Taking an Idea from Concept to Campaign

Advertising concepting

It takes several pieces working in conjunction with one another to make a successful marketing campaign truly come to life. One of the most important elements is solid creative work, and that starts with a great concept — the unique idea that forms the creative expression of your primary message.

When it comes to concepts, almost all ad industry pros will agree that:

  1. Simple is better.
  2. Simple is also difficult.

We tend to get wrapped up making sure a concept says everything at once, when it really only needs to communicate the most important thing. The concept should be the spark that captures a customer’s attention and makes him/her want to learn more about a product or service. That’s what great concepts do, anyway. The bad ones, well… they get ignored.

Before we present any concept to a client, it needs to make it past our internal team — and we are our own biggest critics. Below are some questions we ask ourselves when determining if a concept is really worthy of taking to the next step:

1. Do people understand it?

This one is simple; if people don’t understand the concept quickly, it doesn’t work. If you hear, “I don’t get it,” then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. People aren’t going to take extra time to understand something that doesn’t make sense to them right away.

2. Does it follow a strategy?

Coming up with a unique, one-of-kind way to illustrate “expertise” won’t fly if the client has specifically stated its number one goal is to communicate “reliability”. It may not mean the idea is incorrect, but a solid concept has to fully support the client’s primary communication objective.

3. Is it adaptable?

Imagine you’ve got a concept that looks amazing as a print ad — so much so that you want to frame it and hang it on your wall. Well, how does it work as a mobile banner? What about environmental graphics — how does your concept adapt for the wall of a trade show display? This is where simpler ideas win over complicated ones. Ideas that don’t lose impact when you need to reduce or streamline the creative for print, digital and environmental formats work best.

4. Is it distinct?

When you have a really great idea, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and forget the importance of making sure you’re not unknowingly copying something that’s already been done or putting out work that’s not just adding noise. We don’t believe that all the best ideas are already out there, but we do know that great ideas take time, and often that requires researching your competitors. Comparing your potential ad concepts to what others are doing helps ensure your work is unique and impacting. It also helps take away “tunnel vision” and tests whether your work grabs attention or blends in with everything else.

Given everything above, there’s a good reason that great concepts don’t always happen overnight. As the backbone of the creative work, it’s essential to put the effort into making sure your ad concepts communicate the story you truly want to tell your target audience.

What B2B ad concepts have you seen lately that you think are really great? Comment below to share your thoughts, or contact us to learn more about developing a successful food ingredient marketing campaign.