Category Archives: Great Work

Evaluating Ideas vs. Generating Ideas

When you read a case study or participate in a brainstorm, what do you do when you hear about an idea? Do you evaluate and judge the idea or do you generate new ideas based on the original idea?

In an all-agency meeting yesterday, the president of our agency, Dave Florin, posited that too often we find ourselves evaluating ideas rather than generating better and more improved ideas. Obviously we’re still generating new ideas — else our clients wouldn’t be our clients anymore — but he suggested that we could be creating even more ideas. It gave me pause, but when I thought about it, that is what happens.

There are countless articles that I’ve read that I’ve judged as really smart ideas or really lousy ideas. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it seems that more often than not I’m reading about or listening to ideas that I evaluate and judge at face value and then move on to the next idea. Instead, I need to spend more time generating a new and improved idea based on the original idea.

Clients hire us to come up with bright and inventive ideas. As such, we need to make sure that we don’t just stop at evaluating ideas, but figuring out what can make existing ideas better. I hypothesize that with almost every article we read and every brainstorm we participate in that we can glean at least one takeaway to improve upon the original idea or use that takeaway to seed a completely new idea.

At the end of the agency meeting we were challenged to ask ourselves the same question every day: “Did I positively impact the creation of a marketable idea today?” As long as we can answer “Yes!” to that question every day, we know that we’re on track to producing great work.

What about you? Do you find yourself evaluating ideas more often than generating ideas? Do you think it’s possible to turn every single idea into a better idea?



Ford Mustang Capitalizes on the 2012 Swimsuit Edition with Clever Ad

Ford’s strategically framed ad that appears in this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition has been getting a lot of buzz. In an issue dedicated to showcasing beautiful, bikini-clad women, Ford’s ad included a swimsuit model, too. As you can see in the ad below, the car takes the spotlight and the model is only partially shown.


Often times, the models that appear in the Swimsuit Edition are unknown beauties with obscure names. “Readers” of the issue — largely a middle-aged male audience and also the obvious target audience for Ford Mustang — will often Google the models after the issue comes out to view more eye candy. After the issue debuted on Tuesday, the ad introduced the 2013 Mustang and swimsuit model Dalena Henriques. They smartly anticipated that those who came across the ad in the issue would also want to see more photos (at least a headshot) of the mysterious Dalena Henriques. The top result of the search leads to, where visitors are given more eye candy…just maybe not the kind they’re looking for.

What’s the best way to dominate the search results? Make up a search term that previously didn’t exist. After visiting Dalena’s “portfolio” page above, you can guess that Dalena Henriques isn’t real. In less than 48 hours, there are already 16,100 results for “dalena henriques.” 16,099 media hits in less than two days and expanding engagement beyond just a single ad? Not bad…