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ideas idea ideas: strategy talk with MAS

Aug 11, 2014

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talk I gave to Miami Ad School students in January of 2011. ideas, as always, are WIP, but some thoughts about planning today.

  • IDEAS IDEA IDEAS how to fuel them, how to see them, how to make them awesomer heidi hackemer @BBHNewYork / Strategic Director @uberblond
  • First things first The story that planners must be able to define and tell (brilliantly)
  • Your people (With loads of emotional and behavioral insights) The main insight The one truth your leveraging in your solution The message What you want people to know The creative platform The thought that holds it all together Hero execution/s The executional/spiritual center of the idea Engagement strategy The driving principle/s of the platform behavior The ecosystem All the stuff that gets built to make the hero shine The context The broader world that your product/brand lives in
  • WHEN THESE CATEGORIES ARE TIGHT, WHEN ONE THING FLOWS INTO THE OTHER, CONGRATS. YOUVE BUILT THE PROVERBIAL STRATEGIC FORTRESS
  • Your people (With loads of emotional and behavioral insights) The main insight The one truth your leveraging in your solution The message What you want people to know The creative platform The thought that holds it all together Hero execution/s The executional/spiritual center of the idea Engagement strategy The driving principle/s of the platform behavior The ecosystem All the stuff that gets built to make the hero shine The context The broader world that your product/brand lives in Fuelling Seeing & defining Awesoming Our (general) role
  • fueling the ideas
  • Your people (With loads of emotional and behavioral insights) The main insight The one truth your leveraging in your solution The message What you want people to know The creative platform The thought that holds it all together Hero execution/s The executional/spiritual center of the idea Engagement strategy The driving principle/s of the platform behavior The ecosystem All the stuff that gets built to make the hero shine The context The broader world that your product/brand lives in Fuelling Seeing Awesoming Our (general) role
  • ADMITTINGLY, WERE GOING TO GO A BIT ROGUE HERE (TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT SERIOUSLY)
  • THE TRADITIONAL SYSTEM hand off, hand off, hand off
  • THIS PROCESS TENDS TO BE INEFFICIENT SLOW FRUSTRATING BUILDS WALLS BETWEEN INTERNAL TEAMS
  • ADDITIONALLY, THIS HISTORICAL, INDUSTRY PROCESS HAS GROWN AND FUELED THE MYTH OF THE ICONIC LONE WOLF STRATEGIST
  • THE GREAT STRATEGIC MYTH THE STRATEGIST GOES AWAY GETS ALL ANTHROPOLOGICAL AND RESEARCHICAL PONDERS IN DARK ROOMS DEEP INTO THE NIGHT EUREKA! THE ONE TRUE INSIGHT REVEALS ITSELF! EUREKA! THE ONE TRUE THING FORMS! WRITES THE EPIC BRIEF PRESENTS IT TO THE TEAM ON A SHIMMERING GOLDEN PLATTER (CUE FAWNING ANGELS) TEAM OOHS AND AAHS AT THE BRILLIANCE CREATIVE EXCELLENCE ENSUES
  • THIS IS CRAP.
  • THE BEST TEAMS NATURALLY BREAK DOWN THIS PROCESS - MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, THE BEST TEAMS SHOOT THE SHIT, TALK A LOT, BOUNCE IDEAS, COLLABORATE THEY GET ALL NEW BUSINESS, EVERY DAY
  • THAT DOESNT MEAN WE DONT HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES AND ALONE TIME, BUT GREAT TEAMS DONT LOCK INDIVIDUALS AWAY FOR PROLONGED PERIODS OF TIME AND ASSUME THAT ONLY ONE PERSON CAN GET TO OR OWNS PRE-DETERMINED PARTS OF THE SOLUTION
  • PS: ISNT IT IRONIC THAT WE BUILT AND IDOLIZED AN INDUSTRY ICON AROUND AN IDEA THAT DOESNT REALLY EXIST IN NATURE? JUST SAYIN
  • THE BETTER ANALOGY?
  • THE BETTER ANALOGY? THE MOTHER EFFIN WOLF PACK TEAMS INTELLIGENTLY BOUNCING IN AND OUT OF A COLLABORATIVE GROUP ENVIRONMENT, ALL WORKING TOGETHER TO SLAY THE PROBLEM
  • SO INSTEAD OF THIS hand off, hand off, hand off
  • THE MODEL STARTS TO LOOK LIKE THIS
  • THIS PROCESS TENDS TO BE EFFICIENT FAST INCLUSIVE TEAM MAXIMIZING ONE ANOTHER NOTE: ITS NOT ABOUT BLOWING UP WHAT WE DO AND OUR SKILL SETS; ITS ABOUT WORKING IT DIFFERENTLY
  • STRATEGIST START THE PROCESS THEY SET THE TONE YOU HAVE A LOT OF POWER OVER TEAM DYNAMIC FOSTER AN ENVIRONMENT OF EXPOSURE HOW TO FUEL THE WOLF PACK TO ULTIMATELY GET TO GREAT IDEAS
  • ONE TOOL > KICK-OFF SESSIONS STRATEGISTS RUN THESE BEST WHEN TEAM IS FUELED A DAY OR SO BEFORE EVERYONE IN ROOM TOGETHER (STRAT, CREATIVE, MEDIA IF NOT MORE) SPIRIT: HOW DO WE FIX THIS PROBLEM? SOLUTION-FOCUSED
  • STRATEGIST WALKS IN WITH WHERE WE WANT THE TARGET TO GET TO (THE OBJECTIVE) AND WHY THEYRE NOT THERE YET (THE BARRIER/PROBLEM) LOTS OF INSIGHTS ABOUT THE TARGET AND POTENTIAL PATHS TO GET TO THE SOLUTION BUT NOT THE INSIGHT OR THE BRIEF CULTURE OF RIFF AND BUILD
  • WALKING OUT CREATIVE TEAM HAS A JUMP START TO THEIR THINKING, OFTEN THE SOLUTION TEAM IS THINKING OF SOLUTIONS FROM MANY DIFFERENT ANGLES (SOLUTIONS ARENT ALWAYS COMMS) STRATEGISTS CAN MAKE MORE INFORMED DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT THE BEST PLACE IS TO STEER THE MAIN INSIGHT, BRIEF AND TEAMS
  • WATCH-OUTS CASTING IS IMPORTANT (SOME PEOPLE SUCK AT THIS) STRATEGISTS HAVE TO MEGA-PREP FOR THESE TO BE SUCCESSFUL (THE MORE SMART FUEL, THE BETTER) STRATEGISTS HAVE TO MODERATE THESE WELL
  • TWO MORE THINGS GET A WALL USE GOOGLE DOCS ITS ALL ABOUT EXPOSURE
  • Your people (With loads of emotional and behavioral insights) The main insight The one truth your leveraging in your solution The message What you want people to know The creative platform The thought that holds it all together Hero execution/s The executional/spiritual center of the idea Engagement strategy The driving principle/s of the platform behavior The ecosystem All the stuff that gets built to make the hero shine The context The broader world that your product/brand lives in Fuelling Seeing & Defining Awesoming Our (general) role
  • so we got some fuel going, ideas are starting to roll how do you see and define a great idea?
  • Your people (With loads of emotional and behavioral insights) The main insight The one truth your leveraging in your solution The message What you want people to know The creative platform The thought that holds it all together Hero execution/s The executional/spiritual center of the idea Engagement strategy The driving principle/s of the platform behavior The ecosystem All the stuff that gets built to make the hero shine The context The broader world that your product/brand lives in Fuelling Seeing & Defining Awesoming Our (general) role
  • WHAT IS A GREAT IDEA IN TODAYS LANDSCAPE? AIM FOR PLATFORMS AIM FOR BRILLIANT ONE-OFF TACTICS DONT SETTLE FOR JUST A CAMPAIGN
  • WHAT A PLATFORM IS, WHAT IT ISNT ITS NOT A TV CAMPAIGN WITH SOME MATCHING LUGGAGE DIGITAL BITS TACKED ON ITS A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO YOUR PEOPLE (THAT IS, IF THEY WANT IT) ITS SOMETHING THAT CAN LIVE ON AND HOLD A LOT OF DIFFERENT ACTIVITY
  • SOME PRETTY GREAT MODERN PLATFORMS BEING GIRL NIKE+ CHROME FAST DATING BRIAN PEPSI REFRESH GREAT AMERICAN APPAREL DIET THE MAN YOUR MAN COULD BE, AKA OLD SPICE GUY
  • SOME PRETTY GREAT MODERN TACTICS T-MOBILE DANCE IN LIVERPOOL STATION GOOGLE YOUTUBE SYMPHONY GOOGLE YOUTUBE PLAY CHROME ARCADE FIRE AXE UNDIE RUN
  • HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A GREAT PLATFORM OR TACTIC? THERE IS NO MAGIC ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION, BUT SOME QUESTIONS YOULL WANT TO ASK YOURSELF (AND HONESTLY ANSWER)
  • HAS IT BEEN DONE BEFORE? WILL PEOPLE LOVE IT AND BENEFIT FROM IT AS MUCH AS THE BRAND MANAGERS? DOES IT LEVERAGE A KILLER INSIGHT? IS IT JUST SO DAMN SMART? IS IT WILDLY ENTERTAINING, AWESOMELY FUNCTIONAL AND/OR EMOTIONALLY USEFUL? IS IT SIMPLE (ELEVATOR PITCH)? IS IT TRUE TO THE BRAND? IF ITS A PLATFORM, CAN THE THOUGHT HOLD MANY DIFFERENT EXECUTIONAL ITERATIONS? IF ITS A TACTIC, CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW IT WOULD BE RE-BOOTED/BUILT UPON IN THE FUTURE? CAN I BUILD AN ECO-SYSTEM AROUND IT? DO YOU GET SHIVERS?
  • WHEN YOUR TEAM GETS TO AN IDEA OR THOUGHT WHERE THERES A LOT OF YESES TO THAT LIST, THEN START TO ARTICULATE YOUR CORE INSIGHT, PO