What is a Creative Concept?
A creative concept is an overarching “Big Idea” that captures audience interest, influences their emotional response and inspires them to take action. Typically, the creative concept is embodied in a headline, tagline and a key visual. Successful creative concepts are distinctive, memorable, unifying and relevant. Some examples include: Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, the “Got Milk?” campaign and the Red Ribbon Campaign.
Creative concepts are based on the communication strategy and creative brief. This ensures that concepts are informed by a strong understanding of the situation, the audience, the channels that will be used, the objectives the campaign seeks to reach and the benefits the audience will respond to. The creative team develops multiple creative concepts based on this information and then concept tests them to determine which one resonates best with the audience.
Why Develop a Creative Concept?
In today’s busy and constantly changing communication environment, social and behavior change communication (SBCC) must be creative and strategic to compete with commercial advertising and capture the audience’s attention. The creative concept shapes the core of the SBCC campaign, which helps create consistency across messages and materials. Developing creative concepts is also important because it allows the team to:
Test which benefit is most appealing to the audience
See how the campaign will work (or not) across multiple media channels
Identify an idea that ties the whole campaign together
Reach the audience more effectively by finding ‘big ideas’ that resonate with them
When Should the Creative Concept Be Developed?
The creative brief marks the beginning of the creative process and acts as a “creative contract” agreed upon by all partners. The creative brief provides a road map for developing the creative concepts. Materials and activities are developed based on the winning creative concept.