Choose Wisely For Your Next Great Idea

The creatives have been and done their thing, with their big pieces of paper, big boards, big thinking, big hair, and now you’re left with a head full of big ideas.


And let’s assume you love them, love them all, or at least love most of them.  How do you choose which idea to go with. How do you choose the golden from the good, the super-model from the model?!  To help, we have put together a few thoughts on how to pick* a winner…


*Caveat: This isn’t a list of traditional ways to critique an idea i.e. is it on brief, does it fit the budget, does it meet the KPIs etc…you know all of this (well you probably should).


  1. Is it sincere? – To paraphrase Sir John Hegarty, Punk failed because it lacked central principles, it opposed things but didn’t stand for anything itself. The same is true with ideas. Good ideas generate interest, but great ideas have a purpose – something that is true, something people can relate to, to get behind, to stand for.
  2. Can you get it away easily? – If this answer is yes, it is probably an okay idea, but not a great one. The board will sign it off because it doesn’t scare them, it’s what they were expecting, it’s close to what they’ve seen before. Sound familiar? This is harder for great ideas because they are unique – there isn’t an example you can show, a blueprint you can follow. You are breaking new ground.
  3. Are you being a Sinek? – If in the words of Simon Sinek, the most successful brands build out from their purpose, their belief(s), and the ‘Why’ they operate runs through everything they do. Does the idea you have mirror your Brand’s belief, does it mirror their ‘Why’? If it doesn’t, then it might be a gold-plated-diamond of an idea but it isn’t the idea for your Brand.
  4. Does it feel right? – As flagged in a previous (excellent) postHow to come up with an idea’, the subconscious mind has a huge role to play in finding solutions. A ‘hunch’ is the result of your subconscious processing information, so if you have a feeling that one isn’t quite right, it probably isn’t. Your conscious brain just hasn’t quite pieced together why yet.
  5. Do you like it? – Finally, there are a million subjective factors that can come in to play; ‘I just can’t work with Philip Schofield again’ / ‘I don’t want to film in Weston-Super-Mare for a week’ / ‘I fricking hate lamas’ etc…AND if you just don’t want to do it, it will never be great so don’t bother starting. Choose a new route, and go again.