Kerry Bezzanno

A new approach for chasing the coveted idea

There may not be an industry that worships and chases the coveted ‘idea’ more than us in advertising. Although creativity flows through every facet of our lives, we in the biz rely on it to shape and inform every aspect of what we produce as an agency. Naturally, then, the process of fostering this creativity and generating ideas — the timeless brainstorm — is of the utmost importance. With this in mind, we were recently inspired by an article from the Harvard Business Review, which talked about research findings for how to improve the quality of brainstorming sessions.

First off, the science shows that brainstorming groups tasked with focusing on quantity (as opposed to quality) achieved better results on both fronts. So don’t overthink it — just say it!

Moreover, studies have found that when members in a brainstorming group share an embarrassing story, results, again, are materially improved. It’s hypothesized that these preliminary expressions of vulnerability and candor lower inhibitions and help open the floodgates for creativity. It also means that, by the time you get down to work, everyone will have had a good laugh (or two, or three).

Armed with this knowledge, we set about creating the ‘Idea Time’ card to share with members of our team, clients and collaborators. These cards serve to remind everyone how to work together during a successful idea generation session by listing some of the proven best practices. Additionally, we wanted to make something tangible, as real objects can sometimes carry more weight than virtual ones, like emails or wikis. Lastly, the smooth glossy finish means they can reflect light and act as a signal of sorts, in case we ever all get trapped in the office and require rescuing.

In fact, through this process, we’ve been inspired, and are now envisioning a whole of deck of cards with guidelines, suggestions and helpful information that we could build out over time and share with our team.

Without further ado, here are the nine points on each Idea Time card:

  • Start by having everyone share an embarrassing story
  • Share every idea that comes to mind
  • Aim for quantity, not quality
  • Don’t just say it, explain it
  • Build on the ideas of others
  • Avoid criticism
  • Stay focused
  • Ask everyone to contribute
  • And if you get stuck, restate the problem and try again

And of course, since we’re in the middle of a rebrand, we added only a hint of the Starburst logo.

Our new Idea Time cards.

Rob Jennings

“Hey Jeff–I need a link for today’s #mustreadbeforespeed. Got any ideas?”

Kiri Wysynski

Starburst wins national IABC Silver Leaf Award

Starburst is lucky to have a lot of great clients, and the best are the ones we work with as partners. One of those is All Weather Windows Renovations. When great clients, great partnerships and smart creative and strategy come together, the results are award winning. 

We have been working with All Weather Windows Renovations for a number of years to promote their window and door services to homeowners. In the fall of 2016, we launched the “Don’t Let It In” campaign, and the results exceeded our expectations. 

Now, we’re also thrilled to learn that the “Don’t Let It In” campaign won a 2017 IABC Silver Leaf Award of Excellence in the category of marketing, advertising and sales vehicles. 

As the only agency in Edmonton to have received this prestigious award this year, we’re truly honoured to be recognized on such a national scale.

We would like to thank Fay Poholko, Tracy Nadiger and the rest of the All Weather Windows team as well as Mediactive, our media partner. It truly was a group effort and one that we’re looking forward to continuing. 

IABC Silver Leaf Awards

The Silver Leaf Awards is an awards program recognizing excellence in IABC members across Canada for business communication in a number of categories, including advertising, employee engagement, digital communication, graphic design and special events — to name a few. Award submissions are judged based on the soundness of the strategic planning, quality of the execution and the results achieved.

Rob Jennings

All Weather Windows & Starburst Creative win Best Radio Commercial at CHBA Edmonton Region Awards of Excellence.

Starburst Creative congratulates All Weather Windows on their strong showing at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Edmonton Region Awards of Excellence, held Saturday, March 18.

All Weather Windows was recognized at the event with the very special Supplier of the Year award in recognition of their exceptional products and outstanding service to the home building industry in Edmonton.

They also won Best Radio Commercial for Don’t Let It In, a 30-second radio advertisement promoting All Weather Windows Renovations turn-key window and door installation service. The ad was developed by Starburst and aired on major radio stations in Edmonton and Calgary late last year. The award was accepted at the event by Tracy Nadiger, director of marketing at All Weather Windows.


Starburst worked with Fay Poholko at All Weather Windows to develop the ad. The spot was written by Rob Jennings with concept and creative support from Brenna Voogd and account support from Chantelle Campbell and Kiri Wysynski. Recording and production was handled by KOKO Productions in Vancouver, while the media campaign was planned and bought by Sara Kerr at Mediactive.


Rob Jennings

Now serving brunch.

Starburst took some time out this morning to purchase, prepare and serve brunch to families staying at Edmonton’s Ronald McDonald House. We all smell like eggs and bacon but it was well worth it.

After breakfast was done, Kristi Hammond, Donor Relations Officer at Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern Alberta, took us on a tour. As a parent of two young children, I was really moved by the good work being done there to support families in the middle of one of the most difficult and emotional experiences one can imagine.

And though our team may have shed some tears during the tour, the families staying there seemed so strong. I think that’s because Ronald McDonald House is helping them cope during a stressful time by contributing a level of normalcy back to their lives. Before we left, I decided that we needed to do a little bit more and let Kristi know Starburst would also be making a financial contribution.

It was a very rewarding morning and I’m very proud of the Starburst team. I would also like to thank Brock Harrison and Kayla Sommer for planning this opportunity for our agency to give back. Each month, a new department takes over the Culture Committee for our agency and organizes social events or outings–this was their suggestion for January and it was a great one.