What if you could create the future instead of simply trying to predict it?
Plenty of businesses struggle to create a better version of someone else's good idea. But it's far better to come up with the next big idea yourself, especially when you work in advertising.
How, then, can you come up with creative advertising ideas? Keep reading to discover our complete guide!
Big Idea, Small Description
Coming up with the next big idea may sound intimidating. However, you don't have to reinvent the wheel here. You can always look to other good ideas and find out what they have in common.
And here is something all great advertising ideas have in common: you can describe them in a sentence or two. A big idea usually isn't complex or overly nuanced. Instead, it is something that speaks more universally to audiences all around the world.
Of course, things may get complex when it comes to bringing that idea to life (more on this later). But the idea in question should be both innovative and straightforward.
Return to Basics
You're not completely on your own when it comes to creative advertising. Instead, you get to rely on the communication strategy and creative brief describing your advertising campaign.
In other words, no great idea arrives fully-formed. Instead, marketers must consider key aspects of the company's demographic and make sure that the new ad helps move the company's overall marketing goals forward.
Ultimately, the communication strategy and creative brief give you some boundaries for your creative vision. The trick to great advertising is developing a killer idea within those boundaries.
Go Big or Go Home
Sometimes, the biggest obstacle to developing a big idea is simple: the team can't always agree on what makes an idea "big" or not.
In order to understand what a great idea is, we must understand what a great idea is not. For example, it is not enough to take existing advertising ideas and do small things such as adjustments to color or font. Or if you simply swap one CTA for another: trust us, audiences notice that and think it's annoying.
Here's a concept you can take to the bank: whatever the next big idea is, it is guaranteed to be something original and innovative. And if you are focusing on simply tweaking your past work, you may never develop a unique idea the world has never seen.
The Importance of The Next Big Idea
Our guide is devoted to helping you generate big ideas and then bring them to life. Before we get into how to do this, though, we need to ask a simple question: why is it so important to focus on these big ideas each year?
On the most basic level, it's important to generate new ideas to discover what works and what does not work for your audience. Consumer tastes and demographics change over time, and trying new ideas out is the best way to make sure your business still has its fingers on the pulse. Additionally, experimenting with new ideas is the best way to discover something unexpected that really resonates with your audience.
Working on big ideas can also transform your marketing campaign. After all, it takes only one good idea to bring all of the disconnected elements of your campaign together.
Finally, big ideas on one channel or platform can give you a better idea of what will work on other channels and other platforms. In short, focusing on the next big ideas helps your company constantly improve its ideas and advertisements. Without such a focus, your business may never grow to its full potential.
Work Around the Problem
Here's another quality all great ideas have: every great idea is a solution. And in order to develop a great solution, you must first understand the problem.
That's why you and your team need to start with a problem statement. What is the problem that your audience is facing? How does your latest advertising idea help to address that particular problem?
All of this should organically lead to a CTA for your customers. You can track customer response to the CTA as a way of tracking how effective your advertisement has been. And don't be discouraged: it may take some trial and error before you discover exactly what your audience is looking for.
Get a Team
We sometimes associate really great ideas with singular figures. For example, you might mentally credit Steve Jobs for the revolutionary iPod advertising back in the day. But trust us: Steve had an entire team to develop those ideas and bring them to life.
And you're going to need your own good team in order to brainstorm ideas. It's okay if it's a small team: you really just need a team lead, a facilitator, a note-taker, and however many extra people to generate ideas.
It's a bit of a cliche, but make sure your team knows there are no "bad" ideas when you're brainstorming. You never know which off the wall concept might become your latest hit advertisement!
If you're not careful, a brainstorming session can go off the rails very quickly. That's why you need to set a few ground rules and also make sure the team lead and facilitator keep everyone else on track.
First, make sure everyone gathers at the same time and on the same day. Try to secure a room that is comfortable and has white boards and other surfaces where everyone can write down ideas.
Second, lay down the ground rules. This may include things like only having one person speak at a time and having the team hold off commentary until everyone is done speaking.
Third, enforce those rules as needed. You may have some team members challenge your authority early on, and it's important to crack down on that.
Beyond these ground rules, you should encourage everyone to have fun. The more they feel like this is a safe creative space, the better ideas you will get from your team.
Keep It Informal
No matter how well the team knows each other, some people may hesitate to bring up their ideas. This is usually because they feel nervous about collaborating in a very formal environment.
That's why you should try to make things feel chill and informal. Consider having everyone participate in short games and other ice-breaking activities.
These activities help build trust because the team gets to know each other better. And they are likelier to open up about their ideas if they have a positive relationship with everyone involved.
From Individuals to Small Groups
There is no "wrong" way to collaboratively develop creative advertising ideas. But the method we recommend starts with individuals and expands to small groups.
With this system, you start out by giving individuals enough time (usually thirty minutes or less) to write their ideas down on a piece of paper. At the end of this time, the facilitator should post all of the ideas where the rest of the team can see them.
Next, have individuals present their ideas. And after presentations, have the rest of the team discuss those ideas.
After that, split the team into small groups and give each team multiple ideas. Their job is to collectively improve these big ideas by bouncing smaller ideas off of one another.
Narrow It Down
By now, you should have plenty of good ideas flying back and forth. Here comes the hard part: you need to narrow it down to the top two or top three ideas.
For some creative people, this can be the hard part. That's because if your idea wasn't selected, it can be difficult to drop it and put all of your energy behind another idea.
But this is the essence of good collaboration. And there is a place in the process for skeptics and critics: after all, the team must verify that the winning ideas fit the communication strategy and overall creative brief.
This is also the last chance the team has to punch up any advertisement ideas as needed. For example, if there is a way to make the CTA tighter or the problem clearer, now is the time to refine everything until it is "just right."
Bring It to Life
At this point, bringing everything to life may very well be the easy part. Once you have the ideas in place, you'll need to generate storyboards and scripts that help to flesh everything out.
The same team should help develop storyboards, scripts, and other creative materials. Think of it this way: if you still need to convince someone to get the green light for your ideas, your team can make the presentation of these advertising ideas that much more persuasive.
Now you know how to develop the next big idea. But do you know who can help you get your ideas out there?
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