“You will never win fame and fortune unless you invent big ideas. It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.” David Ogilvy
Traditionally, the marketing concept of a ‘big idea’ is intrinsically tied to TV advertising. A brand briefs an ad agency. Said ad agency creates a ‘big idea’ with associated TV/ad concepts and then, once this is all signed off, everyone else scrambles around to see how it can be executed elsewhere.
The result? A great TV ad spot. And then other implementations with differing levels of quality and success.
It’s easy to see how we got here. Advertising has always been at the heart of a brand’s marketing strategy. But the times are a-changin’.
So what does that mean for the big idea and the agencies that try to unearth it?
Is the concept of a big idea dead? Does it sit uncomfortably in an age where we are moving from push marketing to a more collaborative approach? Or is it more relevant than ever at a time where brands are spread so thin across different channels and platforms?
I think there’s still a place for the big idea. But I think we need to stop seeing it as the end of the creative process and just as the first step.
If you reframe the way we think about the big idea in this way then rather than thinking up a new TV advert, you start to think about a compelling brand story that you can then creatively execute in a whole host of different, creative ways.
The big idea in 2013 is:
- More than TV.
- BIG. It’s so big, it’s not tied to channels or platforms. It’s something that inspires makeable ideas but isn’t one in itself.
- SMALL. In itself it doesn’t take up huge budgets but inspires campaigns and initiatives.
- Agile and flexible – it needs to be malleable into different forms.
- Built around stories and for storytelling.
- Co-created – it comes from the audience.
- About behavioural change, not campaigns, tactics or platforms.