Ok, you are allowed to be jealous right now. I’m in my rented condo at the beach and the forecast for this whole second week in October is 80 degrees and not one drop of rain. I’m heading to the pier to do some fishing at 7:00 tomorrow morning. As a side note, I’ll be using a brand new fishing rod because mine of 22 years broke today.
Anyway, this past weekend, I was at a magic convention (yes there is such a thing). I really get inspired seeing creativity coming from so many magicians. As I see even very young magicians coming up with such creative ideas, it makes me ask the question, “How do you become creative?” Well, being at the beach, I saw something today that I referenced in a blog that I wrote back in 2011, while also at the beach. It’s an oldie, but I think it’s a goodie as well.
June 8, 2011
I really wasn’t expecting to find such an important advertising tip while walking on the beach but it really made too much sense to ignore. When you take a walk on the beach, how many sand castles do you run across during your walk? If you’re like me, you can run across 10 or more in less than a half hour. However, how many of them do you really remember? My girlfriend and I took a nice long walk on the beach a couple of nights ago. There were plenty of sand castles up and down the beach, nothing more elaborate than just buckets turned upside down with dumped out sand to create a structure. But then we ran across an alligator…no, not a real one but one made of sand. It was about 10 feet long with open eyes, a long tail, and it was green on top. As impressive as it was to see, there was really nothing about it that seemed too difficult to reproduce. For example, the green color is probably what stood out the most and it was probably the easiest part of the construction process (just some form of green spray paint). So other than taking a little extra time to create, there was nothing outside the realm of what I could probably have done myself. What was the result? That was the only sand structure my girlfriend and I talked about long after we had passed it and it was the first thing we told my parents about when got back up to the condo. The next night was the same deal. Lots of sand castles, but one big mermaid on the sand with the scales on her tail created by about 100 seashells. My parents even asked us if we had seen the mermaid on the beach. Again, nothing too difficult. It’s not all that hard to find 100 seashells on the beach, just a little time consuming. The result? We all remembered the mermaid on the beach and probably along with hundreds of other people that passed by.
Take all these sand structures and think about number of billboards and advertisements you pass during a typical day of driving. How many billboards can you honestly remember detail about? What about restaurants that you see on the road (other than ones you already know). One of my favorite restaurants at the beach is Benjamin’s Original Calabash Seafood Buffet (heading that way tonight by the way). When people tell me that they’re going to Myrtle Beach, I always recommend that place and I’m always asked the same question: “Where is it?” And I always give the same answer: “Right next to the giant crab.” Three things strike me funny. One is that the restaurant with the giant crab isn’t Benjamin’s. Two, the name of that restaurant actually is The Giant Crab. And three, after I give my answer to people, I’ve never had to explain in further detail where the restaurant is located. How difficult was it for the restaurant owner’s to get a giant crab? Probably not too hard. But what is the result? That’s the one people remember.
Just keep in mind that when you create your ads, business cards or promotional materials, a little extra time for creativity can go a long way! I learned that from a crab, an alligator and a mermaid.