Inspiration: Everything's Been Done

There’s nothing new under the sun. I either heard that in church or in a Lauryn Hill song. Or both.

It’s the truth either way. (Well, unless you look at all the new technologies and advances in science. Ok so, there are a few new things under the sun. Just not so much in advertising.) 

That’s another reason to constantly be looking at ads from other brands, years, countries and categories. You'll be inspired -- and will save yourself some disappointment.  

There is nothing worse than coming up with one of those ideas that makes you high-five the air, frantically comping it up, presenting it and then hearing, “Oh, that’s just like the [some other shit someone else did at some other time]”

To be a good creative, you have to stay up to date with what’s going on now and archives of what's been done. And consider hiring a psychic. 

There’s no way you can know everything, of course. But you should always check your idea before presenting.
  •        Google. Ask Google if she has seen that headline, tagline or campaign name somewhere else.
  •        Archives. Look at sites like, Creativity Online or Adland's Commericial Archive Search for the tagline, similar themes or images and seek out ads by your brand and other brands in the category. 
Not gonna lie, these Inspiration posts are as much as for me as they are for you. I am constantly on the hunt for inspiration. I want to know what’s going on, what’s happened, how it happened, who did it, where are they from, what’s their sign, who they be with, what numbers to dial...

A few years ago, my partner and I had a great campaign under the header “All Together Now” Everyone loved it. We were proudly polishing everything, when someone said, “Oh this sounds familiar…”

And in one meeting, everything slowly unraveled when it came to light that it was Sprint's tagline. Never mind that it’s a totally different category, a campaign vs a tagline. and the fact that “all together now” was so, absolutely, ridiculously perfect for what we were doing. The answer was no. Go back to the doc with 109 other names and see what’s there. Oh, and you know what, write 41 more. 

Don’t let this happen to you, kids. There are not enough Oreos in the world to numb that kind of pain. 

You don't want to end up on this list of Similar Advertising Concepts and Campaigns. (See all here) Here are two for completely different products, and two for the same type of product.
Seeing double?