Legend has it that in this magical space you can still find some lost creatives, wandering in search of a "better" idea.
With ASAP and "I need it yesterday", the worst word order you can say to a creative in your team is "give me something out-of-the-box!". The loudest eye roll automatically follows.
For ASAP, we have already learned that the only possible answer is “I'll let go of everything I do now and when I'm done, I'm sending it,” but who knows what “out-of-the-box” actually means and where that space is located? Legend has it that in this magical space you can still find some lost creatives, wandering in search of a "better" idea.
The internet says that "out-of-the-box" is a metaphor that means "to think differently, unconventionally or from a new /new/different perspective". Sounds fantastic, especially if you’re in the role of the one sending the assignment.
Well, here's an assignment for you.
Take a second and imagine a chair.
You're probably thinking of a low chair with 4 legs…
And now imagine a metal bar stool with a backrest.
It "limited" you a little more, but it directed you to a series of better, more applicable and more solid ideas.
It's the same with any brief, for any task, for any client!
The better you describe that space outside the box you are pushing your creative into, the better and more specific idea you will get. Without a description of that space, there is little (to no) chance that you will get what you want. This does not mean that you have given someone "an idea" or "restricted creative freedom", it means that you have defined a desire/task, or better yet - you have given a complete brief.
If it will be easier for you, the next time you want ideas outside the box, just imagine that outside that hateful box is complete, pitch dark.