It pays to blindside your audience.

Think the Cadbury Gorilla. Or that insane Budweiser ad with the frogs. Or when Spotify wrote ultra-targeted songs for some of the top CEOs in the world.

Since 95% of your buyers aren’t in market when you reach them, brand-level creative needs to be ‘memorable, not clickable’ (check out this article, for more.) And as AI-generated advertising floods the market, creative curve balls could give you an even bigger advantage.

You can’t follow straight lines and arrive in unexpected places. That’s something any creative will tell you: randomness is your friend.

The trouble with randomness? Dead ends are part of the deal.

But with KPIs like yours, big flops can’t be. So, how do you up your odds of creating breakthrough work? The answer might lie in the oldest – and newest – of tools.



Ever heard of Design Thinking? Or just the good old ‘ideation’ prompt?

If you’re working on a brief, for example, it can help you see the problem differently. Try this one:

Find a human truth in the product benefit. What does everyone hate, chase, miss or regret?

Creatives use them all the time. They’re all about shifting your perspective. Sometimes you get gold, sometimes you don’t.

The trick is knowing which responses you should develop and which you should discard. That and allowing time for dead ends: you need to fail fast, but failure is part of the process.

The only issue? It’s not super flexible. You end up with similar prompts for every problem. So, is there a more tailored way to do it?


Getting random with Ai

The last time I was working on a campaign, the product was predictive. It got me thinking about films where a character sees into the future. Like Minority Report.

So, I asked Chat GPT to write a video script about the product… in the style of Minority Report.

The result was mostly hackneyed, occasionally absurd – and sometimes truly insane.

Then, one sentence sparked a new thought:

The future is always uncertain, but [with the product] you can change it.

Sure, it’s clunky – but there’s a grain of interest.

Nobody really wants to be certain about what’s next. How boring would that be? With our product, customers can enjoy the twists and turns of the future without worrying. Because our product changes bad outcomes – before they even happen.

That’s a springboard for some interesting creative.

I used Chat GPT because I wanted to push my thinking further with strange inputs and absurd collisions. Randomness.

Of course, my work is just the tip of the iceberg. Breakthrough creative starts months before I touch a campaign.


Find the hidden Clichés that kill creative

As I explore here, Chat GPT is generally a beaten-track finder, not a breakthrough writer. So as a rule: if you get it from Chat GPT, it ain’t gonna stand out.

But even that can be handy. Next time you’re writing a brief, you could try something like this:

What are the ten most common clichés in marketing about unified communications services?

Here’s what Chat GPT gave me:

“Seamless integration”
“Collaboration made easy”
“Anywhere, anytime, on any device”
“Next-generation communication”
“Boost productivity”

Bad news: if you find any of these clichés in the brief, they need to go. Even if you’re using them to explain a benefit, they could drive your creative down the old beaten paths.

Good news: that’s our job. Your agency should help you interrogate every word – after all, you’re paying for strategy which sets you apart.


Health warning

To be clear, we don’t use Chat GPT to write anything that goes into market. Not even if we’ve done the hard bit: the angle of the article, the outline, the idea. The gold.

Even when you give it the gold, it’s simply not there yet. You’ll see what we mean when we put Chat GPT through its paces soon.

That said, you can use generative AI to support and push your own mind. While others use it to stop thinking, you can use it to think harder and bigger than ever.


This intelligence was not artificial. We make the complicated simple.