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Creative ideas come from working with what you have, no matter how sparse it is. This is a life-saving framework for nonprofit marketers — frequently strapped — and the lesson Creative Think blogger Roger von Oech finds in this curious headline from a ’60s era ad to promote National Library Week. Here’s the rest of the ad:

"At your local library they have these arranged in ways that can make you cry giggle, love, hate, wonder, ponder, and understand.

It’s astonishing to see what these twenty-six little marks can do. In Shakespeare’s hands they became Hamlet. Mark Twain wound them into Huckleberry Finn. James Joyce twisted them into Ulysses. Gibbon pounded them into The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. John Milton shaped them into Paradise Lost.”

The ad goes on to to extol the virtues of reading and mention that good books are available at your library.

Now that’s working with what you have — no matter how little or how simple — for a great result.

Thanks to Roger for the tip.

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Nancy Schwartz on April 17, 2007 in Branding and Messages, Nonprofit Communications, Unique Approaches | 1 comment
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  • Roger von Oech

    Glad you enjoyed the post. I love that ad. Nice way you framed it.
    Best wishes to you and your readers.

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