What is an idea?
This is the question that framed the first few weeks of the Integrated Communications Campaigns class I am in right now. We laughed as we discovered the power of the silly idea and we pondered the theory of idea generation.
In an advertising campaign that “big idea” is the seed that is planted that starts the campaign. It’s the insights about people and society that lead you to a creative way to get your message to the masses. It is what drives the engagement, the communication, and the response.
Tell its story.
Recently, we were given a task that asked us to look at an existing advertising campaign and tell the story of the idea. There really weren’t any other parameters to the assignment, and we were free to choose any campaign we wished (which isn’t as easy as it sounds!).
My group? We chose Mayhem for Allstate. From there we read and we learned; we researched. In the end, we delivered a presentation that told the Mayhem story full circle – from the consumer insights, to the competitive edge, to the humor, to the new target. But everything we said tied back into the same big idea: “Dollar for dollar, nobody protects you from Mayhem like Allstate.”
Planning for and executing this presentation really hit home for me — it showed me that an idea in a media world doesn’t mean anything unless it is driven by research and insight. And that telling the whole story of an idea is the perfect way to sell it, to not only who you are presenting to, but to the masses when the campaign takes off.
Watch it grow.
Over the past 18 hours, we have all watched a viral phenomenon take over the internet. It is called “Kony 2012.” While the video has quite literally gone viral, garnering over 6 million views on YouTube in the past 12 hours, the idea has spread even further, latching onto people’s hearts and inspiring them to do more to help the world. It is a video that starts off with a single statement: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
And while, yes, the Kony 2012 campaign has its criticizers, and while we can’t be 100% certain that its makers’ intentions are pure, the idea has planted its seed and the story is being told around the world. And the execution is just about flawless. Facebook newsfeeds are cluttered, #stopkony is the number 1 trending topic on Twitter around the world, and the hits on YouTube just keep getting higher. I find this to be a great example of how the story of an idea is being told to effectively market something, whether you feel it be to market the personal bank account of the Invisible Children or to market the cause they are trying to raise awareness for.