It might be due to the creative nature of advertising and marketing but we really like the idea of naming things. Above the line. Below the line and of course going through that line. Where did the line start and where is it going? No one knows. We just like to know our relative position to it.
Then of course we have 360, integrated, big ideas, content marketing, influencer activations all coming together for a marcom's plan.
We have big data, experiential and viral stunts. Some of these terms sticks others get replaced with updated versions to keep up with trends. Organic reach and social video does sound more pleasant than 'going viral'.
As useful as all these terms are they do have a downside. Names frame thinking. Words shape ideas before they've even begun. This is something that politics and propaganda have known for years. Newspeak, unspeak and loaded words framing the argument or thinking in simple terms. If you don't believe that then you're clearly FAKE NEWS.
We should take a look at one single term that we use everyday and what we might do to make it a little more powerful. Positive propaganda if you will.
Let's talk about the idea.
I like the idea of idea. Big ideas. Little smart ones. Ideas that can grow. Ideas that can be shared. It is a powerful word, it does make us all feel like maverick creators or masters of fusing science and art. We're the home of the idea.
What's wrong with calling things an idea?
Well I believe an idea is only an element of what we should be presenting and framing our thinking about.
I believe we should start thinking about presenting something else.
And here I come to my solution to the problem.
Let's replace talking about ideas with thinking about solutions. Rather than briefing our creatives on thinking of the big idea, let's think of the solution. The smart solution, the simple one, the complex solution.
Ideas on their own can be empowered when they're part of a solution. We do this already and we call it a 'case study' we look at how we solved a problem with our ideas. A good idea naturally creates a perfect solution.
Let's start bringing in solutions into our earliest thinking. Hopefully that way we won't just be creating a great idea that fits a gap in the marketing plan but something that creates value for our clients by solving a key problem to their business.
It also helps us think of data, platforms and even TV scripts as all equal in playing a role in finding a solution. A solution requires all teams coming together to find the right way of tackling something. It should hopefully remove those departmental silos that most agencies still cling to.
Think in solutions
An idea will still play a central role but it must work with all the other elements. We don't loose anything but we do gain a chance to broaden our thinking. As Creatives I would hope everyone would welcome that chance.
It might work. Who knows but it is my solution to opening up more thinking. So next time we are tempted to present ideas, let's show our clients how our solutions can transform their businesses.