5 Signs You've Got a Big Idea

By Kat on 21 June 2019

The advertising world loves to talk about “Big Ideas” – big, campaignable, money-making ideas that drive shockwaves through culture, and make everyone think twice about the brand in question.

But what are the signs that you’re actually onto a big idea and not just an expensive dud? At Imperial Leisure, we’re big on big ideas, but we’re also nimble enough to really execute them.

But before we press ‘Go’ on any campaign creative, we ask ourselves a few key questions...

Is it simple?


When you boil your idea down to its essence, that’s when you really get to the good stuff. A big idea should be simple enough to communicate in a few words – that’s why straplines are so important. They reduce the big idea to a single sentence. And when it comes to sticking in the audience’s mind, less really is more.

Is it sticky?

Speaking of sticking, you want an idea that has ‘stickiness’ – a quality that makes it hard to shake. Think of those ‘earworm’ jingles you can’t get out of your head. You might even think of some more political statements that have stuck in the public consciousness, for better or worse. If you’re still thinking about the idea a few days after it is first proposed, it’s stuck.

Is it transformative?

Some ideas don’t just land a great campaign – they completely change the game. Developing an idea like this often goes back to the brief. Getting a killer insight into your audience can lead eager creatives down the path towards that ‘Holy Grail’ idea that shifts the whole industry.

Is it universal?

A big idea often transcends culture. It picks up on a universal insight that most everyone can relate to and understand. If an idea is universal, it can also be communicated across all media platforms, which is of utmost importance when you’re developing an integrated campaign. What works in 280 characters needs to work for long copy print ads as well.

Is it emotional?

Finally, if a big idea can really be classified as such, it needs to make an emotional connection with the audience. A 2010 New York Times study showed that its most-shared articles were emotional in nature – ones that were positive and inspired awe. We can’t help but love a few tugs on our heartstrings. So if you’re aim is to inspire awe, you’ll need to create something truly awesome. And that’s a tough thing to do, but we’ll manage it because it’s worth it.

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