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A Technique for Producing Ideas (Advertising Age Classics Library)

A Technique for Producing Ideas (Advertising Age Classics Library) [Kindle Edition]

James Webb Young
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A McGraw-Hill Advertising Classic

A Technique for Producing Ideas reveals a simple, sensible idea-generation methodology that has stood the test of time.

First presented to students in 1939, published in 1965, and now reissued for a new generation of advertising professionals and others looking to jump-start their creative juices, this powerful guide details a five-step process for gathering information, stimulating imagination, and recombining old elements into dramatic new ideas.

From the Back Cover

A step-by-step technique for sparking breakthrough creativity in advertising--or any field

Since its publication in 1965, A Technique for Producing Ideas has helped thousands of advertising copywriters smash through internal barriers to unleash their creativity. Professionals from poets and painters to scientists and engineers have also used the techniques in this concise, powerful book to generate exciting ideas on demand, at any time, on any subject. Now let James Webb Young's unique insights help you look inside yourself to find that big, elusive idea--and once and for all lift the veil of mystery from the creative process.

"James Webb Young is in the tradition of some of our greatest thinkers when he describes the workings of the creative process. The results of many years in advertising have proved to him that the key element in communications success is the production of relevant and dramatic ideas. He not only makes this point vividly for us but shows us the road to that goal."
--William Bernbach, Former Chairman and CEO, Doyle Dane Bernbach Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just FIVE simple steps..... 3 Oct 2007
......that's all it takes to learn how to come up with new & creative ideas, time after time. As Young says, the idea & the technique itself are so plain & logically simple that you may even miss it; despite the fact that the book is only some 48 pages long. It's easy to read & in your haste to learn "the secret" you may finish the book too quickly. Some thoughtful reading is required, so please don't dismiss the book because of its apparent brevity.

The fact that the book has survived successfully for over 40 years in print is testament to Young unique (but not new) teaching.

Although Young does not refer to it, I am reminded of many writers & books that go into great detail explaining the "science of the mind" & the wonderful way the brain [or mind] works & how it can be used to spawn new ideas & create solutions to problems. Sometimes referred to Mental Science, its philosophy & teachings go back thousands of years & weren't fully recognised until around the time of the 1900's.

If after reading this you wish to develop & research this technique further, I would highly recommend Emmet Fox's "Power Through Constructive Thinking".
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and reassuring? 20 Mar 2009
By Mrs. R.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What surprises you first (if you weren't expecting it) is that the book is so very tiny. For 4.99 you don't get many words for your money, and the first ten pages are introductions and a preface. However, once you get into it, its brevity is its charm. I suspect that readers divide into two camps. The ones who think he's right (and probably already follow Young's methods) and the ones who don't (and probably don't). I'm pitching my tent in the first.
As Young said, he's wasn't afraid to give away his secrets because he was certain that hardly anyone would be prepared to put the work into step one. His five step method is simple but not easy. It's a bit like writing a guide to joining an orchestra and giving step one as passing grade eight violin, with distinction. He also suggested that you never stop observing and recording everything you notice in your daily life. The other thing I particularly like, but which isn't part of modern business, is allowing yourself time to do something completely different. Young reckons that you have to give your brain a pleasant distraction while your massed collection of many possible combinations of thoughts unconsiously comes up with the big idea.
You might have your big idea while you're relaxing in the bath, but it won't happen if you haven't studied all the possible options beforehand.
Great thinkers of the past permitted themselves a breathing space to solve problems. Brindley, the Duke of Bridgewater's canal engineer, used to retire to bed to think until he had come up with his solution. Imagine suggesting that to your boss.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great little book for big ideas 6 Dec 2010
How can a book of less than fifty pages, published over sixty years ago, be relevant and useful to us now? Let me count the ways. This is a gem and deserves to be used (important point: not just read, but used) by anyone who wants to come up with more and better ideas, whether being creative is part of your job description, a hobby or simply an important part of how you live your life. Mr Young writes knowledgeably and humorously, outlines a straightforward five-step process - then challenges us to follow it.

Some creative souls may worry that this book will so demystify the process, they may lose their `magic'; that everyone out there, having read this book, will be able to have a go. That's Young's challenge: few of us will believe that producing ideas can really be so simple, and of those that do, few will try. Hi s book shows us the ways and means to do just that.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ 28 Oct 2001
Although it is not a very new book (about 50 years old), its significant, simplified, and disciplined way for innovative thinking is just as effective and valuable as the day it was first published. I am sure you will fall in love with the book so much that it will take an hour to read. Enjoy reading!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably a must-have in its day 5 April 2011
By Em
I bought this book because I've heard it mentioned often and it's really cheap!

It's also a very short book with quite large type!

Basically he says new ideas are made from putting bits of old ideas together, and that you should find out as much as you can and think on it, then go away and have a rest and come back and look again.

And combine things you've found out to create something new. That's really all there is to this book. So the title is very accurate, it is 'a' technique for coming up with ideas, but a pretty obvious one nowadays?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good perspective 20 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's useful for helping you step back and evaluate the creative process. Short enough that you can read it often - which helps reinforce its message. I'd recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I can't think! 1 Aug 2011
Should be titled "Stating the obvious" Not the best book I have ever read. Seemed to take a long time to actually say very little.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does what it says.. 30 Jan 2010
By tim
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The concept of the power to generate ideas being portrayed in so few pages was daunting...but the advice is simple to understand and logical when applied - simply it works!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Be the Speculator.

Give birth.
Submit to criticism. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Zac
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty useful
Not just applicable to advertising but to all creative mediums alike. Although a lot of these processes are nothing new, they are laid out simply and coherently structured for even... Read more
Published 1 month ago by No
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Easy
It only takes 5 steps to produce fertile ideas. When you read this book, most people, especially those in the creative industries will no doubt have an aha moment. Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. J. Penny
3.0 out of 5 stars A little dated now
As others have said, it's a very quick read, more of an essay and really should cost a lot less than the price of a magazine.
Published 1 month ago by H Crossley
5.0 out of 5 stars A excellent quick read that explains the process so that anyone can...
I am looking forward to using these ideas in the production of my newest book. I would recommend this book highly.
Published 1 month ago by Dennis R Lindsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Short reminder of how to get ideas
It's a short reprint of what might be described as an early pamphlet about how to make ideas appear. Read more
Published 2 months ago by A. Halfacre
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and Stimulating
Sometimes we cannot see the wood for the trees; we need to have the most simple and obvious things pointed out to us. Read more
Published 5 months ago by lickyourlips
Published 7 months ago by ANN
1.0 out of 5 stars common sense explained.
If you do not understand why it is a bad idea to put the toaster in the bath, then you will find this book useful. Read more
Published 9 months ago by King
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book about creativy ever
Small little books with great insights about creativity and the process behind ideas. I read it at least once a year.
Published 10 months ago by seeker
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Popular Highlights

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In advertising an idea results from a new combination of specific knowledge about products and people with general knowledge about life and events. &quote;
Highlighted by 125 Kindle users
The second important principle involved is that the capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships. &quote;
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Pareto: namely, that an idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements. &quote;
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