flux branding

The Science of Creativity


Jamie Schwartzman - FLUX Branding

What’s the Science of Creativity?

Congratulations to the Ravens for winning the Super Bowl XLVII in an exciting game that kept us screaming. But I think Beyonce and Dodge Ram Trucks were equally victorious on Sunday.

Beyonce eliminated any doubt that she’s today’s reigning superstar with a stunning, post-inaugural, epic halftime show. And Dodge aired a 2-minute, long form commercial featuring beautiful photography of America’s farmers set to Paul Harvey’s poetry.

> Do you agree?

While the winning team is clearly determined on the field, a review of the creative ads and performances is highly subjective. There’s a complex sequence of analytics that occur quickly in our minds that brings us to an opinion. A reaction. A judgement of creative value.

Picture, Hat, and Phone - FLUX Branding


What’s Creative Value?

> This is a lot more than a matter of taste.

Traditionally, financial success has been used as a makeshift way of keeping score. But in the creative world some of the best artists, designers and creative minds have struggled to find financial rewards and failed miserably. So, if financial success isn’t a fair measure of what’s creatively valuable and subjective taste is unreliable, what can we count on to help us determine what is good creative?

I would argue that there is a complex analysis we perform in our subconscious that determines our judgement of creative value. It’s a scorecard framework that can be examined, documented and defined … and it explains why we react positively or negatively. Understanding the framework, we can inform the creative process to deliver things that can predictably resonate with an audience. Hence, a new tool for the branding process.

Jamie Schwartzman equation - FLUX Branding

Can creativity be measured?

> Consider 3 fundamental value systems.

Intrinsic Value (Iv): If something is well crafted, contains expensive materials and is created by a respected entity, then we assign it a high intrinsic value. Examples include: Spielberg; Gucci; Twyla Tharp; Apple.

Expressive Value (Ev): If something has cultural relevance, with clear stylistic references, then we measure high expressive value. Examples include: Frank Gehry; Moleskine; Simple Human; Pink Ribbon (breast cancer awareness).

Provocative Value (Pv): If it is timely, with contemporary thought, and challenges personal beliefs, then we’ll increase its provocative value. Examples (for me) include:Django Unchained; Philip Glass music; Butoh Performance Art. (This is highly personal for each individual.)

> Creative Valuation can therefore be expressed scientifically: 
Cv = Iv + {Ev x Pv}


Creative Value = Intrinsic + {Expression x Provocation}

This heuristic hypothesis has increasingly provided a methodology to analyze and improve the creative we produce for our clients. Collected across a large study it may even be possible to use this formula for predictive results across all platforms of creative expression.

Framework for Measuring Creativity equation - FLUX Branding

Framework Theory for Measuring Creativity


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