Selling the big idea at SXSW

The session on big ideas brings top creative from around the country to figure out what this really means – what is the big idea and how do you get there.

Pete Lerma, Click Here, Inc., says the interactive web version of one of his company’s successful ads partnered with traditional media. “The other white meat” campaign uses music videos online – pork world tour – and pushes clients beyond where they would ordinarily think. How did he sell the idea? They used a “stairwell” approach where the group got charged with music and then the songs entertained the client and helped get them on board.

According to Jamie Thomas, Winnercom, big ideas might live in your head, but you have got to get them articulated. He says you need for your client to understand the idea once you have it. Determine the business need and then demo your example to the client. His work includes True.com – a dating service. The big idea was “truth.” You hope a dating service provides really truthful people in their profiles. True Identities and True Diaries resulted from this campaign – and then True Dates, a reality show with 12 people over 12 cities in real time – you could see their dates live. Viewers can comment online about whether daters are a good match. In addition, dates are archived for repeated viewing!

Jeffrey Benjamin, Cripin Porter + Bogusky [read more at clickz.com] has led creative on several highly talked-about online campaigns. Essentially he says campaigns drove traffic by creating an immersive experience that rewards users for interacting. The brand experience is customized to the individual. Benjamin says the big idea is funny and innovative and viral – but at the end of the day it is an idea that succeeds in a spectacular way. With the client you determine what the success is. You can be passionate but you may not know that it will turn out great until you see your client passionate about it. Big ideas by Benjamin include the "Subservient Chicken" site for Burger King and the MINI USA robot-from-car-parts hoax. A newer ad focuses on bringing a car experience to life – so the car could be made and reconfigured each time and a test drive can be taken – an internet experience for viewers on behalf of Volkswagen. Benjamin says sometimes a big idea is evolutionary not revolutionary – so you can build on an idea and help the client evolve with the idea.

Bottom line – sometimes a wildly creative idea can be shared and articulated and turn out to be very beneficial to a company or organization.

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