Guides, posts, books and Hacks/How to articles we think they are worth sharing.

Collections of curated courses for anyone who is interested in scaling up their business.

Collection of great resources that’ll improve your digital marketing and grow your business.

Powerful tools help you explore more about digital marketing world.

Generating Unlimited Ideas: A Guide to the Ideation Process

A lot of light bulbs with many shapes inside each one represent different ideas
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    In the intangible process (where everyone asks you to be creative and think outside the box), ideas and creative visions have distinct yet interconnected roles in shaping human experiences. It is in this mental space that writers, artists, and thinkers manage to craft stories, concepts, and emotions with imagination as the driving force behind the articulation of complex ideas. 

    Any concept on the planet has already been defined and reconstructed in more ways than one. But, how can you create something new? 

    In order to do this, here is a comprehensive framework that can help you when thinking about creating any campaign.

    What You (or Your Client) Wants to Say

    When you create a campaign, the most important part is your ‘Message’ – that’s like the main idea you want to share or your client wants you to share, if you’re working in a digital marketing agency. 

    Before you start writing or typing, ask yourself this question.

    What do you or your client really want to say? That’s your message.

    For example, if you’re talking about how smoking is bad for health, then that is your message. 

    But, you don’t have to only talk about health problems. You could make different messages for each problem, like how smoking can hurt your lungs, make your teeth unhealthy, age your skin, or harm your eyes. Each of these is a different message, like different pieces of the puzzle.

    Another example could be about fashion and the new trend of using sustainable (or recycled) materials for clothes, your message could be how these materials are good for the environment. But, you can also talk about how sustainable fashion saves money in the long run, encourages mindful consumption, raises awareness on carbon footprints, and how the clothes remain of high quality. 

    By crafting a message that aligns closely with specific concerns, your campaign becomes more relevant and impactful to various audience segments.

    Pro Tip: Your message shouldn’t be too broad; it should be like using a magnifying glass to look closely at one part of a bigger topic.

    The next stage is about coming up with ideas that deliver your message. 

    How You Want to Deliver Your Message

    After we’ve decided on your message – what we want to tell people – we need to think about how we’re going to share and deliver that message. This is where we get creative and start shaping our thoughts into something real.

    To help you with establishing your ideas, you can use the World of Things and the World of Thoughts as a source of reference. 

    The ideologies of the “World of Things” and the “World of Thoughts” can significantly enhance the process of forming and promoting any campaigns or ideas you want to deliver.

    The World of Things

    It is an ideology that represents all tangible constructs of the concept you can use any of your 5 senses to witness. So anything you can touch, see, hear, smell, or taste you can list it as the world of things. 

    Let’s give you an example, smoking cigarettes and how to apply the World of Things. You can list all of the “things” that revolve around the concept of smoking cigarettes, which we will refer to as the “World of Things”. 

    With smoking cigarettes, the World of Things could be cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, smoke, cigarette packs, matches, and smoking areas, but it could also be

    • Smoke Rings: Visible patterns created when a smoker blows out smoke skillfully.
    • Filter Tips: The part of the cigarette that filters the smoke, often left as a butt after smoking
    • Nicotine Stains: Yellowish stains on fingers or teeth from long-term smoking
    • Spent Matches: Used matches often found alongside ashtrays
    • Cigarette Cases: Decorative cases to hold cigarettes, often a personal style statement.

    Breathe Out Sound: The sound made when a smoker exhales smoke.

    The World of Thoughts

    It refers to an ideology that represents the intangible, mental associations and ideas related to a concept. This ideology is not about what can be physically sensed, but rather what is thought, felt emotionally, or conceived in the mind. 

    Continuing with the smoking cigarettes example, the “World of Thoughts” could include:

    • Health Concerns: Thoughts about the health risks associated with smoking, like lung cancer or heart disease.
    • Addiction: The concept of nicotine addiction and the challenges of quitting smoking.
    • Social Aspects: Perceptions of smoking in social contexts, whether as a social activity or a socially frowned-upon habit.
    • Regulations and Laws: Thoughts about legal restrictions, anti-smoking campaigns, and public health policies.
    • Cultural Images: How smoking is portrayed in media and culture, such as the image of a “rebel” or a “sophisticate” associated with smoking.
    • Personal Memories: Individual memories or experiences related to smoking, like recalling a relative who smoked or a personal attempt to quit smoking.

    Let’s show you a visual example of how using the World of Things and the World of Thoughts can help create a campaign on how smoking is bad for your health.

    This approach to understanding concepts helps in grasping the full spectrum of a topic, combining the tangible, sensory elements with the intangible, cognitive aspects.

    Now to create your ideas, you should mix some of these thoughts and things in a new and exciting way. This mix is how you turn your message into a great idea that people can see and understand.

    This tailored approach means each campaign carries its unique fingerprint, addressing different facets of an issue.

    Once you know what you want to say (message)
    and how you want to deliver your message (idea),
    it’s time to consider the implementation of these ideas, which are
    visuals, text on/with visuals, and captions.

    Enhancing Messages with Visuals

    Visual elements like colors, fonts, layouts, images, and videos are powerful tools to capture the attention of your audience and enhance the impact of your campaign. You can use visual elements to implement your ideas in an appealing way and make your message more shareable by conveying complex ideas. 

    Let’s demonstrate how integrating visuals helps with your message and your ideas, thus powering up your campaign with the examples above. 

    Message: “Reading Enhances Imagination and Knowledge”

    Idea: “Books: Your Doorway to Unseen Worlds” 

    If your message is that reading enhances imagination and knowledge, then you can deliver this message in the form of the idea that books are your doorway to unseen worlds. To apply this idea, you’d need powerful visuals like an image of a book with a doorway across its pages. The image emphasizes how books can enhance your imagination and transport you to other worlds, which is demonstrated by the comparison to an open doorway. 

    A Book That Served As A Doorway To Another World To Highlight The Message In The Form Of Visuals
    Combining the concept of imaginative exploration (thought) with the physical presence of books (things), this idea positions reading as a journey to new experiences.

    In the Colgate campaign, a billboard shows a mouth of pearly whites and a tube of Colgate that is being put on a tooth and is highlighted with a spotlight. The message of the billboard is that Colgate whitens teeth, which is emphasized by the spotlight. The campaign was self-explanatory and there was no need for any text on visual.

    A Billboard That Shows A Woman Smiling With Red Lipstick And A Full Set Of White Teeth With A Tube Of Toothpaste That Is Squirting Light On One Front Tooth

    In this clever Nyquil ad series, each ad begins with someone looking like they’re asking their boss for a day off because they’re sick. But then, the ad shows a funny twist: they’re actually talking to their kids or family. This happens in different ads for both moms and dads, making it clear that Nyquil is the go-to choice for parents who are too busy to take a regular sick day. The main idea is simple: when these parents feel unwell, they rely on Nyquil Severe, as they can’t just take a day off.

    Please login for access. Login

    This is a great example of electrifying visuals that implement the idea of Nyquil’s effectiveness and is helpful to everyone, even busy parents. 

    Adding Text on/with Visuals For Clarity

    Any text on or with the visual element that you add will supplement your meaning or add more clarity to your message/idea. Effective text on or with visuals not only enhances readability but also contributes to the story you are telling on a visual level. 

    A great example of using powerful text on visuals to emphasize your message was the World Wildlife Fund advertising campaign with the message “Save Paper, Save the Planet”. The advertisement was created by Saatchi and Saatchi, a worldwide advertising agency. 

    The ad campaign combined paper (thing) and saving the environment (thought) as a way to emphasize the frugal use of paper towels will help “save” the planet.

    Any Text On Or With The Visual Element That You Add Will Supplement Your Meaning Or Add More Clarity To Your Message/Idea. Effective Text On Or With Visuals Not Only Enhances Readability But Also Contributes To The Story You Are Telling On A Visual Level. 
A Great Example Of Using Powerful Text On Visuals To Emphasize Your Message Was The World Wildlife Fund Advertising Campaign With The Message “Save Paper, Save The Planet”. The Advertisement Was Created By Saatchi And Saatchi, A Worldwide Advertising Agency. 
The Ad Campaign Combined Paper (Thing) And Saving The Environment (Thought) As A Way To Emphasize The Frugal Use Of Paper Towels Will Help “Save” The Planet.
    Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Copenhagen, Denmark

    In another instance, the Quebec Automobile Insurance Society developed an advertisement that highlighted the importance of wearing a seatbelt. The image presented an individual wearing a t-shirt that displayed the year of birth and the year of death, similar to that of a gravestone. However, wearing the seatbelt covers the year of death, emphasizing that a seatbelt keeps people alive. 

    The text on the visual was simply “Buckle up, stay alive.” in capital letters, which was simple and easy to understand. 

    A Person Wearing A T-Shirt That Displays A Birth Year And A Death Year With The Death Year Covered By A Seatbelt To Emphasize The Message Through Visuals
    Integrating the seatbelt (thing) and safety (thought) into its campaign, the message was clear that using a seatbelt keeps you safe. 

    Now, let’s show you how text on visuals is able to differentiate the message of two different campaigns and how texts on visuals provide clarity for different audiences.

    The Volkswagen campaign was reflected by puzzle pieces that could fit two different pieces with a text on the visual that says “Don’t rely on something just because it fits.” This campaign focused on demonstrating that original Volkswagen parts as the right puzzle pieces that are reliable while unoriginal parts which are the wrong puzzle pieces are not safe to use. 

    In contrast, Mercedes’ campaign with the message of how conducting unofficial service could serve as a risk for the automobile. By using two different elements, the contrast highlights the message that unofficial service could hurt cars, as opposed to official Mercedes service. 

    Using Elaboration for More Details

    Elaboration explains the message/idea in a more comprehensive manner, like a video script or social media captions. Well-crafted elaboration provides context, allowing others to delve deeper into your message. It’s the final touch that completes the creation process, ensuring that the message is not only heard but remembered.

    Elaboration and text on/with visuals might sound similar. However, they are two different concepts. Text on/with visuals adds clarity or extra emphasis on the main message/idea while captions provide a deeper understanding of the message/idea along with all other details

    For example, you can use social media captions for elaboration like “Join the zero-waste movement and make a positive impact on the planet! Learn how simple changes can lead to a sustainable lifestyle. to entice readers to explore your campaign on living a zero-waste lifestyle.

    A different example: the video ad for Epuronn shows a man in an all-black outfit and a top hat who conducts very bizarre activities like throwing sand at a playground, hurling a window’s shutters, knocking over a man’s hat, and turning over a gazebo during a wedding ceremony. Throughout the ad, the man describes how his life was always lonely until another man took the time to get to know him.

    The ad ended with the words “the wind”, which demonstrated that the man’s antics were that of the wind. With the video script, the campaign’s message is more detailed and more comprehensive.

    Another example of the importance of elaboration is that of IKEA. The IKEA campaign presents a video of a woman cooking in the kitchen. In contrast to regular cooking ingredients, the woman is using wall shelves, paint, light bulbs, and other aspects that are necessary for building a kitchen. Resembling a recipe video, the campaign adds a combination of different elements to provide more clarity about what the woman is building.

    Pro Tip: Encourage audience engagement through your captions. Pose questions, invite comments, or prompt users to share their thoughts to foster a sense of community around your message.

    The five stages of generating ideas:

    Pedro Clinica demonstrated the five stages in its ad campaign, which can be referenced to the World of Thoughts and the World of Things.
    Pedro’s message was that self-medication is dangerous and life-threatening.
    The idea was to compare pill bottles to foreshadowed grenades and was supported by powerful visuals of medications with background drawings of bomb-like effects with the text on visual of “self-medication can be fatal”.

    In conclusion, thinking outside the box can be a challenging task when creating a campaign, if you don’t know where to start. With the innovative campaigns being shared left and right on your Tik Tok feed, it might seem hopeless to think of anything new. 

    However, starting off with the message and idea while using World of Thought and the World of Things as your resource could get you there! 

    Despite the fact that the thought process we have explained to you may not be a universal methodology, it works well to get your creative juices flowing. Whether it’s a campaign, a copywriting task, or even just a new way of looking at things around you, you might learn a thing or two with this new thought process. 

    Read more

    Scroll to Top