Is your concept...

I was reading something the other day and wrote down these three words on a sticky note. I really wish I could remember what I was reading so I could give the person proper credit. I think it was about fiction writing. Maybe. I must be getting old. Anyway, whoever's thoughts these were, they're good.

When you're judging your concepts, trying to decide if they're good or not, ask yourself these three questions:

1) Is it Concrete?
Is it clearly communicating? Is it tangible? If you're doing a radio spot, can you picture the scene? If it's a headline, is it sharp? Does it conjure an image? Specifics are what make something concrete.

2) Is it Unexpected? This should be obvious. Don't be derivative. And don't be weird for the sake of weird, but your concept should be surprising in some way. Surprises tickle the brain (that's a good thing).

3) Is it Emotional?
This doesn't mean it has to be a weeper. But it should conjure some emotion--humor, amazement, nostalgia. Emotional and logical are not mutually exclusive. A surprising fact or logical twist also tickles the brain, and that's a type of emotion.