Aiming to miss

One of the best things about being a handsome international jet-setting Creative Director (teeth glints in mirror) is the opportunity to waste time watching movies I would have otherwise never have ‘gotten’ round to watching had I not been flying somewhere deeply glamorous on some very important international creative mission (turns to camera and winks) and er…watched everything else on offer.

Recently I watched ‘The 33’ about the Chilean miners who were rescued from a mining disaster in 2010 at Copiapó.

Yes, I really had watched everything else. ( FYI give Eddy the eagle a wide birth)

I am not sure if this scene ever actually happened in real life but a key moment in the story signalled the start of act three.

When they were locked 200 storeys below fresh air, the authorities were struggling to drill successfully in to the safe space the miners had retreated to.

Due to the hard granite rock, the drills kept missing where they were aiming for. They kept getting skewed off course, not by much but enough to make it almost impossible to reach them.

The impossibly handsome minister for mining suggested to the grizzled but good-hearted chief miner that maybe they should aim to miss.

That way they might actually hit!

“Now you are thinking like a miner'” says the chief miner with a decidedly wavering Chilean accent on account of the fact he is from Dublin.

The drill duly starts completely off target and finally, miraculously, breaks through.

Yes, yes, it’s a tenuous link but guess what; it’s also how to find better ideas.

If you aim right at the heart of the problem you invariably just get the idea you were looking for.

I’ve found being counter intuitive helps when you are stuck.

So start in the wrong place.

Use the wrong target market. See what happens.

If everyone goes left, go right.

If everyone is blue, go red.

Maybe you can use animals.

Maybe no visual, just a great line will do it.

Maybe no line at all.

If ‘they will never buy it’ show it anyway.

If you start by aiming to miss, ok you might miss.

But you might hit the target and when you do it’ll be a whole lot more interesting than you probably would have got otherwise.

And remember, everything is inspiration.

Even what I would class a three out of five star movie about Chilean miners.

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