Simple Ideas Are The Best Ideas

We live in a noisy, cluttered world. One where people are moving quickly. We barely have time to read a 140-character Tweet, much less read and re-read it.  And as marketers, these are the challenges and realities we face. Attention spans of humans are less than a goldfish and consumers have gotten good at tuning out messages.

Too often we don’t take these challenges into consideration. We try to confound this already complicated world with more messages, more directions and more clutter. We overcomplicate instead of oversimplify, and in the end, lose our consumer.

I get it. It’s not easy to simplify your approach down to one big idea when you work in social media. Your strategy and content has touch points to many departments within the organization, from PR to marketing tickets and more. Everyone wants a piece of the social media puzzle. But if you want to make a splash with your consumer and fans, you have to streamline. Why?

Because complex ideas are less likely to catch on, survive and thrive. If a consumer can’t understand your message, campaign or CTA in one simple second, they’ll move on. If the idea can’t be explained in one simple sentence, people will go elsewhere. Great ideas are simple ideas… executed seamlessly.

Here’s a look at two of simple but strong executions in sports:


MLB’s THIS  Campaign

For the 2015 season, MLB launched a creative campaign called “This is Baseball”. Focused on the word THIS, it was ode to the great things in baseball that need no explanation (exactly how THIS is used in social media). The campaign’s strengths was is in its simplicity and ability to integrate across teams. THIS campaign was relatable to every fan, no matter which team they root for

Here’s a look at some of the posts:


Warriors Creative

For the 2016 season, the Warriors defined a creative look and feel using tally marks. The concept is simple, sleek and can manifest in different ways across content. The red thread, the tallies, are being used to celebrate everything “from their regular-season wins this year, Stephen Curry’s 402 three-pointers, the 120-decibel noise level in Oracle Arena (the loudest in the NBA) and more” (via Adweek).

The creative is simple, stands out and is easy to consume. Here’s a look at some of the creative:



A photo posted by Golden State Warriors (@warriors) on


With both of these examples, the ideas are easy to explain. Next time you’re planning a campaign or creative, keep these things in mind to execute a simple, big idea well:

Can you explain it in a minute?
Ask yourself if the idea can be explained in a single sentence? If you can’t explain the concept in less than a minute, then you haven’t boiled it down to one big idea.  Do the work that is necessary to get your idea simple, strong and right.

Is there a red thread?
Is there a consistent red thread that ties everything together? Strong ideas can carry across platforms and content to to tie everything together. Make sure your big idea and CTA is cohesive. Too many messages across platforms gets confusing; nail down a big idea that can carry through everything.

Practice discipline.
When you have nailed a big idea, stick to it. It’s easy to want to throw in a lot of other tactics and messages, but in the long run if you define a strategy and POV then you will win. Practice discipline.

The world is already complicated enough; don’t confuse and turn off your consumer with a muddled message. Simple ideas are the best ideas. Practice it.



What campaigns in or outside of sports have you single that were simple but strong? Share them below!

Thanks for reading. 

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