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Our industry's obsessed with ideas. Here's why.

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Idea. It’s a word we hear a lot. Idea this, idea that. Big idea, core idea, great idea, creative idea. Whatever they call it, whatever they mean by the word, our industry's obsessed with 'ideas'. But what actually is an idea? And how the hell do you know if it’s any good?

Well fundamentally, at its most basic level, an idea is a expression of a truth – a specific, meaningful, cut-through truth about a brand, product, service, experience, whatever. That expression can be literal, it can be surprising, it can be intriguing. It’s always clever.

Every year, agencies, clients, individuals create thousands of ideas. Here are six of the most immediate we've found on our travels around the industry...

The Truth

People with eating disorders don’t see themselves properly.

The Idea

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The Truth:

ALS kills slowly. Bit by bit.

The Idea:

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The Truth:

Thatcher – you loved her or loathed her.

The Idea:

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The Truth:

The street is some children’s only bedroom.

The Idea:

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The Truth:

Successful people read the economist.

The Idea:

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The Truth:

You don’t have to be smart to succeed. If you have great tits.

The idea:

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Wildly different subjects, audiences, executions, truths.

But good ideas all have one common outcome: you feel something. Elation, sadness, fear, disgust, anger, heartache, longing, shock, intrigue, nausea, melancholy, butterflies, goosebumps, or just pure, unadulterated, heart-bursting joy. And that feeling – whatever it is – makes the work work.

Idea makes an advert more than a reason to buy; it makes it a persuasion. It makes a brand more than a logo or a strapline; it makes it a meaningful entity people can connect with. 

Idea makes John Lewis more than just a shop. Coke more than just a soft drink. Guinness more than stout. Carlsberg more than lager. And Marmite something we don’t not-mind.

Idea is the most powerful thing we have.

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