The Power of “Idea First” Advertising




How do you go about making an ad?


For some advertisers, they head directly to the drawing board in their respective craft (i.e. TV, radio, print, etc.). Others take the time to brainstorm about the message they want to portray.

Our President, Ellis Verdi, describes these two methods as the ‘Digital First’ and the ‘Idea First’ philosophies of an advertiser.

He says,


“‘Digital First’ assumes that everything has to work in digital as a starting point. ‘Digital First’ has practical benefits relating to the fact that it’s the medium of choice these days– but like any media-centric directive (TV, radio, print etc.) it is an old and limited way of thinking.

It assumes that the media choice does all or a majority of the work. It forces video, for example, to be constructed so that it can be chopped up into different lengths, which usually means there isn’t much of an idea in the first place.

It doesn’t choose the medium to help promote the message–some ideas are just perfect for some media. In fact, an idea that works perfectly for one medium but doesn’t seem to work as well in another usually means that the creative and media are working together at a much higher level of effectiveness.

However, an ‘Idea First’ philosophy claims that a great idea can exist and will reside in the best media for that idea to be successful. An ‘Idea First’ approach is often based on incorporating media choices that support the idea – few great ideas coexist without a media thought.

‘Idea First’ will always win and it’s a matter of time before the ‘Digital First’ crowd learns that they are thinking like old media…and no better than just pushing to do a print ad.”

So before you head to the drawing board for your next project, don’t feel afraid to discuss your ideas with others – after all, a successful campaign isn’t made by the efforts of a few.

Success is made from hours of work, dedication, and teamwork.

DeVito/Verdi is recognized as a top New York Branding Company on DesignRush.