I wrote this for Makin' Ads, a blog for students of advertising, portfolio school hopefuls and anyone else putting their book together.
Your best idea should be like a great movie plot. For any great movie, you can reduce the plot down to a single sentence. For example:
Boy’s parents murdered, so he starts wearing a cape, fighting crime and talking in a deep, gravelly voice (Batman).
New York cop single-handedly stops terrorists from robbing an office building, all before the helpful proliferation of cell phones (Die Hard).
Nerd steals website idea from good-looking jocks and becomes an awkward billionaire (Social Network).
Now stare at it.
Or, without all the glitter, does it seem empty, boring, unspectacular, less than large?
If, sans glitter, it’s not ready for the limelight, then figure out what it needs. Is it too complicated or gimmicky? Is it just a tactic? Is there something missing or is there something there that doesn’t have to be?Boiling your idea down to a single, naked sentence can separate the great ideas from the good ones. Because all the glitter we sprinkle on our ideas makes them look better than they really are.