Is the “big idea” over?


By Citizen Relations

Comms pros have all watched “Mad Men’s” Don Draper walk into a conference room, deliver a brilliant pitch and save the day. But what if the notion of “the big idea” is as outdated as the three-martini lunch? In this podcast, Josh Budd, chief creative officer, NA, Citizen Relations and Jaime Pescia, VP, global creative & brand engagement, Little Caesars Pizza talked about how the pressure to deliver “the big idea” can hinder creativity and harm the collaborative process.

In this podcast

Josh Budd

Chief Creative Officer, Citizen Relations

Jaime Pescia

VP of Global Creative and Brand Management, Little Caesar

Key Takeaways

David Ogilvy’s famous concept of ‘The Big Idea’, where a sole creative team locks itself in the studio hoping for a creative epiphany that blows the doors off the client’s board room may not be the way to go in a world where multiple platforms demand a more flexible approach to messaging and a more collaborative, adaptable and agile creative process. In this podcast, Steve Barrett, editorial director of Campaign and PR Week sat down with Josh Budd of Citizen Relations and Jaime Pescia, CMO of Little Caesar’s Pizza to discuss the new paradigm.

Maybe the ‘Big Idea’ is a bad idea. The notion of The Big Idea may have provided the dramatic fuel for the TV series Mad Men, but it is potentially harmful to the collaborative process. With the Big Idea, expectations are high, people invest a huge amount of time and energy into coming up with it, and as a result, are very protective of it, even if it’s not the right answer for every medium. Maybe it’s time to move on.

Start with a seed, not with a finished concept. Instead of coming up with a fully formed idea designed for a single medium, maybe it makes more sense to start with a ‘seed of an idea’ that can be developed more collaboratively and deployed across a greater number of channels over a longer period of time, adapting and adjusting to different platforms, messages and audiences along the way. This would require a more open, co-creative approach to be successful.

The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. Instead of assigning different components of a campaign to separate creatives, it may be wiser to break down the silos and get all your agencies around the table at once, collaborating and working holistically towards a single goal. That way you win and lose together, not alone.

There is no ‘I’ in team. Co-creation is not about ‘I’, it’s about ‘we’, and it only works when you’re truly working as a team. When you have players working towards their own individual success, it threatens the success of the creative process and the brand it is trying to build.

any thoughts or questions?

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