Yesterday we had speaker come in for Creative Thinking (an ad course). Mr. Ken Cills of Machinery Philly gave a presentation on “how to be creative” and what has worked for him. I wasn’t able to find a site for his agency, but he showed us some of his work on youtube. He echoed some things we’ve already learned from that particular course. He placed a premium on being able to think like a child and being “stupid.”

Thinking like a child means almost means not thinking. Approach situations in the their purest forms. If something isn’t fun, how can I make it fun? Isn’t that what a child does? If it’s not fun a child isn’t interested. “See the beauty in everything.” he said. Sometimes the best ideas are the most simple. Old El Paso is using this exact idea right now for a campaign. Have you seen any of these spots? Also, kids aren’t afraid to be “stupid.” No matter how silly something may sound, kids will think of a way to make it possible.

Ken gave us the example of a campaign that he did for Fuse (TV) with Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus. To hear him tell it, absolutely nothing was established about Hoppus’ show. The network wouldn’t reveal any helpful information so Ken decided to use that to his advantage. Have a look at this spot…

Ken also shared a number of print ads with us from his laptop. By noticing “the beauty in everything” he was able to make some interesting print work simply using leaves he found in his driveway. And lastly, he gave us some good insights about having realistic expectations. He boldly admitted that, if a client is only willing to pay so much money then we should put only so much energy into our ideas. He did caution us that depending on the client this may be the only way to go. He stressed that some brands don’t require an in depth look or even special attention to get the message across.

Overall, Ken spoke very informally but it was cool.

“Am I saying s!@# too much?”

-Mr. Ken Cills

See more ads from Machinery Philly here (“Little Wayne” especially…).