You’ve got the brief, know the main objectives and challenges and have started some digging on competitor brands that even Poirot would be proud of.

Now you’re after that big idea, the one that blows it out the water! But first… blank paper. How to start? Where to start? Starting is definitely the hardest bit.

Don’t panic! We have three tried and tested Ape proof tools that will help you to start, progress and develop ideas when you’re feeling stuck and wholly uninspired. In order to demonstrate each tool clearly, I’ve used the structure demonstrated by Bridges (2017).

In Part 1 we’re focussing on creating a a clear problem that you can then begin to solve.

#1 Generating one liner statements

What is it?
A creative tool to produce several different one liner statements that look at the problem from varying viewpoints

Who is this technique for?
Anyone involved from the start of a client brief/creative process

Good for:
Ensuring that you’re asking the right questions and have a well informed problem to solve

Not so good for:
There’s no moment in which well informed one liner statements wouldn’t help your creative journey flourish!

Bridges (2017)*

part 1 assets_Write

First write down your initial problem as you see it, or as per the client brief

E.g Why is company X not engaging with customers?



part 1 assets_question

Start with three invitational stems.
These are a way to ask questions that invite several responses

Here’s three suggested stems:
How might…
In what way might…
How could…

part 1 assets_ID

Identify an owner. This can be anyone or anything related to the problem

e.g How might shoppers…
In what way could company X…
How could the branding…

Top tips:

By experimenting with ownership
you create different options and avenues
for your brain to go down


part 1 assets_Verb

 Add in an action verb to identify a specific and positive course envisioned by the statement

e.g force/encourage/persuade/reward/ask
How might shoppers be encouraged…
In what way could company X reward…
How could the branding demonstrate…

part 1 assets_Direction

Finally add in the objective to create a direction and outcome

How might shoppers be encouraged to switch to company X?
In what way could company X reward brand loyalty?
How could the branding demonstrate company values in a more succinct way?

Top tips:

By experimenting with the outcome or owner you can see if there’s a ‘central question’ that’s repeated across all avenues or if one takes priority over all others and gives you a clear pathway to start solving a problem

Now you have the tools to put together a one liner statement, in Part 2 we’ll explore idea generation, and the importance of taking a step away from the computer.

*Bridges, C. (2017, February 1) Tackling the daunting prospect of a blank page. https://www.creativereview.co.uk/tackling-daunting-prospect-blank-page/

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