Great concepts require time and ingenuity – for a creative team, these things go hand in hand. In order for your video or advertisement to stand out amongst the mass amounts of media out there, your video should not only hook the viewer from the beginning, but also keep their attention throughout. It takes time to come up with an idea that will really resonate with your audience – no matter how narrow or broad. So whether you are an organization trying to come up with your own concept or a creative team trying to come to some kind of consensus to pitch to your client, maybe this will help get everyone on board.
It’s important to have a creative process for getting the ball rolling. Knowing the core values of a project or the main goal or objective can establish the foundation. Here is where we like to break out a large corkboard, whiteboard, or whatever you can use as a “mood board” to get out ideas, ALL ideas – no matter how big or small. Most will get tossed out as soon as the words hit the Post It, but at least you got it out.
You can think of this like free association writing where you write down whatever comes to mind – this can be words, phrases, images. The goal here is to have this trail of thoughts that will hopefully guide you in different directions – with any luck somewhere you haven’t been before. The list could go on forever, but at some point, the stronger concepts will stick out. If you’re working in a group, this allows you to bounce ideas off of one another, and create an even larger list of concepts and if you’re lucky cover every end of the spectrum. By creating volume in your list, you allow yourself to expand the range of ideas – ideas that could be closely related to your goals or not even close. Sometimes the best ideas come from way out there. On the other hand, we also have to learn as creatives that most of our ideas will not come to fruition.
Now, it’s time to take the strongest ideas and visually define them – whether that be through a mood board or actually creating rough sketches or a storyboard. Put yourself in the scene and shift the point of view. Telling the same story from a different perspective or with a distinctive theme can add an entirely new twist to the concept. This will be the most effective way of communicating your ideas.
Once you have a clear understanding of all of your ideas and a refined sketch of each, it’s probably time to present. Here is where we circle back to the core values and establish how these concepts achieve our goals and reach the necessary audience. Take ownership in your ideas and show that you have done your research, prepare multiple concepts for decision makers, and don’t be afraid to think a little more outside the box than usual. Some of the best ads come from the craziest concepts.