You’ve seen them. You’ve envied them. You’ve wondered where they come from and how you can get your hands on them. They are those absolutely simple but brilliant big ideas that lead to memorable health care campaigns. 

Read no further. (Although if you don’t, you’ll miss some good tips and tricks). I’m going to let you in on a secret.

Big ideas that lead to the kind of campaigns that generate more click-throughs, calls, filled-out forms and appointments scheduled are born in kick-ass collaborative creative concepting and brainstorming sessions.

 Creating the right atmospheric conditions

At Hailey Sault, concepting typically includes an art director, creative director and a writer (or some similar combination) retreating to a favorite space. It can be a room, a corner in a coffeehouse, or a lakeside bench—wherever and whatever helps set the mood for brilliance.

Must-haves include: 

  • A creative brief that a gifted strategist has carefully crafted to include the challenge(s) we’re up against. 
  • A persona or outline of the person we need to move the needle for with our creative. 
  • Coffee, laptops, notebooks, those large sheets of paper you can hang on the wall, markers and possibly the office dog. 

I wish I could tell you that:  

  • Concepting meetings start with the team sitting down to follow a nice, neat, linear process that ultimately leads to a eureka moment and a big idea. 
  • We can generate “blow the competition away” ideas in a matter of minutes or hours. 

But you already know that isn’t true. 

Ideas that stand out and stand up against similar campaigns are generated by a slow build up of pressure and a passion to make it rain for our clients.

Generating the perfect storm (aka “the good tips” section)

With so many channels available in today’s information-rich environment, it’s important to go into every concepting meeting thinking large and holistically. Creating the idea is still the goal, but giving the idea long legs so it can extend across channels is essential. 

Here’s what works for us:

Start by spitting it all out 

  • The obvious solutions, the bad ideas and the really bad ideas that make everyone groan.
  • What others have done in the market, genre and industry.
  • The words/visuals/designs that can be associated with the challenge or with how you want your audience to feel.

Think dangerously 

  • Start mashing diverse ideas together.
  • Can you look at the challenge in an offbeat way?
  • Is there an idea that could get you in trouble?
  • Is there an idea that will make people laugh, cry or stop scrolling?
  • Can you represent the idea visually or with one or two words?

 Know when to take a break

  • After you’ve been brainstorming for a while, you’ll probably notice you’re repeating the same idea over again. You’re just saying it differently. When that happens, stop and take a break. No matter how tight the deadline, you need to stop concepting and come back with a fresh brain.
  • Think about the problem through a new lens. Could an idea come from something totally different or completely unrelatable? Look at anything and everything through the constraints of the campaign or idea.
  • Take a shower. Lather. Think. Repeat. The best ideas always come to you in the shower. Always!

Shop your ideas around

  • Share your concepts, test them out on everyone in the office, run them past relatives and friends. 
  • If there are any glitches or hesitation on your test subjects part, revisit the brief, get together with your fellow idea generators and push it harder.

You’ve got it: just ask these last questions

You can hardly contain yourself. This is it—the big idea.

  • Does it speak directly to the persona?
  • Does it address the communication objectives, key benefits and barriers?
  • Can it be rolled out in multiple ways across all media channels?
  • Is it new or outside the box? Does it capture attention?
  • Does it have potential for expansion?
  • Will it work?
  • Can it be executed on budget?
  • Do you feel it in every fiber of your being, like you know this is it, this is good, really good?

Are you looking for big ideas that can steal the thunder in your market?

Check out some of the work that has moved the mark for our clients.