Thursday, January 22, 2009

Don't Just Think Outside The Box - Throw It Away!

In every part of the entertainment business you need to be able to be creative in order to set yourself apart. Even if you're already successful, you need to find fresh ways to make people pay attention.

It's especially important to be creative if you are a personal assistant or any assistant really. You have to be able to think of creative ideas to find your way out of problems. No often isn't an acceptable answer and you need to make sure you can be resourceful. Gift giving, which is one of my areas of expertise, can be hard. When you give gifts to execs and celebs who have been everywhere and have been given almost everything it's tough to be creative, so you always have to be looking and keeping lists and trying to figure out what is fresh and new.

Here are a few items I have suggested to bosses that have gone over well:

A gift certificate to Sarah Horowitz. The recipient gets to meet with the owner of this company for a few hours to do a fragrance journey and at the end they get their own custom perfume. This is not your run of the mill gift. It's an experience and a gift and the perfume is a one of a kind. I suggested this to a boss who is a creative guy in his own right. I wasn't just going to suggest some boring pair of earrings.

Amazing golf themed cookies from Elenis. You have to click and view these to really get why they are so unique and fantastic. The golf lover who got these was blown away.

A gift certificate for Timbuk2 where the recipient gets to log on and create their own messenger bag. This wouldn't be right for everyone, but for a exec or a younger celeb that wanted something cool and custom to tote scripts around in - it's perfect.

Ecreamery Custom Ice Cream. The recipient of this gift gets their own custom ice cream that you create and name! I did this gift for my sister when she got engaged. I called the one for her Jill Said Yes Crunch. I wanted Chocolately Ever After, but it didn't fit.

A great example of this out of the box thinking is this promo piece for the movie He's Just Not That Into You that I just watched yesterday. The trailer for this movie is great, but this home video style short that stars three of the male leads talking about all the romantic comedy cliches the movie avoids is PRICELESS. The video is much longer than a trailer, but because it doesn't feel like advertising you watch the entire thing. It feels more like something you would see on Funny Or Die or that a friend would send you AND that's the point. I found it hilarious and was already planning to see the movie, but I'm sure if guys who are worried this is a chick flick (which it isn't) see this, they will feel more inclined to go. Odds are this was much cheaper to do than some slick extra promo thing that a studio would generally put out to be creative.

So all it takes is a tiny bit of time and effort to make your gifts and ideas stand out from the pack. It can actually be fun and trying to top yourself can inspire you to work even harder to be original.

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