High Concept is a showbiz term used to describe an idea that can be expressed succinctly. Producers know that High Concept movies and TV shows tend to do better than those whose scenarios must be explained in detail.
The new movie Gone Girl, for example, can be described in a simple sentence: “Five years into a couple’s troubled marriage, the wife disappears and the husband is a suspect.” Of course, there’s more to the story, but that sentence tells you enough to give you a good idea what the film is about.
When you communicate messages, the idea of High Concept can help you narrow your focus and tell what really matters. Sounds easy but it can be a challenge to hone your message.
You may be required to include certain information because your boss or client demands it. You may be required to include disclaimers for legal reasons. You may feel the need to include a slogan or catchphrase. But by honing your message down to its bare bones—its high concept—you are able to convey its key elements more clearly.
Add embellishments and details as necessary later, but start by trimming your message down to its core. Think High Concept.