Sometimes I spend too much time on the internet to my own detriment and other times my endless hours of web surfing pays off. Luckily, last night was one of those times when it paid off.

I came across the image above while looking through the blog for UNTITLED Magazine. The image is of a billboard in Hamburg Airport designed by Service Plan, a full-service advertising agency in Germany. The billboard is simple, yet creative and as a result very appealing.

Impressed by the billboard, I decided to go to Service Plan’s website to learn more about them and the work they do. Their website had a huge flash page about Cannes Lions 58th International Festival of Creativity 2011, which took place in June.

Interested in learning more about the festival, I went to the Cannes Lions website and found a number of videos and interviews with festival speakers and attendees. I decided to watch the interview with Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and Outliers, and he had some rather insightful things to say about creative thinking.

On training ourselves to be more creative he says, “The limiting factor [or] the thing that prevented people from making great stuff was not the logistical difficulty in production or the cost of production; It was the scarcity of imagination.” He later added that the number of people who can make a great ad is vanishingly small.

On creative thinking he says, “Creative thinking is what military strategists call a high variance strategy. It increases your chances of winning, but it also increases your chances of making mistakes.”

His words are a little daunting, but I also see it as a challenge for us to be willing to be imaginative, take risks and be open to failure.

Gladwell also shared that the greatest brand to him is Porsche because of their ability to deliver a genuine, psychological satisfaction to consumers. In a way, I think the Porsche ad below alludes to this idea.

The ad is getting towards the idea that a Porsche is more than just a fancy sports car or a car for getting around. Rather, it is an automobile that meets the different deeper needs of a variety of people. Hence the tagline: “A car designed with a singular purpose, yet somehow it manages to be so much more.”


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