In many ways it's wonderful to be working in a creative agency right now, because we have never had so many options open to us. Do a TV ad, fund a TV programme, outdoor, interactive outdoor, page take-overs, live stunts, webcasts, carnivals, Google Earth mash-ups, inventing new sports. Sometimes, God forbid, a press ad.
But having virtually unlimited choice of WHAT to do won't guarantee great results, in fact quite the opposite. All that choice merely means we have a greater opportunity to do something really stupid, or even worse, pointless.
Until we even begin to consider WHAT, we need to ensure we have a really great WHY. That starts with business objectives, it doesn't start with trawling Contagious or Wired for something to copy because it would be 'really great'.
Basically, get a clear business objective and translate into a clear behavioural objective- who you want to influence and what you want them to do.That's the WHY.
For example, "Increase penetration amongst 18-30's by creating a new usage occasions for our premium butter" might translate into 'Get people into eating toast as a brilliant mid-morning work snack'
Only then, dig into the WHAT - which should be informed by what you're audience cares about, what media they consume,what drives their relationships, what creates social currency etc.
For example, people in offices tend to gossip around the toaster, perhaps we could dramatise what happens when you miss the crucial office gossip. Or forget the office cliche and dig into the double life young people of this age live- they take work more seriously than previous generations, therefore feel more pressure to be seen to be letting their hair down.There's a lovely tension to play with there, which is a little similar to Clark Kent /Superman thing.
In any case, while it needs to be insanely great, interesting and provacative to cut through the clutter and apathy, if that isn't wedded to actual business needs, and what people care about, it's just indulgence.