Developer: The Directors Bureau
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Say it's early Monday morning, and everyone at the ad agency where you work expects you to come in with some great concepts for the afternoon meeting with a client. The problem is you spent the weekend drinking beer and watching nine football games on TV and you're stuck for ideas for the client's new campaign. Quick, like Batman and Robin to the Batmobile, you reach for your iPhone and tap up Idea Generator.
Idea Generator is a simple idea (and not a new one at that): Idea Generator comprises three concentric wheels, each containing a list of random words. Wheel one and two contain adjectives and adverbs; wheel three contains nouns. What you're after is a combination of words that will help jump start your thinking creatively.
Shake your iPhone or swipe the screen and the wheels spin, similar in idea to the way a slot machine works. Instead of hoping for cherries or bars to line up, you get a three random words in a row. The first shake might bring up "scary, "rubber" "sex toy." Hmm, there's not much you can do with that for the average client.
Try it again, and you get "eco-friendly" "paper" "house." Now, that might have possibilities if your client is in construction. You go for one last shake and up pops "magnetic" "edible" "magazine." That one might be okay if the client is a publisher.
Okay, so maybe none of those combos are just right. Give the project some more thought, shake your iPhone a few more times, and with Lady Lucky smiling down, Idea Generator will get you started thinking enough to come up with a few working concepts.
That's really all there is to Idea Generator, and for $0.99, you shouldn't expect more. What it does, it does well. You also have the option of adding your own words so you can tailor Idea Generator to your specific line of work.
You don't have to buy Idea Generator, however. It's available as a Web page and a downloadable widget on The Directors Bureau Special Projects, the developer of the app. The Directors Bureau is a group of folks who, well, direct films and other projects. The Idea Generator is one project among many the creative group has worked on.
Idea Generator is also fun in the same way pulling the lever on a slot machine can be, at least when the coins are dropping your way. You never know what you'll get but it's always interesting to see what comes up. So shake it up just for the heck of it and see how Idea Generator can get you thinking your way out of an envelope.