Creative Aerobics
Creative activities you can use
to get to deeper understandings and insights
about people and their stuff,
about culture and the media

by Allen Bukoff, PhD


If you want to learn some powerful ways to explore consumers, brands, media, markets, and culture and find insights you can use to develop more creative and effective advertising and media strategies, you've come to the right place. Creative Aerobics® uses advanced ideation and mind-set-breaking activities to develop powerful human insights and innovative communication ideas.

The three components of Creative Aerobics
Three Tasks
Creative Aerobics is a set of activities that empower three tasks that are vital for finding new and deeper understandings and insights: getting to the heart of the matter, breaking mind-set, and generating new perspectives.

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Creative Aerobics® Techniques
To give you an idea of what Creative Aerobics is like,  a sample of our techniques is briefly described below.

Click on the HOW TO button to view the step-by-step instructions for some of these techniques.  Please feel free to print out the instructions and to use these techniques yourself (freeware!).

If you want more information about Creative Aerobics techniques or step-by-step instructions for the other techniques described here, please email Allen Bukoff.

Word Salad how to A technique for exploring a topic, theme or issue that can help a group get to the heart of the issue as well as find new ways to think about it.
Bumper Stickers Picture Creating "bumper stickers" (or billboards) will help distill what has been learned and capture important key words, concepts, and images.
Church Camp Computer generated word lists are used to stimulate interesting new connections and ideas.
Fun House Taking a group on an imaginary guided tour of a relevant everyday experience can help them get to the heart of that experience and return with interesting and powerful new insights.
Ghost Story A paper-and-pencil exercise that helps break mind-set by demonstrating how even subtle mind-sets act as silent barriers to creative thinking. [Technique co-invented with Michael Goldstein, PhD].
Nickname Game Participants generate a list of nicknames for various types of consumers. The names help to capture lifestyle, attitude, media and product usage patterns of various consumer segments. Helps a group clarify and prioritize its consumer focus.
Who's Waldo? Searching through pictures of a wide variety of different people uncovers new insights about the consumer and the brand.
Subculture Surfing Picture Shifting focus to a distinct, colorful subculture (e.g., bikers, farmers, surfers, trailer park housewives) breaks mind-set and generates new understandings about the consumer and brand.
Brand Mapping how to Guided brainstorming exercise to quickly build a powerful, comprehensive understanding of the meaning of a brand(s).
Heroes how to Examining a problem or issue through the eyes of personal heroes leads to alternative ways to view a concept or solve a problem.
Creative Whack Pack® Roger von Oech's deck of brainstorming cards helps a group consider an issue or problem in a variety of new ways.
Analogies A classic but powerful brainstorming technique. Having a group look for analogies for a product or concept in other well known areas (e.g., people, places, fashion, food) can help break mind-set and lead to interesting new possbilities and connections.
Whoppers & Snaps how to Helps a group think outside the box by getting them to identify large, radical solutions (Whoppers) and very small, "immediately doable" solutions (Snaps) to a problem or issue.
Picture Storming Photographs and illustrations help a group look for new and interesting connections between the topic or issue and other ideas.
Chindogu Pictures of bizarre, strangely practical devices can help a group disrupt its thinking and then return to a concept or issue with a new point of view.
Picture Diving Projecting a concept or issue into a drawing portraying an ambiguous situation can help develop and articulate new insights.
Fish Racing Picture An amusing and invigorating Australian child´s game that helps a group quickly reenergize their creative juices.
Things to Do
When You're Bored
What to do when all else fails.

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Allen Bukoff, PhD

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Last updated 17 November 2008