Javier Campopiano is Partner and CCO of FCB Mexico with numerous award winning campaigns under his belt. In 2019, he is Jury President for Writing for Advertising at D&AD Awards. Here he discusses the origins of great ideas, the importance of diverse groups and how the Black Pencil winning 'It's A Tide Ad' almost didn't happen.
Where do great ideas and craft come from?
Great ideas always come unfortunately from the same place, from within. And I say unfortunately because there's no other way actually having something to say, it has to come from inside of you: a strong opinion, a point of view, certain anger towards something you see not working the way you´d want it to out there in the world. The fantasy that by connecting invisible dots you´ll come up with a great idea is just that, a fantasy. You need to dig deep inside of you for enough time during the thinking process to have something come out of your mouth and eventually connect that thought with another notion or thing that´s already out there.
At another level, when you´re in the actual process of coming up with an idea, nothing can replace having a great, diverse group of people ideating together for at least a week. Sounds basic and old school, but that is in my experience the most effective process. I´ve told this story many times: "It´s a Tide Ad" almost didn't happen if it wasn't for an art director that pushed her partner to share "that interesting thought" with the rest of us. He reluctantly did, and the rest is history. But that took place two days before the meeting, and only the chemistry in that room allowed for all that to happen. You can crowdsource neither chemistry nor empathy.
Then, when you or someone else in the room share something, you can start connecting the dots, let the ball roll and maybe even finish the whole conception process in a WhatsApp group, as we did with many parts of that idea. However, for the starting point, you need what you need, your very own particular point of view about the problem expressed in your unique voice. Hopefully, it would be good enough for the rest to jump on it and take it to the next level.