As creatives, copy writers and content providers, we’re faced with the challenge of seemingly reinventing the wheel, day in day out, in order to deliver on our clients’ briefs. Their clientele/customers on the other hand, are constantly bombarded with a multitude of messages, designs and bits of communication all day long, making our job of cutting through the clutter more and more difficult to say the least… Oh, how I remember a day when a few press ads were enough to get your message across, and possibly even stir a media frenzy. Nowadays, the media mix is quite a different beast.
But, what if thinking outside the proverbial box shouldn’t have to lead to a whole lot of head scratching and missing follicles…?
The big idea (or is it?)
From Google searches, and Behance portfolios, to a whole source of other content rich libraries, we are drawn to research, absorb and be inspired. And in most cases, a few external sources of inspiration mingled in with some raw talent proves successful in striking that eureka moment. Whether graphic or written, hopefully by the end of our exploratory process we’ve arrived at the the big idea, or some meaningful solution to answer our client’s brief.
Truth be told, you might have come up with the holy grail of big ideas, which answers all your client’s needs, only to regretfully have it suffocated by the medium/platform it features within. In a world of mobile devices, social networks, media sharing and the occasional print campaign, how often do we truly consider the application of our newly formed big idea? Is our graphic suited for the medium? Where will it appear? Is the copy communicating (clearly speaking) with its intended recipient? Have we even chosen the right media channel?
In order to avoid this sort of ‘creative death’, it’s critical that creatives, media planners, strategists and all other parties work in constant collaboration. Like a well oiled machine, if all the parts are in sync, you’re probably more likely to communicate your idea effectively and consistently at every touchpoint, to ultimately receive your desired consumer response (and those all empowering Facebook likes) rather than have your ideas fade away.
Think broader, rather than bigger
It’s great and inspiring to see creative, powerful, emotional or thought provoking ideas coming to shape, but not all ideas or creative concepts need be ‘big’. Simpler ideas can and have made just as big a splash.
With social media ‘shares’, ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ defining which brands are relevant in recent years, maybe it’s time we adapt our thinking to focus on developing broader ideas, rather than bigger ones. Perhaps ideas/concepts that generate more targeted content, spread over a wider spectrum of media disciplines. And just like a snowball, the more snow you add to it (or content in this case), the broader your idea may get. Once fed and nudged in the right direction, your idea just might turn into a media avalanche, and in our industry avalanches are good.
Target your audience
As a father of a few digital natives, I experience how even small ideas can make for big impact on a daily basis. My children for instance (aged 4 & 8), probably don’t comprehend big conceptual branded messages, and hence tap in to online content they’re comfortable with. They’re constantly watching other young girls on YouTube, simply sitting in front of a GoPro unboxing a few branded child-play items, which in turn garner them tens of millions of hits.
Simple idea right, simple execution too… Yet they’ve figured out where their target demographic lies, and they’re capitalising on this insight. It’s a horrible truth, but ask yourself, how may hits is your content/brand collecting? Is it reaching it’s perceived targets? Or falling short of being a big hit…
Getting the media mix right will prove a huge asset for any brand, especially when we consider the vastness of the media outlets available. Most of which allow us to generate and direct cost effective tailor made messages specific to targeted demographics. And what’s best is that the implementation of our message into the public domain is instant, and so too is feedback, allowing for immediate evaluation and customer interaction.
Bite size, big ideas
I’m not one to promise miracles, but hopefully, this new mindset will mean less head scratching in the future, and more time constructively discussing, evolving and broadening your ideas. And as the heading suggests, why not take the next available opportunity to break your big ideas into smaller digestible ones. Consider your targeted demographic and all media platforms at hand, from social posts, video feeds, direct mailings to dedicated landing pages, the possibilities (consumer touch-points) are endless. Giving your ideas more chance to flourish.
Illustrations by an up & coming designer – Brendon’s very own daughter, Nicole. (Age 8)