Father Christmas. Vampires. Pixies at the bottom of the garden. Once upon a time these were all real. Definitely not figments of a childish imagination. No one on the face of this beautiful big blue planet could persuade me otherwise. I’m sure you’ve got your own favourite, intensely believable characters that at some time or another played a significant role in your life.

Palpable. Visceral. Utterly under-the-bed real.

As adults, (hopefully) most of us now realise these were all wonderful imaginings. Inventions. Fabrics of our minds and nothing more. Nowadays they no longer exist. We’ve moved on. Changed our minds. Grown up. Know better. None of these hold any power or significance because we no longer believe in them.

The same can be said about any idea that fuels your next campaign.

So long as everyone believes in it, it’s real. It lives. It almost takes on an existence unto itself, spawning new iterations, variants, derivatives. The idea breathes life into a campaign, and the campaign provides life to the idea. A symbiotic symphony.

Be careful then, when nurturing a new fledgling of an idea. Picture that poor, helpless, featherless bird from a David Attenborough documentary and you’ve got the exact vision of an infant idea. Awkward. Clumsy. But somehow exactly what’s needed to make a campaign soar. The job of any marketing and creative team at this stage is to nourish the idea. This is best achieved by talking about it. Not just in boardrooms. But over a sandwich. Whilst walking to the next meeting. Best of all? When taking a morning shower. At precisely the moment you shouldn’t be thinking about it, give it a ponder. A kick. A prod. And then allow yourself the moment to think ‘what if…’. Explore the potential of the idea. Where does it take you? How does it make you feel?

Then. Share this with your team. Do they feel the same? Have they had similar thoughts? Is this something that can really work? If you’re all leaning towards a yes. However precarious this is, much like our naked, freshly born bird, it will start to take steps towards becoming something real.

When you all start to really believe in it – hold on – it’s time for takeoff. Be it a soaring eagle or a boisterously big ostrich of an idea – hold on as this thing will run and take flight.

What you collectively imagined has suddenly become this real, tangible visceral entity. A campaign that will touch, move, evoke and excite an audience so much, they too will be convinced it is real.

And it is. So long as you all believe in it. It’s as real as the Easter Bunny and Freddy Krueger. As real as Coca Cola, IBM and Mercedes.



David Flanagan, Director of Content & Strategy, P2

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