A case for underdog ideas that have the potential to be big in the lockdown

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination” according to Albert Einstein. Half-baked but brilliant ideas are often floated around the table during brainstorm sessions and casual interactions and yet clients and management usually pass on them. These are the “ugly babies” that need to be nurtured intentionally with love and a ton of patience. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has us under lockdown, this may be a good opportunity to shower your “ugly baby” with some love and patience.

The digital landscape is still somewhat of a novelty in Ghana. Creative and innovative ideas are easily killed by the skeptics: be they clients who are hesitant to execute out-of-the-box concepts or brands taking a casual or passive approach by way of throwing it in the mix to tick a box or allocating budget as an after-thought. Agencies in turn succumb to recycling presentation slides for the next prospect or worse yet, discarding these ideas completely.

Now to the million-dollar question: why do “ugly babies” need love too?

“Ugly Babies” can grow into beautiful toddlers with the right nurturing

There are numerous social media accounts which provide value to a niche both online (original video content, blogs, curated resource links, interactive posts, podcasts) and offline (events, courses, etc).

After years of providing some sort of escapism and/or education for subscribers, these accounts rack up the numbers in the form of following, reach, engagement and influence. These can then be leveraged to push other brand campaigns.

Several bloggers, vloggers, agencies are currently monetizing their own assets out there. They market these assets independently from the main business, sometimes even with different branding.

Some examples of agencies, studios and freelancers imbibing and nurturing ideas or “ugly babies” and turning them into superstars are Vayner Media with Trash Talk Agent 2020 and Bluelime with Spacebar 1.0 and Genie Intel with our “We Are Accra” project.

“Ugly Babies” build the parents’ character

Often, it is not only the “ugly baby” that needs incubation to flourish into a profitable venture but also the team managing it. A new idea generated, owned, and managed by a team with a healthy collaborative culture can challenge and sharpen the team as a whole. These ideas often require solid leadership and candor to reach their full potential and only go as far as the team behind them are willing to push them.

“Ugly Babies” have had to rely on more than their looks to get by

The gain of nurturing an “ugly baby” is often not immediate. For this reason, these ideas often have to prove themselves worthwhile in order to remain in rotation. If they are able to stand the test of time then they are worth their salt, at which point you have a proven concept that speaks for itself and creates value. You have an idea that is no longer just something cool but a money maker because it went through the mud to get there.

Sustainable brands need to be identified as an authority in their interests and fields. One way to do this is to graduate from curating to creating them, from being a product or service to adding value. If agencies and clients invest patiently in nurturing “ugly baby” ideas, there is an opportunity to position themselves as household names and the pay-off is exponential. A well nurtured “ugly baby” can grow on its own and support the main business.

Indeed, these are trying times and whether you have the bandwidth to nurture an “ugly baby” or not, we want to remind you that you are doing great just by staying sane and staying home so we can #flattenthecurve together!


Kuuku believes that less is always more and this translates into his minimalist design approach. Although he has been a creative since childhood, it was after his degree in Business Administration, Marketing that he professionally pursued graphic design.