We have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about and discussing what goes into developing “Big Ideas”.  Ideas that are so powerful that they make the crowd leap from their seats and chant your name.  Or at least erupt in laughter.

So I guess to begin we should define what constitutes a Big Idea.  If, like me, you are a fan of the great minds of advertising that paved the way for the rest of us, then you know the name David Ogilvy.  Ogilvy has been referred to as the Father Of Advertising and branded products that would read as the what’s what of modern culture.

The desire is to invent “The Big Idea” that attracts attention. So, what constitutes a “Big Idea”?  Well, according to the Master, if your idea can hold up to these five questions, you are on your way.

  1. Did it make me gasp when I first saw it?
  2. Do I wish I had thought of it myself?
  3. Is it unique?
  4. Does it fit the strategy to perfection?
  5. Could it be used for 30 years?

So the question is how do we develop Big Ideas?  That’s easy:

Be Smart

Be Creative

Don’t be Uncreative.


But for the rest of us…it isn’t always that easy.  Sometimes inspiration materializes in a flash; but most of the time great ideas come from Quantity of Exposure.  Quantity of Exposure can be defined as the experience of different ideas that trick your brain in seeing a product from a different angle.

If you are able to turn the product for which you are developing an idea on its side and twist it all around, you have the opportunity to see it with fresh eyes.  I call this the process of getting out of your own way. 

The next time you are brainstorming an idea, try seeing the product from the viewpoint of a man if you are a woman or take on the perspective of a dog or a tree or an ant that ate too much.  Just do something to get out of your own way and allow the creative process to explode.

It’s now, without divine intervention, that you will develop a Big Idea.

Or you can just be really creative.  It’s your choice.