Alex Bogusky came into Boulder Digital Works last week.
He’s part of a little shop in town called Crispin Porter + Bogusky. They’ve done work for car companies, food companies and software companies.
He came in to critique the final breakout session of the latest Boulder Digital Works 36 hour workshop. Each group in the workshop had about an hour to come up with a product and a digital ecosystem around the product. The products ranged from a self-guided lawn mower to a campaign based around a minor league baseball team. Each had some very cool ideas attached.
Bogusky listened to each presentation intently along with the workshop’s instructors. After each, he gave some constructive criticism.
Here is what it boiled down to.
1. What’s the big idea?
A lot of the groups got caught up in a flurry of multimedia concepts, but forgot to attach their product to a central idea.
2. Make the thing, the thing
Several of the groups had great ideas, but often forgot to relate them to the central product. As a result they strayed far from the basic concepts their product represented.
3. Present ideas not media plans
A couple of the groups presented plans for extensive strategies that encompassed everything from TV spots to augmented reality. However, many of these plans forgot to include the big idea. No big idea with a big media plan means a lot of money spent on nothing in particular.
4. What is the big thing you’re trying to overcome?
Bogusky encouraged each group to find the cultural tension in the lives of their customers and to figure out how their product or service could address that tension.
His ideas and feedback were right in line with a lot of what we’ve been talking about in BDW 60 Weeks. It’s not rocket science, but Bogusky’s comments show sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in technology and forget about your users or the central idea that reflect the main product or service. It’s great to hear one of the top dogs in the game reiterating the thoughts my classmates and I have been having over the past five weeks and change.
55 more weeks and we’ll be taking those ideas for a long walk in the big wide world.