Bangs For Your Buck

Submitted by: Dave Trott 21/04/2017

Creating great ad campaigns is an art - especially if they are to be effective across the entire media spectrum. We have teamed up with Dave Trott, one of the greatest creativity gurus, to inspire you...

In 1940 the British army had escaped from Dunkirk, but they left all their weapons on the beaches.

An army can’t fight without weapons, they needed guns in a hurry.

This is when getting the brief right is crucial.

If the brief had been for well-designed, well-made weapons, that would have taken years to manufacture.

Britain didn’t have the time.

If the brief had been for high quality, durable weapons, that would have cost a fortune.

Britain didn’t have the money.

So the brief was very clear: Fast and Cheap.

We need the guns now, and we need lots of them.

And so the design wasn’t deliberated over by a group of experts who considered 
various options which they then researched exhaustively.

One man sat at his kitchen table and designed the gun.

He designed it from parts that were easily available.

He designed it from material that was cheap.

He designed it to be made by anyone.

It was called the Sten gun.

It could fire the ordinary 9mm rounds the average pistol used.

It was made from stamped metal, punched out on a press or shaped with a hammer.

It was made from the exhaust pipe used on most cars.

From nuts and bolts you could buy in the local ironmongers shop.

The mainspring was made by a bedspring manufacturer.

It had just forty-seven parts and could be built in a shed.

It cost just over two pounds, that was a week’s wages.

It was so cheap and easy to make that the main manufacturer was the Triang toy company.

They switched overnight from making tin toys to making the gun.

By the end of the war, four MILLION Sten guns had been made.

They were in use everywhere in the world.

That’s what real creativity is: Form Follows Function.

Not just making something attractive that wins awards.

Solving a problem in an unexpected and innovative way.

At the same time Britain needed a new bomber.

Slow, heavy British bombers were being shot down at an alarming rate.

There was no metal to spare to make a new plane.

So De Havilland didn’t use metal.

They made the entire plane out of what was easily available: wood. Spruce,
birch, mahogany, plywood, even balsa wood.

The plane was mainly built by furniture manufacturers, like Parker Knoll. 

They were the companies that had experience bending and shaping all sorts of wood.

The plane had two Spitfire engines and it was the fastest bomber of the war.

Because wood made it so light it travelled at 400 mph, faster than most Luftwaffe fighters.

Because wood made it so light it could fly 6 miles high and carry over a ton of bombs.

It was called the Mosquito, and nearly eight thousand were built.

It cost just one fifth what a Lancaster cost to build.

And the crews loved it because they had a much longer life expectancy.

That’s what real creativity is: Form Follows Function.

Not just making something attractive that wins awards.

Solving a problem in an unexpected and innovative way.

Winston Churchill summarised real creativity best: “We have no money, we shall have to think.”

Taken from 'One Plus One Equals Three' 
Written in Dave Trott's distinctive, almost Zen-like style, One Plus On Equals Three is a collection of provocative anecdotes and thought experiments designed to light a fire under your own creative ambitions.