expand their vision and broaden the horizons of the creative canvas they’re painting on: your experience.
So, if you want your audience to say OMG, start with the last time you said OMG. Was it your last outing outside the four walls of your day-to-day? Maybe it was when you treated your hometown as a new destination and treated yourself to exploration staycation. It could’ve even been the last restaurant you went to or the last painting you looked at — whatever it was, it inspired you. You connected to it, and that’s what you’ve got to tap into it.
Every experience you have increases your potential to create an experience for those who come into contact with your work. There’s some form of creativity sitting inside all of us. The question is: Are you putting yourself in scenarios where that creativity is stirred?
Second recommendation: Get out, breathe deep, drink this, eat that, dance about.
Create the memory your creative spirit is hoping you will make, so it can come out and say “Look what you made me do…”
(See what I did there? You know I couldn’t leave it alone for too long. ?)
Kristen Ackerley is the director of events at PullSpark, a strategic content and experience design agency that specializes in connecting audiences with brands in memorable ways. Follow her on Instagram @Kcackerley if you want to hear her focus group of one thought on ATL, the next good read, and good glasses of pinot noir.