Anyone up for a quick 50 boxes?

If you’re in advertising you probably know what this is. The funny thing is 50 boxes applies to anyone trying to come up with creative ideas or innovative solutions to problems, yet few people outside our industry practice it. The rules are simple – draw 50 boxes (or if you want to save a couple of trees, list out numbers 1-50 on a paper/doc), and write down anything that might be helpful to your problem or brief on each of those boxes. It could be an idea, it could be an insight, or even a statistic. The first 10 or 20 boxes are generally easy, but once you start hitting the mid-30’s you really need to start pushing some boundaries to complete the exercise – and that is the whole point. A great rule of thumb in advertising is never go with your first idea (as awesome as it may feel when you come up with it). That’s because most of us are hopelessly biased to like our own ideas. Just because your first idea is good, doesn’t mean it’s the best one out there – there’s always a better one. 50 boxes helps you get there. I know my ideas are certainly much more interesting once I’ve had to spend a few hours coming up with something from 50 different angles. Anyone have any other useful tips?

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