BIG IDEA RULES

ArabAd - - LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER -

Whether we learn the lan­guage of video, or any other for­mat to get the mes­sage right peo­ple are still talk­ing about the 'bid idea'. This was a phrase if not ac­tu­ally coined, then at least pop­u­larised, by David Ogilvy in 1960s. "If your cam­paign doesn't con­tain a big idea then it will pass like a ship in the night," or so he mem­o­rably claimed.

The per­sis­tence of the 'big idea' today isn't all that sur­pris­ing. Al­though much has changed, since Ogilvy was around, the idea re­mains at the core of ad­ver­tis­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion. To all in­tents and pur­poses, it’s the ap­proach that had been re­fined from 'the big idea', to 'just the big idea and noth­ing else'.

We all know the busi­ness of ad­ver­tis­ing is no longer just about cre­at­ing an ad and buy­ing the me­dia space to run it. Now, agen­cies are be­ing asked to en­gage con­sumers in new ways that are less in­tru­sive than tra­di­tional ad­ver­tis­ing. In the melee of on­line noise and com­pet­ing mul­ti­chan­nel com­mu­ni­ca­tions, ideas have never been more im­por­tant. Ideas are great but great ideas are even greater. Work that is award-win­ning in my mind strikes a chord. It ef­fort­lessly oozes into your brain, heart and makes a mark. You feel some­thing from it. You wish you had thought of it. Some­times it seems so ob­vi­ous; you think it’s easy, but it never is. Great award win­ning ideas take full ad­van­tage of the craft and make use of it…noth­ing is spared. You can see that ev­ery ex­e­cu­tional de­ci­sion that was made was in ser­vice to the idea it­self and was not gra­tu­itous.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion agen­cies have to know how to make great ideas of all kinds, whether that means ads that work on so­cial me­dia, ads that are “na­tive” and can look sim­i­lar to edi­to­rial con­tent or ads that are just plain in­no­va­tive.

We’re at a point cre­atively that when we tell sto­ries, they have to be great in their own right re­gard­less of for­mat, chan­nel or even brands’ de­sire to sell. They need to be share­able and view­able, they need to be con­tent that can com­pete with ev­ery­thing else we’re con­sum­ing. It de­mands more of us as an in­dus­try. Most of all, it de­mands of us to be­lieve in the power of a big idea above ev­ery­thing else.

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