When developing concepts for video, whether Web or TV, or even radio, people have a natural tendency to jump to ideas for creative executions. What if we do this or that? Wouldn’t this be funny? How cool would it be if we (fill in the blank)?
This is almost always a bad idea. After you come up with ideas, how will you know which if any are acceptable? What criteria will you use to judge the ideas?
At VideoWise Group, we are very strategic with the creative process. Long before we think about specific ideas, we do the research necessary to know where we are and where we want to go.
The first step is to complete a Creative Work Plan (CWP). Here are sample questions from our CWP:
- What are the circumstances that generated this project?
- What are the desired measurable results from the project?
- Who is the target audience?
- What specific action do we want the audience to take?
- Who is the competition?
- What differentiates this product/service from the competition?
- What is the target audience’s current perception of the product/service?
- What is the desired perception?
- What is the promise?
- What are the reasons why the promise is true?
When the Creative Work Plan is completed, we have a document that is for internal use only and that captures the essence of the project. It gets us and the client on the same page BEFORE beginning the process of developing creative concepts. With the CWP in hand we can judge the creative concepts from a common set of principals.
For some projects, generally larger budget TV or radio productions, we conduct primary and secondary research to further understand how our client’s brand and products are perceived by the marketplace.
Now, finally, the “fun” part begins when we develop lots of ideas and then judge those ideas on how well they fulfill the strategic requirements laid out in the CWP.
Here’s a real-world example of ideas we generated for a TV commercial campaign for CareView Connect (CVC). The product is intended for use by adult children to help their aging parents live safer, healthier lives while remaining in their homes, as opposed to moving into an assisted care facility.
Idea 1 – The Sandwich Generation – Alpha daughter describes how she is sandwiched between her elderly mom and her own family (husband/kids). The visual is of her making a sandwich in her kitchen while describing how she is sandwiched between her mom and her family and how CVC helps her.
Idea 2 – Mom’s At Home – The elderly mom talks about how CVC allowed her to stay in her home, so now it’s her job to check on her kids.
Idea 3 – Don’t Wait For Me To Tell You – A montage of seniors talking about how they were too proud or embarased to tell their kids what was really going on.
Idea 4 – The Silent Generation – Their hard work made our lives possible, now we’re giving back by helping them keep their independence with CVC.
These are just four of the approximately 20 ideas generated. 10 of the ideas were presented to the client, who chose the concept called “Kids”. The finished TV spot is shown below.
If you’d like a copy of our Creative Work Plan, please contact us and we’ll send you the template. We would, of course, also be happy to help you work out your next creative campaign.