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Becoming creative

Are we born creative? Or do we become creative? When does creative becomes more than an adjective but a noun?

I decided a few months ago to investigate. I applied to the advertising course offered by the D&AD. I only had a couple of hours to write something as I was going on holiday the week we were supposed to write our response.

I was competing with the creme de la creme of wannabee creatives. Eager and keen to prove their worth.

On the one hand, my 8 years of experience as a planner should have given me the edge. On the other hand, I had actually never writen a script and can’t draw (and still, as you can see, can’t spell).

The result suprised me as I was among the 20 or so creatives to be accepted, despite more than 200 applicants.

Anyway, I won’t be able to attend the course anymore, for personal reasons, but I thought I’d share my output with you people.

The brief was

Create a campaign to encourage parents to spend more quality time with their children, by showing the range of products that WHSmith has to keep all ages entertained.

You can also see Creative in London‘s campaign, who also made it through.

Without further due, here goes:

This is a campaign to remind parents that what matters to kids are not the big presents, but the little unexpected things, the details and how the wonderful memories that they’ll have of their parents playing with them will stay with them forever.

And that they will always find something great to play with their children every time they visit a WHSmith.

TV script 1 – Drawing.

We see a drawing of a dad as a super hero, done by a child who’s probably 3 years old. It is touching with its simplicity and minimalism. It could be any kid’s drawing of their dad.

But suddenly the drawing starts to slowly evolve, frame by frame, getting sharper and more detailed.

We can clearly see it is the same drawing of the same dad, done by the same kid, only the picture is improving as he is growing up.

In the last frames, the infantile drawing of the original super hero dad starts resembling a more Marvel-esque version as the kid is now a teenager.

But it is still apparent that it is the very same dad as a super hero the kid has been drawing since he was 3.

At this point we can hear the voice-over:

“At WHSmith you can find tons of toys, books, crafts and games to have fun with your little ones.

So you never stop being their favourite hero”

Script 2: Bedroom

We see a typical boy’s bedroom. From the furniture, decoration and the size of the bed, we would assume he is only 3 or 4.

On the walls are posters of Buzz Lightyear and other famous cartoon characters.

Central to the room, mounted on the wall, is a picture of his mum and him playing with play-doh, in a beautiful frame. There is love emanating from the glowing picture.

Suddenly, we see the furniture and decoration changing in the bedroom.

We witness the decoration of the room going through the metamorphosis reflecting the little boy growing up. It’s now the room of a child aged 8-9.

Footballers have taken over fun cartoon characters.

The childish furniture has now been replaced and the bed is now a little bigger.

The room continues to transform, the footballers are now replaced by rock bands playing guitar in rebellious styles. We can guess that the bedroom now belongs to a teenager; it is quite messy, filled with clothes and magazines sprawled all over the floor.

But throughout this evolution from docile baby to rebellious teen, only one thing has never moved.

The picture frame is still there. Only the picture has changed as the kid has grown up. We have always seen the little boy and the mum playing together. Only they are getting older and are involved in different activities each time (cards, board games, reading a bedtime story…).

Despite growing up and becoming a teenager, the little boy has always kept his mum central to his life.

We hear the voice over:

“At WHSmith you will find tons of toys, books, crafts and games to have fun with your little ones.

So you never stop being their favourite hero”

You can read the whole thing plus some visual in the link below.


Nothing more for today. I’m going on holiday Friday and I’m totally burned out.

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