Tuesday, 3 May 2011

What's the Big Idea?

Sometime in the 90s, possibility not for the first time and probably not for the last time, "advertising" became a dirty word. We felt it particularly strongly at Saatchi in those days as the out-of-love suffix was wrenched away from our letterheads, our telephonist's lips, our pencils.

We were no longer "Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising". We were "Saatchi & Saatchi - The Ideas Company". Nothing wrong with that - we were all quite cock-a-hoop about being an Ideas Business in an Ideas Economy. When I went freelance, I toyed for some time with the name "Ideas for Sale" before settling on "Secret Agency."

But I recently found the website of The Joined-Up Company which reminded me that ideas are not ideas are not ideas. And, it may be worth saying that there are some of these idea genres where The-agencies-formerly-known-as-advertising do have a more natural talent than others:

Business Idea - it's about beliefs, structure, objectives: what makes the business profitable?
Brand Idea - classic long-term meaning and mission
Communications Idea - how media in the broadest sense are used to keep the brand strong and the business profitable - and, not to forget...
Creative Idea

I was also going to mention Advertising Idea. But that may simply be a Bad Idea.

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