So, I worked on a big idea brief and we actually went with five. Interestingly enough, the client only wanted the one which implied absolutely NO intervention on his part on anything product-related. The recipe was once again: "can a TV commercial that you guys do help us sell more without us doing anything but complaining about production value?"
And this makes me realize that major corporations are stuck in a maze of their own making. They work so hard to establish rules and procedures and develop structures and guidelines and eventually the one thing they cannot do is change themselves. And when time comes, and change is essential, they need to look outside their own structures to make change because they have made internal change impossible. This is the difference between corporations like Unilever, and companies like Apple or Google. Unilever has invested so heavily in tangible assets that they have a hard time changing anything now. Trying to change would obliterate last year's key acquisition so you trod on, impervious to what the consumer wants because, although you know, there's nothing much you can do about it.
One other thing people in big corporations are scared of touching is THE BRAND, which means that they will not improve packaging, change format of advertising, come up with anything new for fear what has worked so far will stop working. Truth of the matter is that people are not all that attached to brands in real life and you would have to screw up repeatedly and really bad for them to actually stop buying you. Evidence of this is the numerous crap campaigns that do not affect sales vs the one time someone said they found a needle in your bottle when all sales were affected.
In marketing there are no non-movables except one, you need to have a vision for change always. And when you ask for a big idea always be prepared to do it internally before you go searching for it outside.
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.