What Makes A Good Idea Good?

We all watch television, we all spend time on the Internet, and we all have smartphones. Every day we’re met with big ideas that battle for our attention. In fact, the average consumer sees nearly 250 marketing messages daily—some successful, most not. That’s because, just like your mother used to say, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” that makes an idea Irresistible.

The good ideas are all relevant, compelling, and authentic.

Nike’s “Find Your Greatness” campaign was just that. The first time I saw it on TV I wasn’t even really paying attention. But it came on and something wasn’t right; it was too quiet and there was no music. So right away it didn’t sound like a commercial. All you heard was feet on the pavement. And then, from over the horizon, a young, overweight kid jogging toward the camera down the middle of a country road at dawn.

I was hooked just because it didn’t look like all the other stuff on TV. Then, a voiceover about how greatness isn’t reserved for the chosen few, it’s for all of us.


I consider myself an athletic guy. I grew up playing sports every season, played in college, and still get out now and then. Is it relevant? Check.

Compelling? If this young kid can get up before the sun does and actively work to change his own life, so can I.

Is it authentic? The mere fact that it’s an overweight 12-year-old out there and not a marathon runner in peak condition is authentic enough for me.

Consider the words of Greg Hoffman, Nike VP of Brand Design & Communications:

“The idea behind ‘Find Your Greatness’ is simply to inspire and energize everyday athletes everywhere to celebrate their achievements, participate and enjoy the thrill of achieving in sport at their own level.”

I respect that.

Regardless of the brand at hand, a good idea absolutely must be relevant, compelling, and authentic. Because those are the only ideas worth our time.

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