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The original concept of ‘The big ideaL’ came from Robyn Putter, a creative leader at Ogilvy. We first heard it from him in 2006 when we were discussing our views on brands and business in the Twelve Apostles hotel, Cape Town.
When we considered the statement it definitely stacked up. For example in the case of Coke, which began to restate its belief in positivity and optimism with the ‘Toma lo Bueno’ campaign in Latin America.
The Louis Vuitton brand has done very well at a tough time for many luxury brands, supported by a big ideaL that celebrates travel and its role in our lives.
In a world where travel has been de-glamourised, Louis Vuitton has elevated it.
Not just through the eyes of world leaders, but of leaders in various fields.
As originally expressed in a much cleaner design than its cluttered competition.
This is one dictionary definition of an ideal.
Modern brand leaders are less about bullying and more about rallying.
As we worked with the concept we found that a brand’s ‘big ideal’ could often be summarised in this phrase.
To substantiate the big ideaL theory we carried out our own research through Added Value. This showed a correlation between a brand’s consideration and the extent to which it was seen as having a point of view.
Using our own research we were able to calculate a ‘POV rating’ for brands covered on WPP’s enormous BrandZ syndicated global research study. This shows a high correlation between the extent to which brands are seen as having a point of view, and the strength of their ‘voltage’ which is a measure of their dynamism and propensity to increase market share.
The days of marketing as a veneer are over. Strong organisations and brands have to align internally and externally.
The communications world is changing fast and throws up many opportunities. Brands feel a tension between authenticity and innovation.
Brands and companies with strong big ideaLs are better positioned to deal with this climate.
A big ideal is a broad direction, not a narrow one, and one that should be the basis for a lots of good ideas, big and small, over time.
In conclusion, the big ideal is not a silver bullet. It won’t on its own guarantee great success or great work: it needs to be complemented with great insights, great products, great briefs, great ideas, great behavior, great execution. But a good big ideaL can form a simple and powerful direction through which a brand can build leadership…which makes it a pretty useful asset.
What's the big ideaL?
What’s The big ideaL™
2 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
“Many of the greatest brands are built
not just on ideas, but on ideals.”
Robyn Putter, Cape Town, 2006.
3 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
Coke believes the world would be a better place if we
saw the glass as half full, not half empty.
…believes life would be better if we
lived it as an exceptional journey.
American Express believes the world would
be a better place if more of the untapped
potential within it were set free.
9 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
Shangri-La believes the world would be a better place if
everyone treated each other like family.
10 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
Google believes the world would be a better place if the
information in it was better organized.
11 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
An ideal is: ‘a conception of something in its perfection.’
12 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
In other words, a point of view how the world
(or some part of it) should be.
For a brand, a powerful point of view
can project leadership.
13 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
[Brand XXXX…..] believes the world* would
be a better place if…
* Or Mexico , China, New York etc.
Often this ‘big ideaL’ can be captured
in a short phrase…
14 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
A simple phrase, but hard to get exactly right.
15 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
Because a successful ‘big ideaL’ should unite a variety
of connected but disparate groups: employees,
stakeholders, business partners, consumers.
16 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
The strongest big ideaLs tap into two things.
17 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
Louis Vuitton believes life would be better if
we lived it as an exceptional journey.
romance of travel
The pressures of
mass travel have
turned the once
18 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
Scrabble believes the world would be better
if we rediscovered the magic of words.
Turns words Into
fun occasions with
family and friends.
Words are in great
danger today –
but vital to
enjoying our world.
19 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
But do they work?
20 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
“As reliable and sturdy as one of its own handbags, therefore, Vuitton is carrying
LVMH fairly comfortably through the recession. In the first half of 2009 the
group’s revenues were about the same as a year before, though profits were
12% lower. two divisions – wine and spirits, and watches and jewellery – were
the worst affected: their revenues each fell by 17% and their profits by 41% and
73% respectively (see chart 2). rapid de-stocking by retailers exacerbated the
effect of falling demand. but the falls were offset by Vuitton, where revenue rose
by a double-digit percentage, registering gains in every market. “it is incredible
that in a downturn the consumer still buys so many Louis Vuitton bags, but she
or he does,” says Melanie Flouquet, luxury-goods analyst at JPMorgan in Paris.”
– The Economist, 17.9.09
21 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
Brands with points of view have higher
Source: Ogilvy/Added Value Research
22 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
1 2 3 4 5
…and are pleasingly dynamic.
Source: Millward Brown/WPP BrandZ
24 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
“Authenticity now lies at the heart of every
CMO'S job. do everything in your power for
your company, its brands and its offerings to
be true to what you say they are.”
(Source: “Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want,” Harvard Business School Press)
“CEO’s feel that communicating their
company’s values has become more
complex at the exact time that it has
become absolutely essential.”
(Source: “The Authentic Enterprise,” Arthur Page Society)
25 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
But the communications environment is
complex and fluid.
26 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
A good big ideaL helps brands
to project their authenticity in a
complex communications world.
27 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
It does not have to feel monolithic, but can be a platform for
ideas of various shapes and sizes.
28 Confidential to Ogilvy & Mather
It’s not a magic formula for
every brand and every
(Thankfully, that doesn’t exist.)
But it can be a powerful
platform for great ideas and a
inside and outside an