Better ideation on a musical note

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | January 18, 2006
The AICAR and AAAI are conducting a two-day residential workshop, titled the Jazzvertising Workshop, for advertising professionals

What began as an

attempt to apply the idiom of music to ideation and, therefore, creativity finally emerged as the Jazzvertising Workshop. Pegged to be ideal for 'ideas' people, the workshop is slated to happen for the fifth time in India, though on a larger scale, on January 28 and 29. The workshop, which will be held on the campus of the Asian Institute of Communication and Research (AICAR) at Neral, near Mumbai, is being conducted by the AICAR and the AAAI.

Charting the genesis of the workshop, Ivan Arthur, director, communications, AICAR Business School, and the ex-national creative head of JWT, says, "At JWT, I had conducted workshops both in our offices in India and abroad, where I had used recorded music to demonstrate that music as a metaphor is a great teacher. I had tried to show that the principles of music can be superimposed for advertising."

That was when Arthur met with Rajeev Raja, now the executive creative director, Bates India, and Prabhakar Mundkur, currently the COO of Percept H, both of whom are advertising professionals, but also brilliant musicians. The trio began with an 'experimental workshop' for AICAR students initially. When that proved to be a great success, they did workshops for the industry and Bates in Mumbai. Since then, they have also organised workshops for Bates in the Asia Pacific region, in Vietnam, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Explaining how music is used in the workshop, Raja says, "The creation of music is akin to the creative process involved in advertising. We look at the works of masters such as Beethoven and Bach and even use local and folk music to draw parallels between the creative processes of the two. At the end of the workshops, we try to create deeper insights into ideation, understanding consumers and, ultimately, the creative process itself."

Elaborating on the concept of the workshop, Mundkur explains, "One of the elements of the workshop is that it tries to bring two separate ideas and fuse them together, which is very similar to fusion music, in which different musical traditions are brought together."

He goes on, "It is a highly interactive event where we provide a lot of scope for instant exercise and improvisation, which helps in vivid ideation. So far, we have received positive feedback from all the people who have participated."

In fact, the workshop is not meant for only advertising professionals. It is for anybody who wants to think out of the box and look at new ways of thinking. As Arthur informs us, it is a module that is easily adaptable and they have actually conducted workshops for Roman Catholic priests, nursery teachers and marketing managers; they will soon be holding one for TAM.

Arthur says, "We play different pieces of music and the participants are asked to visualise through the music. We have seen some amazing stories generated through this exercise. This is also a part of sharpening visualisation skills."

He continues, "Another thing we do is what we call 'Accident Repair'. Participants are asked to look for accidental notes and then a piece is created out of these random notes. The same technique is then applied to advertising."

He says, "We also have something called 'Crazy Fusion'. Basically, the idea is to use various musical techniques and apply them further to advertising."

Summing up his ideas about the workshop, Raja says, "The beauty of this workshop is that it is not a lecture or a seminar. It is a whole lot of fun where everybody participates and the unique feature is that it uses music, which is universally loved."

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