The same idea can be executed amazingly or poorly. It can seem authentic and original, or gauche and cheap. It can touch millions with clarity, or just hundreds with confusion. This excerpt from the book “Real World Ideas” explores some principles which mark out the very best experiential work, which you can look for when judging a creative idea.
Integrate with reality
Experiential is at its most effective when it interweaves with reality – when it solves a real problem, provides a real service, or similarly effects something else in the real world.
Often however, experiential ideas restrict themselves to the four imaginary walls of a site space in much the same way a TV ad restricts itself to the four walls of a screen. They act out an idea superficially rather than really bringing it to bear in a manner that matters.
When looking at an idea, always ask: “Is the concept communicated here really making an impact, or is it superficial and fictional?”
Closely related to encroaching on the real world, this principle involves making the best of your experience's environment to amplify your creative. When people build an experience in a vacuum and place it on an allotted site, they ignore the fact that all around them are things that their budget would never be able to simulate – lots of busy people, nature and so on – which would become part of their experience if they acknowledged them.
Take for instance the New Zealand Coastguard, who showed people how tough it was to find those lost at sea not by building a sea substitute, but by actually dropping people in the middle of the sea itself. The ocean became a core part of their creative idea – free of charge.