3 Essential Components of a Creative Brainstorm


As one of MCCI’s fearless leaders says, “no idea is a bad idea.” Usually, it’s one of those bad ideas that turns into the one idea a client likes. 

Our agency is lucky to have a plethora of creative minds within our office walls: some who have worked for some of the best advertising agencies in the world; some who have been on-air voice talent and voiceovers; and others are storytellers by nature and hard-hitting videographers by trade.

What happens when you get these creatives in one room? Creative brainstorm time.

I’ve had the honor to host a few brainstorms for prospective and current clients, and it’s one of my favorite things to do on the job. There’s something magical (and maybe it’s the wannabe advertising creative director Don Draper in me) when you find the “Big Idea.”

My college professor Frank Blossom always referred back to the “Big Idea” as the focal point of your communication or campaign. The “Big Idea” should be no longer than three to four words, it should be interwoven into all advertising and marketing developed and resonate with your target audiences. Strong, consistent key messaging is something marketers should always utilize as a means to convey a company’s “Big Ideas”.

Brainstorms are where “Big Ideas” are born. Here are the three essential components of a creative brainstorm:

  1. Start with a fun icebreaker. Recently we held a brainstorm for an automotive client’s editorial calendar for 2018. We began the session going around the room and discussing the last thing we read online. It got us in the mindset of journalists immediately. Some examples? “Read the NCAAF AP Top 25 rankings,” “What your music taste says about your personality,” and “Weather trends in the Florida area.”
  2. Give participants a good background. It’s your responsibility as a creative brainstorm facilitator to give participants all the information they need (even a few days prior) so they have a chance to understand what the client wants and needs. Information could include links to websites/webpages pertinent to the discussion, past creative elements, any brief on how the deliverables performed and target audience data.
  3. Provide effective visuals. If you have a client or competitor’s commercial on-hand, show it to the group. Old billboard creative? Pass it around. A brief PowerPoint to serve as an agenda? Share it on screen. Keeping the interaction going around the table is vital to ensure you get ideas going. However, you don’t want to bog down a creative brainstormer’s mindset with the same ol’ idea. Examples are great, but idea sharing is even better!

How do you find your customer’s “Big Ideas”? Tell us in the comment section below!