Category: Uncategorized

01
Oct

Think Like A Child: What The Sprout Refresh Is Teaching Us

Anyone who’s ever spent an afternoon with a young child knows that while kids love engaging with classic fairytale and popular superhero narratives, they will always tap into their imaginations to add their own twists. Even though children are constantly exposed to pre-scripted narratives, they are often brilliant (and self-sufficient) storytellers. Give them a blanket, and they’ve got a cape, a secret fort or a ship sailing across “molten lava” carpet.

For our recent refresh of Sprout, we found the network was a perfect example of this. Sprout encourages kids to stretch their imaginations — finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, and it gave us an opportunity to tell their story in the same way, basing our branding around how the familiar becomes fascinating through the eyes of a child. In this crowded children’s entertainment market, the refresh was a great reminder that even the most well-known or action-packed characters and content can’t stand in for a brand’s story.

So, tapping into our core elements of storytelling, we honed in what the brand really stood for and what core attributes we could point to when building off each of the pieces of narrative; in this case, authenticity and imagination. Kids have real everyday experiences and it’s their viewpoint and wild minds that transform those daily interactions into something unique and exciting. Or as MoMA’s Juliet Kinchin wrote of the interaction between children and design, Children help us to mediate between the ideal and the real.”

Our company mantra is Think Like A Tourist, which is essentially resetting your thinking so you’re open to new sights, knowledge and experiences. But, after our great collaboration with Sprout, Think Like A Child is a strong runner-up!

27
May

A ‘Brief’ Encounter and Why Your Company Needs a Chief Creative Officer

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We were recently featured in PromaxBDA Creative Brief, calling out our multidisciplinary talent.

You see, “Strategy” is more than a service offering at Oishii Creative. In fact, it’s so woven into our culture and business practices that you’re as likely to run into a political scientist here, as you are an accomplished creative director, animator or film historian.

Being a creative solutions partner to TV clients means more than having talented designers, directors and strategists. It’s pitching our tent outside the folds of “business-as-usual,” and building a culture of people who are empowered to think about the future today.

Imagine using design in new ways and always questioning everything we take for granted. Only you know what business model suits your particular strengths and capabilities, but we hope that a glimpse into the workings of Oishii’s business model and culture will illustrate a paradigm for success. It all starts with creative entrepreneurs. You can read more about this at the jump, and be sure to come back next week as we discuss the importance of building a brain trust and democratizing design solutions.

Start With Creative Entrepreneurs

hattrick

People start companies for a variety of reasons. Passion, purpose and profits motivate them to take huge risks.

Creative companies – just like us in the broadcast and design industry – are typically founded by artists who happen to be entrepreneurs. Harmut Esslinger describes it as ‘the designer who wants to use design beyond beautification.” Another way to look at it is, designers have a unique skill: creating a commercial enterprise through the mergence of design and art.

What distinguishes creative entrepreneurs from their counterparts is the ability to see the value of operationalizing creativity. After all, they’re running a business and chasing innovation.

After Harvard Business Review author and professor Jeffrey H. Dyer studied over 3,000 executives and entrepreneurs, he concluded that the most innovative leaders spent 50% more time on what his team called the “discovery activities of innovation: questioning, observing, experimenting and networking.”

This isn’t just a matter of “let’s think about television’s problems.” It’s systemic – and teams have to see how design and television are experienced through every relevant lens, whether it’s history, demographics, art, business or technology. It’s the ambient knowledge that everyone can tap into. This is how the truly creative entrepreneur wants people to find meaningful work.

08
May

Get Lost: How Thinking Like a Tourist Can Reset Your Creativity

Paying attention is a radical act in a busy day.

Paying attention is a radical act in a busy day. Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Joshua Earle

Stanley Kubrick once said “Observation is a dying art.” Kubrick was urging artists and creatives to do the increasingly impossible in our cacophonous worlds—pay attention. Sit quietly. Look and observe the small details in our day-to-day lives. Simple, but profoundly difficult.

And, it’s not just external distractions causing us to lose focus, but our own impulses. Ask any artist and they will tell you its the texture of their lives—everything from popular culture, art, television, social media, and nature to the urban life inspires them. But so much possibility for inspiration drives an innate fear of missing out on something that could spark our next idea, innovation and campaign. So embedded are we with sensory overload, we often jump to the next stimulating thought before fully processing the present.

This isn’t a phenomenon specific to our industry either—it’s built into our brains. Neuroscience research confirms that when processing information, our minds are wired to take cognitive shortcuts, we make snap decisions based on what we know. Or rather, what we think we know. So, while, say reading an interview with a creative whose work we admire, our brains are instantaneously cataloging, discarding and scanning over any information they think we already know, causing us to rush through, never really taking in the whole picture.

Henry David Thoreau saw the skill of observation as a matter of will, one that requires our attention to how we see. “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Look at the smallest of details, it will yield any number of patterns.

Look at the smallest of details, it will yield any number of patterns.

Inspired by these thinkers and this perspective, Oishii Creative developed an ethos that encapsulates how we brainstorm, create and execute ideas: Think like a tourist.

Think like you are new to a city. Put yourself in the mindset of mild confusion, in an unfamiliar place, perhaps lost and in need of an espresso. Sounds a little overwhelming, doesn’t it? That’s the idea. Thinking like a tourist forces your brain to take in and process new information as it comes rather than skipping over the familiar bits, because, if you can truly put yourself in that mindset, none of it is overly familiar. Outsmarting your thinking habits, the short-cuts you take is key to change your patterns.

Think like a tourist is a phrase and toolkit for us. It’s our pre-whiteboard mindset and process. It’s how we organize our internal process before we upload, work or collaborate with others. We believe the subtle and often overlooked details of how we see, perceive and interact with the world around us can make us better storytellers, innovators.

Let’s go back to the metaphor of travel because it’s an ideal way to explain thinking like a tourist. When most of us travel, disorientation and exhilaration script our movements. We’re contentedly confused, even with GPS, as new patterns and pathways merge into our consciousness. The New York Times “Cultured Traveler” writer Eric Weiner describes the best travel moments as “losing our bearings and finding new ones.”

And what can become activated during travel are our powers of acute observation. As a ‘tourist,’ your attention is amplified, if even for a short time, by everything new around you. From the trees to the people to the graffiti on the buildings, it’s a new din powerfully able to pique your senses.

Once you get acclimated to places, your brain settles back into making cognitive shortcuts as it routinely does when you’re not on vacation. But for those first ineffable hours, all bets are off, jolted from the old and into the new. This is the perspective we apply to ideas.

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Auguste Rodin said it best when he quipped, “I know nothing, I only discover.” Whether you’re in a creative industry, using the world around you to make something new, the keen powers of observations are critical strengths. Art is the constant reinvention of new narratives, layers and meanings, and paying attention is no fool’s errand; it demands your whole person and intelligence.

So, before the next pitch, meeting or brainstorming session, spend some time as a tourist in your own head. Go sit somewhere and get lost, even if it’s just the park around the corner. Take in your surroundings. Embrace the unfamiliarity. Bring it back to the boardroom. And, if you need further inspiration, follow the words of poet Mary Oliver.

Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

Other photos courtesy of Deathtostock.com

24
Apr

Oishii Creative Welcomes EP Danixa Diaz

Danixa Diaz at the Oishii Los Angeles offices.

Danixa Diaz at the Oishii Los Angeles offices.

Oishii Creative Welcomes Danixa Diaz as Executive Producer

Los Angeles, CA – (April 23, 2015) – Oishii Creative is excited to welcome Danixa Diaz as Executive Producer. She joins the company with two decades of creative, production and design industry experience. In 2012, Diaz founded representation firm “iartists” after spending seven years leading business development at Imaginary Forces. The addition of Diaz represents the next growth phase for Oishii, which has proliferated from a traditional design studio to a multidisciplinary full-service creative solutions studio since it launched in 2002.

“The natural ebb and flow of our industry requires us to constantly adapt,” remarks Ish Obregon, president & chief creative officer, Oishii. “Having known Danixa and her admirable work for many years, I know her blend of energy, vision and direction will compliment Oishii well. She brings invaluable experience and understanding to our team. It’s built on her appreciation of great art and design – and a keen sense of what’s happening in our industry now and what’s on the horizon.”

Likewise, Diaz has long been familiar with Oishii’s award-winning pedigree. She got to know the team better after experiencing their “visually arresting” multi-platform branding package for last summer’s PromaxBDA Conference — an organization for which she served on the board while fostering many professional connections through the years. Pointing to recent branding projects for television networks The Hub and E!, she is eager to parlay Oishii’s talent and capabilities for even more visibility and future success.

“Oishii offers clients a truly collaborative partnership,” adds Diaz. “That comes with not only exceptional creative, but also depth of knowledge and experience in brand strategy. Their long list of repeat clients, like the NFL Network, are a testament to their success in design, but also their ability to merge the disciplines of branding, design and business strategy. As more and more people recognize Oishii as a go-to name for the kind of big-thinking, top-notch creative that elevates brands, my goal is to keep getting that message out.”

From executive producing to business development, Diaz’s deep industry experience spans commercials, broadcast, feature film, gaming and experience design. Her career began in Miami in the mid-90s and took off in Los Angeles when she became Executive Producer at Three Ring Circus. She fondly remembers this period as the birth of today’s mixed-media companies, as they were combining creative solutions from motion graphics to live action – all across new media platforms.

“I simply fell in love with the design and production geniuses who were reshaping our industry back then, many of whom are still leading it today,” says Diaz.

Continuing to align her career with industry pioneers, Diaz went on to lead business development for Imaginary Forces. During her seven-year tenure with the award-winning creative studio, she remembers taking the first call with “Mad Men” Creator Matthew Weiner, who was looking to commission the show’s now legendary, Emmy-honored title design. Diaz would eventually sit on the Emmy Title Design Executive Committee.

Other highlights from Diaz’s diverse and accomplished career include an American Express campaign via Ogilvy, which introduced her to Joan Gratz – one of her biggest influences. The Oscar-winning artist would go on to participate in an all-women creative panel that Diaz organized for the annual PromaxBDA Conference.

In 2012, Diaz spread her wings and launched iartists, which focused on business development for mixed-media clients, including longtime colleague and design luminary Kyle Cooper, (founder of Prologue and co-founder of Imaginary Forces). Following three successful years at the helm of her own company, Diaz found herself eager to return to the stimulation of a collaborative creative environment and fully embed herself within a collective.

“I wanted to go back to my roots and work with a team that had excellent strategy, branding and creative talent, which is what I’ve been invited to be a part of with Oishii,” she concludes. “Between all of our creative goals and mutual perspectives on the industry and its future, Oishii was the obvious partner for my new journey.”

About Oishii Creative:
Oishii Creative is a full-service creative solutions studio. From ideation and strategy to design and production, we distinguish our clients through the relentless pursuit of the next BIG idea. While no ambition is too big or too small, it all boils down to the RIGHT idea for your brand. Our award-winning team is ready to dream with you and create with you.

http://oishiicreative.com

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17
Apr

From The Oishii Ideation Lab: Is Your Creative Passion Killing Your Team?

Harness the Power of Creativity with a Dash of Kindness

photo courtesy of magdeleine.com

photo courtesy of magdeleine.com

Mark Twain once said, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Replace the word “kindness” with “creativity,” and it’s easy to see that these unique forms of expression are remarkably homologous to the human experience.

No wonder kindness plays such an important role in the creative field –- from the collaborative environments in which we work to the paths we choose to find the next big idea.

Look at the captivating process of brainstorming, for instance. We tend to approach it through an overly optimistic and empowering lens. It make us feel like innovators in action – unleashing the power of our brains, attacking the problem while developing something new.

You could say that brainstorming is an art in and of itself. After all, you’re setting the stage for success while managing collateral damage that we humans are seemingly wired to instill in one another. It’s a high stakes environment: team members, peers, and bosses who are watching, listening and evaluating our ideas.

At the same time, like any human activity, we’re both at our best and worst when idea-generating. This usually means reality blends with our own fictive understanding of ourselves: what we think we are capable of in a whiteboard session. As Friedrich Nietzsche so exquisitely described us humans, “In conversation we are sometimes confused by the tone of our own voice, and mislead to make assertions that do not at all correspond to our opinions.”

At some point, kindness has to find its way into the process.

On a practical level, Alex Osborne, founder of the modern brainstorm work session, believed that idea-generation required rules to ensure people participated and felt a part of the group. Why? Because empathy and kindness are gateway traits to working well together. It’s a theory that’s well-documented by neuroscientists today. Kindness fosters an open, collaborative and alert mind, allowing us to think at a high level. It let’s us go beyond petty differences and transcend resentment and everyday slights.

Playing Nice with Nanci Besser

photo courtesy of IMCreator.com

photo courtesy of IMCreator.com

Convergence is tricky. Working towards a common goal, creating a prototype, a beta project or campaign means people must work together. But convergence is tricky.

As emotions, feelings and temperaments merge – and, even, collide – neuroscience shows us the value of empathy to offset it. We’ve asked author and teacher Nanci Besser to shed some light on this through the value of emotional intelligence in the brainstorming session:

A common misconception is that kindness equates with being “nice” and granting another his or her “way.” Looking within the parameters of emotional intelligence and mindfulness, it may be ascertained that kindness involves solving problems and fulfilling needs by creating space for an outcome that is bigger than any individual ego.

Being kind is meeting someone where he or she is at, in terms of his or her state of mind. The ability to expand your perceptions to include the ideas of another requires an empathic approach. To many, the notion of conflict tends to convey a negative connotation.

However, conflict in and of itself is a neutral state. It is only our interpretations that assign a negative or positive attribute to its existence. Passivity is not the gateway to promote innovation and creativity. Only through sifting through seemingly conflicting perspectives with kindness do we answer the greatest of creative enigmas.

It is possible to garner support for your point of view without negating someone else’s dreams. In an ideal collaborative environment, there are no inherently “wrong” ideas in a brainstorming session. Some conceptions are a better fit than others and, like cream, they will rise to the top without external manipulation.

Regardless of the industry or group demographics, if everyone embraces the process of conflict, rather than attempt to usurp the outcome to favor his or her position, the possibility for genuine synergy exists. Through employing constructive empathic communications motivated by an intention of kindness, the sum might be bigger than its individual parts. In other words, 1+1 could equal 3.

Author, Speaker, Teacher
“Go Kindly (TM)”
E: nancibesser@gmail.com
Visit http://www.nancibesser.com
Connect http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancibesser/
Twitter: @nancibesser

09
Jan

Winter Offers Creatives Opportunities To Quiet The Busy Mind: Are You Listening?

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Creative Commons, John Lagzo

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Creative Commons, John Lagzo

With the arrival of a new year, we are filled with anticipation and excitement. We can feel transition working its way through our minds and into our desks; the old giving way to the new, the future’s blank slate awaiting our touch, time and efforts.

Many of us make the mistake of turning our focus to lists of highly structured goals in the new year. And often when we share them with others, we conflate our anticipation and discussion for change with actual change. Instead of approaching 2015 with a list of resolutions and to-dos, try starting it off by doing nothing.

A difficult concept for those in our laborious and demanding industry, but this liminal time is a great opportunity to rethink our creative craft. We don’t often get opportunities to settle into the terrains of our minds, relax and daydream, or step back and ponder how we ply our trade.

But we must.

For one, the idea that long days and nights will fuel our creative selves is simply not true. On the contrary, we must recede into our brains and engage the senses. Because, whether you’re daydreaming, reading or listening to music, a relaxed and diffused mind reinvigorates creativity.

For creators of every stripe, it’s an always-looping process of doing work and then stepping back to prime the pump, so to speak, and starting all over again; it’s how we re-acquaint our talents with our profession.

The good news is, you can start 2015 by creating an atmosphere of productivity and energy, bringing vigor and awareness to your work. So, keep some of the following in mind as you clear out your calendar.

First, you have to fully appreciate the value of doing nothing for your creative work. Most artists visualize their creative preparation as “time out of time,” such as being out of sync with schedules, offices, obligations, phones, or the demands of our narrowly focused attention. Writer Don DeLillo describes this as transitioning into a new world. Ancient philosopher Plato so revered the time for creativity and thinking that he thought artists and philosophers shouldn’t be attached to any form of work because it took them away from contemplating “the good life.”

Writer Henry Miller thoroughly plotted his time spent prepping to work. He scheduled time in cafes, chats with friends and even booked himself solo explorations of whichever city he happened to be visiting. Time to doodle, draw graphs, diagrams and charts were ways Miller relaxed his mind to broaden his perspective and ease back into the work of holing up to write.

We can apply these same principles to the cluster of days at the beginning of the New Year, when colleagues and clients are still transitioning back into the workflow and meetings and schedules are noticeably, but temporarily light.

We must harness that crux of excitement and possibility with the openness of time we are temporarily allowed. Unfettered and unabashedly unproductive thinking fuels your creative work. It provides the big picture and the background noise for your creative process.

So, rather than spending that precious free time poring over upcoming budgets, projects and strategy, clear your calendar for nothing. Nothing except time spent to remember how you create.

08
Jan

Oishii Thinks

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01
Jan

Oishii Creative Interviews Vine Sensation Ian Padgham

At Oishii Creative, we believe design thinking can’t be constrained; it fuels innovation and helps us think big. In our Think Like A Tourist series, we explore life at the intersection of creativity, thinking and technology. We recently asked Vine artist sensation and Twitter animator/producer Ian Padgham about what inspires him, and how he makes six seconds feel so dramatic, engaging and big.

What artists or music inspires you in your work? Why?
Albrecht Dürer, M.C. Escher, Bill Watterson, Bob Ross.

When did you start working on the Vine platform? What attracted you to it?
The day it came out. I liked the ability to produce content immediately and share it just as fast. Nothing saps the creativity and joy out of a project like months of meetings and revisions.

How does Vine compare to other mediums?
While Vine is little more than animated GIFS with sound, there is something truly special about the platform. This is partly due to the community, and partly due to the fact that, at least initially, it was a production toolkit with incredibly limiting parameters. That has since changed, but I think the ethos of DIY ingenuity continues to set the tone.

Which project do you find most inspiring and creative?
Projects that have no precedent and no goal other than creating something delightful and different.

What inspires you as an artist? Where do you find your stories to capture/tell?
I’m not a huge fan of the word inspiration. It feels like it’s saying that something out there is giving us a hint of what is cool, like we need to find a muse that will show us the way. I think stories and ideas just come from letting our minds off their leashes and letting them roll around in the park.

In 2013, observers pointed out that Vine was built on “constraints.” It allows you make edits and stitch them together for a story. You’ve worked out Vine’s constraints and taken shots and motion into a new medium. What does your process look like?
It depends on the Vine. Some Vines I make up as I go along, literally letting the animation flow out frame by frame without forethought.

30
Dec

Audiences Want Stories With Context & Connection

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, Oracio Alvarado

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, Oracio Alvarado

Co-Founder & Director of Strategy and Research Kate Canada recently wrote an article for MediaPost about how brands can authentically provide context and connect with their audiences.

You can read the full post here, but we’ve included an extract:

Today’s audience is craving a real connection, and authentic stories that represent the changing demographics of the American landscape are one of the most powerful ways to establish that connection. Stories tap into the emotions we all share. Stories are universal ways of telling our personal view from the individual and tying it all up with what’s going on in the city, country and globe. Our job is to create stories of possibility and resonance.

I see two related opportunities for brands to meaningfully connect with audiences using story: as content for context and as content for everyday storytelling.

Content as Context

2014 was the year for telling the Big Family story, content as context. The 2014 Coca-Cola America Super Bowl spot and Honeymaid’s This is Wholesome commercial are examples of telepathic compelling campaigns; piquing our emotions without running too much in the way of sentimentality. In these spots, we see the “wide screen format” of storytelling as context. It gives the reader the emotional landscape.

Content for Everyday

The smaller but nonetheless still potent pieces of the story are what I call snap-shorts of everyday life, the smaller bits that make up our big picture. P&G’s Tide with a Problem-Solving Dad doing laundry and French-braiding his daughter’s hair; the Thank You Mom featuring kids and falling and learning with lots of support from mom; Chevy Malibu’s The Car For The Richest Guys On Earth piece or the Cheerios Here’s To Dad where the narrator looks straight into the camera and says, “We make the new rules… this is how to ‘Dad.’”

As advertisers, we are responsible for taking the constellation of social dots of demographics, sentiments and media connectivity and turning them into tactics and actions, shaping the data into meaningful ways of reaching out and engaging with consumers. In so doing, we will be able to, as David Ogilvy suggested, respectfully and empathetically become trusted partners with consumers, smart and savvy social beings who live in the world.

10
Nov

Color Coded Creativity: The “Six Kid Technique”

Imagination is what keeps marketing and brand work relevant and meaningful. Dreaming up new ideas, processes and applications isn’t merely a good skill, it’s increasingly a metric for your success. Can you see the world differently enough to write a story, design a product or execute a strategy? And if you are lucky enough to work for a company that invests in you – asking you to solve problems and innovate – then you’ll want to reacquaint yourself with the the “Six Kid Technique.” It’s our adaptation of the classic Six Hat Technique used by Edward de Bono. It’s simple and easy to use. Pull out the six color-coded kids during your next meeting. Use and apply all kids when working on a challenge.

The Six Kid Technique Spectrum

TheKid_red02

Red

Use emotions to look at the situation. What do your feelings or impulses tell you about it?

TheKid_white01

White

Use facts, logic and objectivity to assess what’s in front of you. Make a list of all the facts.

TheKid_yellow02

Yellow

Put on a smiley face and look at the bright side. With a positive view, make a list of what works and what can be accomplished.

TheKid_black01

Black

Tap into your dark side. Make a list of what doesn’t work and which elements of the solution just can’t work.

TheKid_green02

Green

Think laterally and then some. Imagine the situation in the most alternative and unconventional ways, then work backward.


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