Quite a while back, I was lucky enough to stumble on a ticket to one of Kansas City’s Art and Copy Club events. The experience stuck with me, because the speaker was advertising icon Stefan Mumaw, and he was there to talk about making Monster Ideas.
Not monster as in horror-scary, but monster as in transcendent advertising ideas. Ideas that make consumers connect to brands and clients and agencies say, “Damn, I wish I’d thought of that.”
First, it’s clear that Stefan is a story teller – a presenter extraordinaire and someone who’s passionate about the state of advertising. I agree with his thought that now is the best time to be in advertising. Why? Because our ideas are not limited by methods of distribution or other traditional marketing communication constraints. Things have changed a bit from the days of Mad Men, and I’m not just talking about three-martini lunches.
There was a time when advertising was as simple as presenting a product to an audience, and advertisers limited the information they released. Stranger still, if consumers wanted to know about a new laundry detergent they had to wait to see it in the usual places: newspapers, magazines billboards, TV.
Today, nothing is simple. Consumers have the ability to put more information at their fingertips and to pass judgment on it immediately. The new consumer responds more favorably to an emotional bond with their products – and those bonds are best made by Monster Ideas.
What makes an idea Monster? Stefan lists these seven great check points.
1. Emotion – does it make an emotional connection?
2. Experiential – can you make the “rules” conform to you?
3. Entertaining – does the communication make me want to watch or share it?
4. Novel – has this been done before?
5. Authentic -don’t pretend to be something you’re not.
6. Story – humans love stories, why do you think movies do so well? Does your idea allow people to immerse themselves in the story?
7. Scary – there is always a leap of faith with truly Monster ideas. There won’t be examples to show, or data to cross reference, to comfort your queasy stomach.
Stefan had plenty of examples of his thinking, including Toyota’s Swagger Wagon, Domino’s delivery and the iconic Halo 3 Believe campaign. From them and many others, I encourage you as he encouraged the Art and Copy Club crowd, “Don’t go chasing dogs, chase monsters.”
What examples of Monster Ideas have you seen?
Shaun Crockett is an art director and builder, in AdFarm’s Kansas City office. He is compared (kindly) to Stephen Holder, from AMC’s The Killing.