How to Define a Platform Idea for a Brand

Getting to the idea statement for a brand is really tough – it often contains heated discussions, a lot of confusion and another round of creative revisions. However, getting to the right is important because done poorly the work comes back as matching luggage on the other end, make it too wide and you can fit any old execution under there. 

One of the best that I have been a part of, was for the launch of PlayStation’s ‘Greatness Awaits’. The idea statement was to “invite, inspire and challenge gamers to their greatness”. It was clear across any execution that we had, that it needed to ask gamers to step up. The initial TV did this and we then went on to prove it across all media.


I find the best way to get to an idea statement is to see 2 – 3 proof-of-concepts and find the thread between them. As much as people love to bash television ads you will not find a better execution to pull an idea from than when you have a script. I find the next step is to write a draft or ask the creative to finish the following sentence ‘This campaign will…’ 

The answer to this question will be the ‘idea statement’. To me, I love an idea statement with a verb in there, it helps me understand the action that the brand is going to take. It takes it beyond storytelling and gives movement that media can also use. 


Last year I came up with what I have been referring to as the idea formula. It identifies the key components to the idea that everything needs to hit on. So for instance for a male skewing CPG it was to ‘Inspire guys to use guy logic to solve new problems they’re facing’. 

The formula was; 

New Problem + Guy Logic = Brand Type Solution 

I then explained the different terms;

New Problem = Where has technology increased the number of choices men have to make. E.g multitude of shows to watch with Netflix, never being able to switch off with work emails, having to play the travel planner when booking a trip. 

Guy Logic = Guys will get the job done in the fastest and simplest way possible; Making one trip from the car to the house with shopping bags, using shampoo instead of buying new soap in the shower

Then I showed thought starters about what this could look like; 

I have had mixed reviews on this, some creatives love it because it gives clear direction of what they need to do in other mediums. Other feel that it is too formulaic and is based in a problem/solution construct. I’m still learning what works best but feel like I am coming closer with every statement that I help write.  

Sign up to my fortnightly Planning Dirty Newsletter. I share tools, resources and brain bombs for your strategy comms for planners.