As a father of 13 month old twins and an imaginative five year old, I’m fortunate enough to be immersed in a perspective of discovery and creativity that only a child can possess. And over the past five years I’ve shared the delight of children’s programming with my kids, realizing that I enjoy it not only for the time with my children, but for the inspiration they can provide to the creative adult.
(Judgemental commenters are thwarted here: I do not equate quality time with my children as sitting in front of the TV with them. But any time with them I do enjoy.)
So an article came out last week in Advertising Age Mediaworks about what I felt was my own little creative secret, “Yo Gabba Gabba!”—one of my favorites, uhh, my twins’ favorites.
I won’t elaborate on the details, you can find them here. But what I like is the simplicity of the concept. That I will tell you about. That’s what is inspiring. And the two pitchmen in my head present it like this:
“So this tall hipster guy, dressed in a scandinavian track suit a la 1976, has this awesome boom box. A boom box that opens to reveal a collection of the best in Japanese-like collectible figurines, action figures if you will. And when he pulls the figures from their form-fitting foamy boom box case, and puts each of them into their own little environment on top of a table—they come to life. And teach your kids.”
That’s it. Action figures that come to life once you pull them out of their case. I’d go on to tell you about the set, the guests, etc., but here’s my take-away:
Keep it simple.
What happens to imaginary friends when they’re not wanted anymore? They go here.
Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. That simple. A foster home for imaginary friends.
Simple. Original. Yet anything goes. Have you ever seen a palm tree with lips, and speaks kinda like a chicken? Can you imagine one? Yes you can. How creative is that?
Perhaps it just needs to be that simple for kids to understand and become engaged. Then you can add the talking palm tree or the one-eyed alien (Muno is my fav).
You’re saying “So that’s how this translates to advertising.”
Simplicity in the idea provides a strong foundation for growing it. So let’s keep it simple.