Ogilvy & Mather, London....Unleashed

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Two years ago, Ogilvy + Mather, London creatives Ben Callis, Justin Barnes, Mike Watson and Jon Morgan came up with an idea to promote and inspire creativity. They called it the Bag of Inspiration.

Last month they released Bag of Inspiration 3, an LP made under the premise that "drunkenness creates a neural pathway along the self-conscious to form creative enlightenment." It's a scattered mess of surreal beats and drunken gibberish. Which is exactly what the guys had planned. We spoke with Callis about the project.

How did all this come about?
We had a brief to do a house ad for Ogilvy and we thought it seemed like a waste of time to just say we were creative, why not do something? So we came up with the Bag of Inspiration, it's all about how to come up with ideas, all done in a very tongue-in-cheek manner. It gives us an opportunity to experiment with different things.

This is the third edition and the first music-based one we've done. The first one was a pack of pillow cases and a little book with food suggestions for before bed to stimulate the brain and result in extraordinarily adventurous dreams. The pillow cases were lined so when you woke up with that world-changing idea you could write it directly on the pillow cases. Then we did a book of trash stickers, like (cigarette) butts, tea spills, chewing gum, basically things you could arrange around your desk in anti-feng shui, making your area look like a shithole so you can have ideas. You can't really be creative unless your work place is a dump.

And then for this third one, it's about how alcohol often stimulates creativity, and there's a bit of truth to that. If you have a couple pints, you become more lucid and ideas can come flooding out, but obviously the more you drink that spirals down until it's complete nonsense.

So it was an extension of that idea, plus we always wanted to make an album and just figured, you've got to do an album at one point in your life, right? No matter how monumentally shit it might be, it's great to have done it.

What do each of you do on the record?
We all illustrated, we all wrote music and lyrics. We have some mates who constructed some music around it. We don't really delegate duties or anything like that, we just sort of hang out and share ideas and use whatever makes us laugh. The great thing about this is we tried a new digital printing technique. We did about 600 different illustrations for the cover and this technique randomizes them, so every cover is completely unique and each also comes with a job title and drink on the front.

Creativity's album has "Forward Group Specialist" for the job and a Turbo Shandy for the drink. What's a Turbo Shandy?
A Turbo Shandy is a bottle of Smirnoff Ice mixed with a half pint of lager. It is one of the fastest ways to get smashed out of your melon. If you're late to a party behind everyone else, have a quick Turbo Shandy and you're caught right up.

How would you describe the tunes?
The music is meant to sound like things do when you're drunk, so after the music was first done we fucked it up, playing with the levels and sound waves. It's the sort of thing where, when you're pissed nothing makes much sense, and I love things like that number nine song off The White Album, and "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" by Pink Floyd, so while not nearly as cool as either of those, that's where we were coming from. It's not really singing though, it's more of a Rex Harrison talk-sing type of thing.

It's been out for about a month, what's the response been?
It's been great, really. Paul Smith, the designer, is a big fan of it and he's selling it in his shops in LA, London and Tokyo. If anybody else wants to grab one they can get in touch over Facebook.


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