When you have billions to spend, go ahead and do what Coke did. Become one of the world's biggest advertisers and take time making sure we all understand the big ideas behind your tiny label.

If you don't have billions, we've got to be more strategic.We've got to build expectation more quickly, turning your desciption into a 'high concept' might help.

For Hollywood producers, every TV show is either "High Concept" or "Low Concept". A High Concept show is based on a wild premise. We get to watch extraordinary people, unusual circumstances, or both. Low Concept shows have descriptions that sound... Well, they sound pretty normal.

The key is, the High Concept show has a title or description that grabs us right away. Our imaginations begin running with the possibilities. We kind of know what to expect before we ever see the show or even any advertisements for the show.

Here are a few examples:


Hannah Montana - A young and extremely famous rock star must daily live in disguise so she can have a "normal childhood" at a "normal school".

Big Bang Theory - 4 brilliant and quirky physicists must learn to get along with the very cute, but intellectually average girl across the hall.

CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) - The title says it all. We'll see murders, detectives and mysteries solved.

Lost - an airplane full of passengers crashes on a deserted island, leaving survivors to fend for themselves, completely cut off from civilization.

Notice, you don't have to watch any of these shows to know what they're about. The concept itself helps us imagine what we'll see when we watch.


Friends - 6 friends rely on each other as they live normal lives in Manhattan

Seinfeld - 4 friends share their day to day life experiences living in Manhattan.

King of Queends - two blue collar parents deal with normal life issues while raising their family in Queens

Everybody Loves Raymond - a family guy struggles to keep his wife, kids and overbearing mother all happy

Modern Family - An overly diverse family does normal stuff together.

Notice how the Low Concept shows all sound quite familiar. At least their descriptions do. There's not much to distinguish them from each other until after you watch the shows.

The Low Concept shows are 'Character Driven' while the High Concept shows are 'concept driven'.

Interestingly, sit-coms are more often Low Concept while TV drama is usually 'high concept'.

Now, think about some of America's biggest brands. McDonalds and Hardee's are Low Concept. Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken are High Concept. H&R Block or the Leo Burnett Agency are Low Concept. Quick books or Sell It Like a Rock Star are High.

Which do you prefer, and can you say why? Which might serve best as you grow and become more?