A puzzled introduction

AWSC,Observations,Personal June 2, 2011 7:24 pm

{Just in case you missed it… my first piece for Advertising Week! Shameless I know, but I was just too excited not to share!}

Allie Walker: A Puzzled Introduction

Posted under: Advertising WeekAdvertising Week BlogAdvertising Week Social ClubAllie Walker on Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

by Allie Walker

Putting together a puzzle is a rewarding, if tedious and frustrating, activity — where do you even begin with trying to assemble the pieces?

[Do you systematically sort all the pieces by color or do you dive right in? Do you complete the edges before attempting the middle area or do you work on putting together small sections first? Do you study the picture on the box for inspiration or do you start looking for connecting pieces right away?]

When putting together a puzzle, there’s no linear path, no right and wrong. All you have to do is put the (damn) pieces together! As long as the puzzle ends up complete, who cares if you put the edges together first or if you sorted the puzzle pieces by color? All that matters in the end is that all of the pieces fit together (and that you haven’t gone crazy in the process).

Here’s where some people may disagree with me and say that the process is important in assembling a puzzle — or a client pitch — or a digital strategy proposal — etc.  They are the ‘this is how it’s always been done’ folks.

Their tried and true process works for them, and they always tackle puzzles (literally and figuratively) the exact same way.  While there’s nothing wrong with this method, it’s not for me.

Call it confusion, creativity, rebellion, or whatever you’d like, but I’d rather look at every situation as its own unique puzzle; one with its own unique solution. I think this approach encourages innovation — when you’re willing and open to disrupting standard/traditional/normal processes, you’re opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and new possible solutions.

And in the advertising industry? Willingness to disrupt the ‘putting-together-the-puzzle-process’ opens up new ways to break through clutter, reach new consumers, create a more engaging campaign — and myriad other goodness.

As a researcher, I’m fascinated by process disruptions and the resulting innovations in the advertising industry.  What qualitative and quantitative information can we use to critically think about how to solve the puzzle in front of us? What insights can we glean from historical data? How can we use this information to deviate from a standard process and achieve a new, innovative result?

I’m excited to join the Advertising Week Social Club and share my thoughts on innovations in the advertising industry. Hopefully my musings on putting together a puzzle will inspire you to approach your own puzzle with a new direction!

{And there you have it- my first time being published! I’ll be posting once a month– and possibly more, depending on how often inspiration strikes 🙂}

Wondering what Advertising Week is, exactly?

From AdvertisingWeek.com:

Advertising Week is the world’s premiere annual gathering of marketing and communications leaders. With more than 200 distinct events, The Week is a hybrid of thought leadership seminars featuring the industry’s best and brightest and engaging special events which galvanize targeted constituencies. Spawned from creative roots in 2004, Advertising Week now draws from the client, media and broader cultural communities with a laser focus on key business drivers which shape and influence the global industry.

Measured by breath, scope and impact, Advertising Week transcends standard industry conferences and The Week moves the needle on key industry challenges like talent and diversity via GeneratioNext and Advertising Futures.

Comments are closed