They’ve got a great idea, it involves email, a microsite, twitter, facebook and press” said the suit excitedly. “They’re not ideas” I said in a rather disappointed fashion.
Why disappointed? Because the person was not some fresh-faced suit. This was a Senior Director and sadly it wasn’t the first time I’d heard this.
Look let’s cut to the chase, an email is not an idea, it’s a mechanic.
You wouldn’t say a blank sheet of paper was a drawing would you? So why is an email suddenly an idea?
The problem here is that we’re actually devaluing the core aspect of communications… the idea, the reason to engage and the dialogue.
And in the current climate of integration, if agencies and clients allow this thinking to continue, they’ll never realise the true value of a good integrated idea.
It’s all too easy to stick the visual from the press ad on the landing page and on the banner and on the email.
Proper integration understands how to use a mechanic to its fullest extent. Rather than throw a concept at every possible channel and hope something sticks simply due to the media spend.
Great creative in an integrated sense has an engaging scaleable idea behind it. Time is taken to get to the grips with its dynamic so that it engages in an appropriate way across every channel. The sum of the parts becomes greater than the sum of the whole.
Now I’m not denigrating the work of developers and programmers. They actually play a key role in bringing the ideas to life and making campaigns really sing. But it’s the idea that drives it. And let’s not forget that.