22 Feb 2010

Why a creative ad isn't necessarily a good ad

(Unless, by good you mean effective.)

By definition, advertising is a communication (i.e. THE MESSAGE) which attempts to convince people that a particular product, service or point-of-view (i.e. THE BRAND) has a quick / easy / convenient / critical solution for a real or percieved problem that affects them (i.e. THE CONSUMER BENEFIT).

In my opinion, if it is persuasive for someone with the problem, it may be called 'creative' advertising. If it appeals to anyone without the problem (award juries included), it isn't advertising.

On this point, I think it's critical that advertising be 'sold' to the client. (But not hard-sold, mind you.)

Let me explain...

For the few minutes that a client views a proposed advertising (campaign or otherwise), he needs to think like his consumer. Not as the agency's client. He will need to see how it will or will not be persuasive from the consumer's point-of-view.

That is no easy task. If it was, he'd able to write the ad.

That is why, it is essential to re-run the background and the rationale for a particular approach. Then we may reveal the 'creative' to the eyes of a stand-in consumer. But too often, advertising is done to impress the client, and not to persuade the consumer.

Another thing that happens way too often is 'creative' being hard-sold to the client. The only thing it will succeed in doing is make the client suspect your motive - or worse, your competence.

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