Long lists of great ideas

23 Aug

Overheard at an ad agency:

“What a productive brainstorm for our client. Let’s get all these great ideas on paper and walk the client through them.”

“Should we just send them our three best ideas?”

“No, let’s give them everything we thought of. Show them all our creative thinking and help our chances they’ll go with at least one of the ideas.”

“Ok, but some of these ideas are going to take a lot of planning and costing out. Should we do that for each idea?”

“Are you crazy? With 20 ideas, we’d be here all night. Let’s see which ideas they’re interested in, then flesh out just those ones afterwards.”

After the presentation, client’s response: “Great ideas, guys.” [moves paper to corner of desk, never to be looked at again]

Ideas are useless if there is no plan to bring them to life. “Host a downtown scavenger hunt with branded content” sounds interesting as a bullet point, but a comprehensive plan that outlines partners/suppliers, timelines, and costs which the client need only review and sign off would be much better. If the agency doesn’t believe in the idea enough to invest time in planning it out, why should the client believe that it’s possible to execute and ask for details?

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