Move over, big idea. It’s time for brands to take a stand

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Sagar Article

In an era of hyper-localisation, brands can no longer afford one big idea for multiple platforms, messaging, objectives. As the market gets increasingly cluttered, brands will be forced to think and say, “Let’s talk value to the consumer.” Enter ‘The Stand’ – a representation of a brand’s values. Sagar Kapoor, chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas, explains why, in a multi-platform era, brands are pivoting from the ‘Big Idea’ to ‘The Stand’.

My birth in advertising was, fortunately, in the era of the ‘big idea.

I witnessed many such around me and was lucky to be a tiny part of some of the massive ideas in those days. There were countless, like stars in agalaxy. each having its own sparkle. all of them lighting up the sky called advertising.

Tata Tea’s ‘Jaago re’, Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a child reach 5‘, ICICI Life Insurance’s ‘Jeetey raho‘ and ‘Bande acchey hai‘, Coke’s ‘Thanda matlab Coca Cola‘, Surf’s ‘Daag acche hai‘, Fevicol’s ‘Fevicol Aa jod’. I can go on and on.

These big ideas were both a huge relief and a huge challenge. While you knew where to land, you needed to land in a newer, bigger, sexier way every single time. Imagine a skydiver landing at the same spot, yet pulling off newer, fresher tricks up in the sky.

Today, there is a lot of noise about the death of the big idea. It’s partly true. Brands cant afford one big idea for multiple platforms, messaging, objectives, etc . Yet, every platform, campaign and message still needs a big idea to engage the consumer.


Welcome to the era of “The Stand’. What does your brand ‘stand for”? As times get tougher, brands will be forced to think and say, “Let’s talk value to the consumer.” Of course, the consumer needs value. No one will spend on a product that says, “I do nothing for you!” There’s a reason I used the word ‘product’ and not ‘brand’. A product is meant to deliver value, a brand has to go beyond it.

If a consumer regards what a brand values, they will be likely to have more love for that brand. That value is the stand a brand takes. It can be a social stand, an emotional one. a practical one… a silly stand. Once this stand is clear, it allows the brand to mushroom as many big ideas as possible for every platform and need. Then all of it eventually belongs to the brand’s stand.


Even for the agency team, this is a clear lighthouse. A creative person is both directed and yet liberated with a stand. Since the stand is so wide, it allows for innumerable expressions, via cracking the idea or the big idea on the brief.

When a brand needs multiple partners. the need for taking a stand gains more importance. For instance, a particular big idea for the brand might not sit well on a performance marketing brief. But as long as the new idea cracked for the brief adds or even belongs to the space of the brands stand, the overall magic will still happen.

Like, Lifebuoy stands for ‘saving people from infections and saving lives’. Now, this stand allows for a sharp brief on a particular infection prevention to the larger cause of prevention. Right from a mainline TVC campaign to a particular cohort brief in a performance marketing campaign, it is wide enough for the different creative teams involved to crack their individual ideas. Both either add or belong to the stand of the brand.

So, if I compare the two eras mentioned – that of the big idea and of a stand – it’s only getting bigger and better now. The target has just become wider and so has the bull’s eye.

Although, since I was born in the ‘big idea’ era, if I were to mourn it and write an epitaph, here goes: “Please spare your tears. I am not dead. I am just born to a new mother. Her name is Stand.”

(The article authored by Sagar Kapoor, COO – Lowe Linta, was originally published in ET BrandEquity)

(Photo Credit: Pixabay)