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How to evaluate your creative idea

Assess an idea and test its robustness

Illustration by Roseanna Courtney

You have an idea. You're feeling pretty good about it. Maybe it's the best idea since sliced bread, but if you really want it to set the New Blood Awards alight, you'll need to ask some tough questions first. 

Simon Richings, Executive Creative Director at creative agency AnalogFolk, has developed innovative ideas for Volkswagen, Hasbro, Philips, Guinness and Budweiser. Here, he shares the five questions you should ask yourself to determine just how good your idea really is.

Five questions to help evaluate your ideas

1. Why is anyone going to care? 

What one thing will really make people talk about your idea and make them want to do more with it?

2. Would YOU do it? 

People aren’t all that different. If you look at your idea and think, I wouldn’t do this, I wouldn’t find this funny, or I wouldn’t interact with it, then there is something fundamentally wrong.

3. Does it do what it is supposed to do? 

Does it achieve its goals? And if it goes off-brief, does it still achieve those goals?

4. Is it right for the brand? 

Some great great ideas are completely wrong for the brand that you’re working for. Even a great idea is a bad idea if it doesn't fit the brand.

5. Is it original? 

In a way it’s the least important one – sometimes it’s ok to come up with an idea that isn’t original, but if that's the case, what are you going to do that makes it so much better than anyone elses?

6. Does it make you feel a bit sick (in a good way)? 

This one overrides all the previous questions. Also known as, 'does it make your Spidey-Sense tingle'? Sometimes an idea doesn’t work for a number of reasons, it’s slightly off-brief here and you're not sure about the brand, but there’s just something. It’s just your gut feeling. You think this is going to be awesome. And that’s probably the most important thing. You shouldn’t confuse this with a sense of ownership over the idea – that you really want your idea to work and you’re not going to let go of it. But if your idea makes you excited, it hits all the needs of the brief (just in an unexpected way) and you can't wait to get to work on bringing it to life – you're onto something. 

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