Recognizing a great idea

18 May

brainstormingTo convince caregivers that their chicken noodle soup was a good cold remedy, Campbell’s asked grocery stores to sell it in the cold medicine section. We’ve talked about this idea here in terms of behavioural economics, but I wanted to take a different angle.

This idea did not come in a big ‘ta-da’ moment from the creative director. I’m told it came from a media planner. I can imagine the idea being tucked away, mid-way down a bullet-point list on page 8 of the media plan:

Non-traditional ways to position chicken noodle soup as a cold remedy
• Get a doctor or medical association to certify its effectiveness on the packaging
• Cross-promote with a more traditional cold remedy (eg, Neo-Citran)
• Sell it in the cold remedy aisle at grocery stores
• Offer discount coupons (designed as prescriptions) in health publications
• Take out advertorial in parenting magazines talking about its effectiveness

Easy to glaze over the idea, isn’t it? (I can almost hear the media director: “Neat ideas! So, about that TV buy…”). It took someone to read the plan and spot the genius of that idea amongst all the clutter and champion it through the agency. In a way, the person who recognized the great idea was as important as the person who had it.

In brainstorms, it’s easy to shoot out idea after idea (and if you have a bad one, hey, it’s just brainstorming). It’s far braver and more important to listen to everyone’s ideas, spot the great ones, and defend/champion them into existence.


3 Responses to “Recognizing a great idea”

  1. margriet aasman May 18, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Ideas don’t always come spontaneously to me. I have to think too much… In a brainstorm, I might be quiet, till I hear someone say something that hits me as funny, wow, that works! I used to think I was not as good a creative thinker as others… years of this has taught me that it is a gift to actually learn to listen well, and spot the great idea. Confirmed… we need all of you out there in a brainstorm!

  2. Shane May 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Agreed – thanks for your comment Margriet!

  3. site June 2, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Have you considered including a few social bookmarking buttons to these sites. At least for facebook.

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