The power of an idea – beyond the channel-first world

Message adaptation and an idea concept are completely different disciplines.
The reality is that most marketers live in a channel-first world.

Often when a brief comes in from the client into the agency, the brief already has a set of media recommendations with budget allocated around each media set. The power of an idea in this regard is lessened as certain restrictions are already set in place before the agency can even come up with the big idea.

This is not only from a clients’ perspective, but from the advertising agency’s perspective as well. It is common for agencies to first recommend a big TV concept where everything else will be adapted off the TV commercial thereafter.



The human truth is that consumers do not see channels like we do. Consumers do not see different channel categories and may struggle to see how the communication has been suited to adapt to each medium. Consumers’ lives are multi faceted, dynamic and they are faced with so much media clutter that they will only take in what is relevant to them at a particular time of the day. Which means if they have not been exposed to your TV commercial for example and are exposed to an adapt of it on a print material, they might not understand the communication as they might get confused and may struggle to connect the dots.

However, there are statistics to show that certain media types may drive more awareness, engagement and so forth.
Although what we need to consider is whether we are driving relevance through each particular medium and not just the reach alone. If there is no relevance then regardless of how well the medium may deliver on certain aspects, your consumers will not connect with it. For example a medium which has high levels of engagement, does not guarantee that consumers will engage with your message if you have not made the messaging relevant to them.

This makes it more important to come up with the big brand idea before even considering channels. The big idea will provide that consistency in messaging as an idea can live across multiple platforms but still have the same sentiments and core message.

What does this mean? This means that coming with the big idea first not only gives you consistency in messaging across multiple channels, but most importantly eliminates the tendency for creativity to be merely a simple adapt or application of a piece of communication that was first devel

oped in another media platform.
Message adaptation and an idea concept are completely different disciplines. Message adaptation means you are applying the same message across multiple platforms, where the actual message may or may not be relevant to the specific medium it’s been adapted to. Whereas an idea can have the same sentiment across multiple mediums but the message may change to be relevant to that particular medium whilst driving the same idea or concept across.

Let’s be idea driven and not live in a channel-first world as our consumers’ world, lives beyond just specific media channels but rather multiple channel consumption. Which drives different stimuli in their lives depending on their particular activity or period in their day.

Article by Candice Simon
TrendER Insights’ Editor & Trend Analyst
Candice Simon_Trender insights

About the author

Founder and Trend Analyst at TrendER Insights. Mogorosi's passion lies in unearthing consumer insights that will help brands build more meaningful relationships with their consumers. Email:

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