Of course, really good ideas defy being put in a box - you just know it's good, you then need to figure out why, and how you can make it easy for the client to buy it it (it won't create work for them, it's easy to sell to their bosses because it's based on solving real business problems, it's easy to evaluate).
However, we live in world where too many brands are doing stuff because they can, rather than they should. They're inventing products and added value services no one wants, making 'content' no one wants to watch and basically doing stuff that is chosen for being cool and innovative, rather than what will transform business success.
This might be useful for the Planning School of the Web stuff by the way...where ideas will need to overcome budget and content and sponsorship mean you need to give more than you take to have a hope of anyone caring!!
Also, with so many stakeholders involved in making things happen these days - I worked on something recently that involved the creative agency, the digital agency, the media agency, the media owner, the content agency, the PR agency and the sports marketing agency - a creative/content/media/media owner brief or whatever no longer works as a basis to review ideas on the table.
This just might work.......
Does the product or brand actually have a clear part to play in the idea? You see too much stuff these days with a very tenuous link to what the client actually does or sells. People MAY engage with it, but it will do NOTHING for the business unless there is a link between the idea and the client business. And please don't come to me with 'brand awareness', I'm very aware of Donald Trump, but want nothing to do with him
Will it actually create some sort of change in how people think, feel or behave towards the brand or product? Advertising in all it's forms is really about removing reasons not to buy in the short term and delivering a DISTINCTIVE imprint in people's hearts and minds, so the brand comes front on mind in buying situations.
There are only really four macro roles for communication - you're either creating impact with people not interested in the brand or the category, changing what people who have an impression already think or feel (re-positioning), activating brand interest into action, or reinforcing what people think and feel already....and creating a new reference point hopefully (this coffee brand is about being a grown up...but did you know we have a more authentic heritage than you may have thought)
Others would say you should look at the business objective, define what that means in terms of what you need people to do they are not doing now, and then work out the most efficient way of doing that.
Does it get anyone remotely excited? If no one internally, or partner agencies, can be bothered to be excited, or want to make the idea happen, can you expect any real people with proper jobs and a billion things to look at and do on their phones to give a monkeys? Thought not. David Abbot once said, "Tell people about the product in way that cannot be missed". Don't forget the 'cannot be missed' part. A useful guide is if various stakeholders want to start building on it and doing their own little versions.
Does it give a much as it takes (or even more??) I mean does it feel like it's adding to what people really care about? Might people talk about it a bit? Does it feel bigger that the brand or category and add something to real life? Would you share it on Twitter? Brands need to accept no one likes people talking about themselves and we have moved from retailers and brands in positions of power to consumers. Show some respect!