Walking away from a good idea is difficult, but it’s often just as important as creating one in the process of making a concept come to life.
The agitation that flows from a poorly conceived idea can be endless…I recently told myself that I’d create a relevant and inventive post about the backlash issues regarding the Kony 2012 campaign. A week later I’m deleting drafts, accepting that I simply won’t be writing on that topic.
I had overindulged in information about the foundation, and even reached a point where I was researching tax law and angered with each new Google alert, convinced that everyone had somehow found out my idea and stolen it. This was the nod I needed that my idea was no different than any other marketing blogger and I needed to reevaluate.
Walking away from an idea is difficult. I had created a state of personal angst that I couldn’t complete a project I had assigned myself. I found myself wishing someone had said to me that it was a poor choice, that it would simply be washed away with the flood of other bloggers pouring out similar ideas. Yet even then, if warned, would I have walked away from my own idea?
Learning to accept that what you had conceived is not the best, packing up the side notes, and saying goodbye can be one of the hardest things to do as a marketer. If you’re anything like me, there are at times, periods of grandeur where you can’t imagine the idea failing. It’s a great mark of confidence but an immediate set up for failure since you’re already convinced the concept will be hallowed by critics for ages, turning your small proposal into a best selling novel, and eventually leveraged for a high budget film.
…The Great Gatsby started out as a print ad, right?
On a personal level, this is why a team atmosphere is extremely important. We have that here at Star…a creative establishment where people can build elements, make suggestions, and when needed, nullify a long-standing idea that just isn’t going anywhere. Professionally, even in the branding process, we may divert to a line of thinking much different from where we started. At the heart of it, getting rid of ideas can be just as important in the process of making a great concept come to life.
Ultimately, I found a way to express exactly what I had aimed to say about the Kony 2012 campaign. Not every idea can be the best, and if you can’t foresee multiple outcomes other than success for your work, you should look closer before you launch. When you have skeletons in the closet, at the very least, contemplate cleaning them up. When the negative aspects of your campaign become newsworthy there is often no one to blame but yourself. It may be time for people to start considering an advertising factor similar to karma. Never expect that even the tiniest pebble can’t cause the largest wave.