Sure, great creative is strategic. And targeted. And engaging. And a lot of other marketing buzz words. But where do the ideas that make creative creative come from?

Here at Brokaw, we’re in the idea racket. And just like you need iron ore to make steel, or fruit to make jam, or two sexually mature adults to make a baby—to make ideas, you need raw material, too. So what in the what does that mean?

Well, here’s a little quote from advertising luminary Jack Foster from his book How To Get Ideas:

“A new idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements.”

So, the reasoning goes that the more old elements you have, the more new combinations (ideas!) you can make.

So how do you get more elements?

Mr. Foster puts it simply: “Get more inputs.” And this means exposing yourself (mentally, hopefully) to things you usually wouldn’t. Which could be taking an interest in something you’d usually never have an interest in. Like how marbles are made. Or contemplating what sound a fox makes. Or trying to make sense of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Or reading about how to market an old Rustbelt city to young folks via… jorts?!

In that spirit, consider this a free ticket to add some new inputs to your day.

So go read Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. Wear two different shoes. Or check out some of the sites below. Sure, this might all seem like a waste of time to your manager/boss/spouse. But who knows? That time you’re wasting now could lead to your next great idea/promotion/lifetime achievement award/Brosman.

Happy raw materials gathering, here are a few examples to get your wheels going and the ideas flowing!