Conceptualising an advertisement for your business using a “Big Idea”

When you are trying to explain your business through an advertisement, it’s easy to get carried away by including a lot more text than is needed. Every word seems so important, but when you have limited space to capture attention, you really want to limit blocks of text. So how can you get your message across, while maintaining clarity? The saying goes “a picture’s worth a thousand words”, and it sounds a bit clichéd, but it’s true. You really can convey so much more information with a picture. How do you create a picture that, at a glance, explains your message to your customer? Here’s where we come to “The Big Idea”.


Write down the message you are trying to convey. Write it multiple times, using different words and phrases, finding key ideas that relate to it. As an example, below is a small advertisement I designed for our business. The words I wrote down were: better communication, clarity, be heard, rural, family business. I could just write “editor” or “communicate clearly” as a heading, but people may not notice or care to read something without a “big idea” behind it. The idea I came to was to show confused communication being corrected. It happens that this idea also connects with us being a rural business, and since this ad will go into the Yass Valley Community Business Guide, I think that it will get a smile from our potential customers. When people see an intriguing image, they are far more likely to pay attention than if you just put some words together. That’s why you should think of your “big idea” before you put your advertisement together.

Celeste Weber, graphic designer


Small advertisement for our local business guide

Using the “Big Idea” of miscommunication