When You Must Promote Something

Look around you.  That's it; that's my whole article in a nutshell.  Here's a real life example made by me and a friend for our church.  We wanted to do some humorous videos to announce our weekly events at church.  Holed up in a cramped media office that radiated heat from computer servers, we watched LMFAO videos, the video for Gangnam Style, and several popular advertising campaigns.  We ended up modeling a series of videos from a popular advertising campaign.  The result was three quickly and cheaply made videos that connected our audience with something they'd already seen and enjoyed.  It explained the event, had pop culture context, and gave people something humorous to share on their Facebook walls.  In this video I am mistaken for a terrorist.

I really believe that while it is necessary to have some creative ability when it comes to finding these kind of ideas most people just need a theme.  Everyone isn't capable of being funny, dramatic, or entertaining, but many people are.  The next time you need a big idea to help out with something you're involved with, look around you.  There's no shame in branching off of ideas used by other people.  One of the biggest mistakes people make when they try to promote something is thinking they have to start from scratch. 

If for some reason you have an ethical concern about this method of coming up with ideas, I recommend you don't push yourself outside of what you're comfortable doing.  I don't believe any art evolves in a vacuum.  Least of all commercial art.  All artists are borrowing at all times.  If you ever feel you're too close to the mark and on the verge of outright, plagiaristic thievery, then back off and define some boundaries.  Try making some of your own alterations to the subject and go from there.  Good luck, and keep your eyes open.