How Pokèmon made me a Creative Strategist
What does a Creative Strategist do?
You find yourself living in an Italian suburb or in the countryside, places where means of transport still tend to appear quite infrequently. At some point, right in the middle of your adolescence you’ll have to fight for safeguarding your future.
The concept of freedom will take the shape of a vehicle made of metal and plastic, with two wheels and very limited horsepower.
One day, at 14, every bit of your being will desire a scooter.
Typical 14-years-old guys riding their hyper-cool scooters.
Between the more pimply and mop-headed version of you and the achievement of the much coveted emancipation there is one major boss.
It’s called Mum&Dad and it’s got two heads, both less pimply and mop-headed than you. The rumour goes that it could spit fire, but I couldn’t find supporting information on Google.
You can already hear it express itself – the monster – with its two synchronised and overlapping voices. “You are nuts!”, it says. “It’s dangerous, no way!”. And then it carries punching you with arguments such as “It’s too expensive to keep!”, “Where are you going to go with it?”, and finally, “At the end of the day we’ve always driven you to the cinema, at your friend’s, and to fancy dates. There’s nothing wrong with that. Or are you saying that we embarrass you and that…”
Right. You immediately realise that you would never be able to win this war with only one battle.
My dog while fighting a battle that she can't win without an effective strategy.
You’d come out shattered, with superficial wounds but with deep bruises that plasters and ointments would never be able to heal.
And that’s exactly in that moment that Creative Strategist in you stands up. And he does this because he knows that you can’t spit out on your interlocutor everything you have to say all at once, risking to lose all future chances of gaining its attention (and the scooter).
And that’s why you study a strategy, keeping firmly in mind your objective (getting those dammed two wheels), your target (the Mum&Dad monster), and you study its behaviours and the social and cultural tensions surrounding it.
Then, you use a creative approach to identify the ways in which you are going to communicate: you shouldn’t appear obvious, predictable, boring. If anything, it is paramount to exploit the best leverage to convince and astonish the monster.
You will have to plan the most appropriate circumstance to talk to it, choosing the most appropriate words taking into account time and place.
You will find out that while some of your attempts will be ineffective, others will be super effective, just like Bulbasaur’s fire spin. You will have to predict all the possible responses and counterarguments in order to be always ready to fight back. At the same time you will have to be flexible and reactive so that you will be able to adapt to any context development.
Good. Now it’s time to apply the same mechanism to brands and marketing: the Creative Strategist holds the responsibility of creating the most effective communication by organising all the available pieces of information and designing a pragmatic, quantitative (for those who love numbers), and ready to use action plan to build the final proposal along with his creative and slightly crazy colleagues.
The final result in a frame: