編輯/ sciascia @頂尖文案topys
The samurai intuition test
Listen to your instant emotional reaction to an idea. Notice what your gut says before your brain starts rationally constructing an opinion. Intuition is extremely powerful and frequently our initial gut reactions to an idea are correct – so use them. After all, a positive, emotional gut reaction to our comms is precisely what we want from our audience. The samurai believed that every decision, no matter how important, should be made within three breaths. What did you think of the idea after three breaths?
The Chinese meal test
Conversely, also pay attention to what sticks in your brain long after the meeting. Some ideas can be like a Chinese meal – filling at the time, but you’re hungry half an hour later.
Which ideas give you indigestion? Which ones won’t leave you alone? When you tell someone about the ideas, which ones do you remember most clearly? The reason why many people need to “sleep on it” after a presentation of ideas is that some distance helps you to discover which ideas refuse to be forgotten, and they are exactly the ones you want.
The irritation test
Does the idea piss you off? Do you actively dislike it? Do you feel like there’s something wrong with it? Often it’s the ideas that at first make us really uncomfortable that are the true game changers. An idea that irritates, that rubs you up the wrong way, that seems like precisely the wrong way of answering the brief can be the most powerful and successful one you’ve got.
The fore head slap test
Truly great ideas can often be a “blinding glimpse of the obvious”. A simple truth, insight or observation delivered in an interesting way is always going to be more powerful than a complicated “clever” concept. Ideas like this invariably seem too obvious at first. But if everyone in the room is thinking “Surely someone must have done this before?” or “It’s been staring us in the face all along”, then you are onto something.
The how are we going to cheat research to get this trough test
In an increasingly research-heavy industry, it can be tempting to make the top priority finding an idea that will “sail through research”. The problem is that if an idea is easy to research, then it is probably fitting an existing formula, and formulaic advertising is well… formulaic (remember that Seinfeld, Star Wars and the Beatles all bombed in research). If, however, your reaction to an idea is “How the hell are we going to test this?” then you may have your hands on something genuinely new and exciting.
The Chuck, Shag or Marry test
Creatives are a promiscuous bunch and can be guilty of falling in love with ideas that, whilst fun for a single execution, are only ever going to be that. Brand managers on the other hand can often help by looking for the long term idea. Would you take the idea home to meet the parents or is it just a one-night-stand? The best ideas should be ones that you’d be happy for your brand to be married to for years and years, not just a fling – however seductive they might seem.
The is it telling the truth or just not lying? test
Good ideas are honest and tell the truth in an unexpected and delightful way. The worst kind of marketing tells lies. In the middle, however, are all of the average ideas which, whilst not lying, often aren’t telling the truth either. Instead, they are just meaningless noise that will soon be forgotten. Remember that an ugly truth is often far more powerful than a beautiful lie. Is there an honest insight or truth at the heart of the idea? Is that truth being presented in a way that feels unexpected and surprising? If so, it could be great.
The Oh boy is Rover going to get it tonight test
Do you just like the idea or are you just envious of it? Are you intimidated by or jealous of the people that came up with it? Do you find yourself thinking “Bloody hell, I should be working for them”? Creatives talk about the “Kick the Dog” ideas – the ones that, when you hear about them, you go home and kick the dog in frustration that you didn’t come up with them. Does the idea make you think, “Man, I wish I’d come up with that”? If so, it’s probably pretty good.
The Delete of forward test
If you were sent the ad by a friend would you e-mail it to your other friends? Or would you not want to be the guy that sends round the average forwards? And if you wouldn’t forward the idea on, why should anyone else? Remember that “viral” isn’t a noun, it’s an adjective, and any truly good idea should be powerful enough to be passed around by it’s audience. If it isn’t, then it isn’t that good an idea,
The Camden market t-shirt test
Is it culture or is it just an ad? The best campaigns cross over from the world of marketing and become part of culture. Can you see the knock-off T-shirts that reference your campaign being sold at market stalls, the catchphrase being repeated in school yards or in the football stands, the conversations in bars, or the YouTube parodies? If not, then the ad is just an ad, and thus wallpaper.
The did it scare the straight man? test
If everyone in the room is comfortable with the idea, then it can’t be very good. If it doesn’t make the boss raise an eyebrow, doesn’t make your palms sweat at the prospect of presenting it on, or is too respectful of your product or brand, then it probably isn’t a good idea. The best ideas are scary, disrespectful and irreverent. They are honest about the relationship real consumers have with your brand, say something dangerous or provocative. This is what makes them famous and effective. If everyone’s comfortable, then the idea doesn’t have any edge.
The Bill Hicks was wrong test
Will your wife and kids be proud of you for making the idea happen? Will you be proud of yourself? Will you tell your friends that you’re responsible for the idea happening? If not, don’t buy it. The best ideas (marketing or not) enrich the world in some way. Does this? Bill Hicks once said that everyone who works in advertising or marketing should kill themselves as they are only making the world worse. 90% of advertising seems to prove him right. Does this idea prove him wrong?
THE FINAL TEST WOULD IT MAKE MY MOTHER PROUD?