Jeff Cooper is the General Manager of Step Change Marketing. This article appears in Jeff's monthly column in Adnews - Australia's leading publication serving the advertising, marketing and media industries.
If you ever want a laugh type 'Barbie is such a whore' into Google. I just did and I was not disappointed. I found 'Teen Pregnancy Barbie', 'Crack Whore Barbie', 'Sorority Barbie' and 'Drunk Prom Queen Barbie.' Don't worry, I had good reason to type it in, allow me to explain…
We had a laugh with the creative team the other week about what we call 'Barbie Dolls'. Those ideas that sit in a bottom draw, or the dark recesses of the mind, just waiting to be bought a drink.
The joke is they turn up in different situations and get dressed up in a lot of different ways, just like Barbie. And they're a special type of idea in that they're kind of up for anyone, kind of up for anything, kind of up for any brand; they just need a little cash money first.
We all have them. Even though every brief, client, problem and solution combination is different, we've all got those ideas that are still looking for a place to crash for the night. It got me thinking.
There are 2000 marketing communications-type agencies in NSW, or so I hear. Imagine, if you will, that on average they're generating one idea a week, and let's be silly and say that on average an idea is worth $5000. That's $10m worth of ideas a week, $520m worth of ideas a year, and over $2.5bn in the last 5 years.
Yeah, yeah, I hear you. 'Some of the ideas are crap or repeats'. But I counter that… Some of the ideas are worth more than $5000, a lot more, and many of these agencies are creating many more than one a week.
There are also all the brilliant client side marketers who are generating ideas too. I guess I think of it like this: there's a mine of ideas out there, it's probably worth a fortune. And it's just sitting there. Expand the numbers Australia-wide, or worldwide, and there has to be gold in them hills, Jerry!
If only we could harvest it. The solution is actually pretty simple. Or it could be. A searchable database where ideas that are not bought get organised by category, channel, problem, and budget where ideas could be found, used, traded or sold.
But here's what will really bake your noodle: what would this do to our beloved industry? Would the cost of service increase or decrease? What would happen to the value of an idea? Would client satisfaction change? What would happen to the return on investment?
I ponder this sort of stuff all the time, but it's rarely as much fun as typing it into Google.
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