The Box

Think outside the box.
Meh.  Enough about the box already.
For years, “think outside the box” has been the measuring stick/mantra of creativity.  It’s become a catch phrase, a meme, and ultimately, meaningless.

But then again, I’ve never felt it held any meaning at all.  It’s easy to be creative with no real world boundaries.  It’s harder to light the idea bulb in the pitch black that only a box can create.  Close that cardboard up with industrial strength packing tape and Houdini your way around in there.  That’s creativity.

And by the way, there’s always a box.  Budgets, print ad space, commercial running time, and corporate brand standards – they all box you in, or out.  Only the Rolling Stones always get what they want.  The rest of us need to work with “what we got.”

So, don’t try to excite or impress me when you offer, dare, or demand that we “think outside the box.”  Show me someone who can hop in the box and stick his or her creative elbows out – that impresses me.

Bring us your boxes, large and small.  You’ll be amazed at what we can do with a little corrugated cardboard.

By Jonathan Markella, Executive Creative Director