The Big Idea is the glue that sticks a campaign together. This idea or central concept links messages in a campaign and creates one clear, cohesive message for the audience to absorb. Chapter 5 goes into depth on developing an idea that will effectively reach the intended audience. As established in previous chapters, a campaign developed without a clear strategy lacks power or oomph. This chapter explores ways to find The Big Idea (and then a few more) without straying from the strategy.
The use of elementary writing methods--brainstorming, writing, revising, and editing-- is encouraged. The brainstorming stage involves discovering who the audience is, what they do, where they are, when they are active, why they behave certain ways, and how to reach them.
Clearly defining these aspects of the target audience lays the foundation for developing an idea that will resonate. Expert Lisa Fortini-Campbell suggests asking these questions of both the brand and the consumer simultaneously allows advertisers to discover an advertising "sweet spot". Finding an idea at the intersection of the brand and the audience leads to an effective message.
This thought process is evident in the Livestrong Chalkbot campaign highlighted at the end if the chapter. The Wieden + Kennedy team clearly took the time to understand the WWWWWH behind the brand and campaign. Livestrong is a brand that represents athleticism, perseverance, and survival. Lance Armstrong, the face of the brand, is known for his achievements in the Tour de France. The target audience likely hold values similar to the brand and may look up to Lance Armstrong or another athlete or cancer survivor. This leads to the what and where... The physical space is the street, but the target audience is not necessarily in that physical place. Social media and text messaging were integrated in the campaign to involve an audience across a broader geographic range. The campaign borrowed from a previously established tradition of writing words of encouragement on the pavement in chalk during the bike race. All these insights pooled together lead the advertising team to understand how to create a campaign that is both relevant to the brand and engaging for the consumer while staying true to their previously established brand image.