I think advertisers have been getting a lot of slack lately for creating platforms and campaigns that go against traditional media standards.  There will always be television, radio, print, and the like, but now, there is also room for new ideas and new emerging media platforms to change the way consumers learn, think, and act.   

The current debate that I’m constantly reading about is the argument over the creative approach and what ideas pass the “client approval test.”  Even on the last episode of Mad Men, I distinctly remember Don Draper stating, “Most ad men say that the client gets in the way of good work.”  Whether or not you believe this to be true is debatable, but the question remains, how creative is too creative? 

I recently read an article that made a lot of sense to me.  It talked about the fact that marketing and advertising shouldn’t be all about creative solutions.  More importantly, advertising should focus on being surprising, relevant, consistent with the brand message, believable, and different.  What does this all mean?  Well, let’s look at a recent example. 

I’m always trying to think of the big idea.  I think everyone in the industry is too.  I’ve talked a lot about digital media, augmented reality, and integrated consumer platforms. Often times it is easiest to apply these new mediums to glamorous consumer based campaigns.  For example, everyone can think of advertisements for Apple, Coke, and Gatorade. I think it’s a great starting point for amateurs just getting their foot in the door.  In fact, most of what I study and write on tends to be big brands: Subway, Little Caesars, Axe, and Old Spice.  The fact remains that these types of thinking, out-of-the-box, untraditional, and ultimately creative, can be implemented across all brands and products. 

Let’s look at Proctor and Gamble’s new platform for teenage girls.  Ultimately, this was a platform designed to increase the sale of feminine products.  The client originally thought, we can’t do exciting, innovating advertising because we’re selling one the most unglamorous products on the market.  Wrong.  Sure, social media wouldn’t be a great way to spread the word about the newest way to stop leaks.  What could work though?  A site called BeingGirl.com that allows girls to “Learn and share about growing up and puberty while having fun playing girl games and listening to the latest teen music.”  

What does the campaign consist of? Conversation, not promotion.  

This is the key trend we are seeing in advertising right now.  It’s no longer about pushing a product.  It’s about listening to consumers and allowing interaction between product users.  Why do I think this is such an effective promotion?  Because it deals with the fundamentals of marketing with a new, consumer focused approach.  Everything the site communicates has a purpose.  It provides essential information for its target market.  It contains strategic content that leads to bottom line results.  Lastly, it targets the consumers exactly where they are - online.  

What it comes down to is this.  Let your ideas shine through.  Creativity is no longer the end-goal. Let's not forget about perennial thinking and the importance of an undying message.  Gone are the days of immediate reward, welcome to the time of indefinite consumer initiatives.

Inspiration provided by:
Earning Fans vs. Buying Eyeballs
I Hate Creative, and You Should Too
www.adage.com/smallagency/post?article id=139628

10/15/2009 07:08:23 am

I think that it's true that customers sometimes get in the way of creativity. In my personal opinion, the more creative the advertising, the more interested I am about buying the product. Seeing the same type of ads over and over again isn't what catches people's attention. It's definitely all about creativity.

10/27/2009 06:55:34 am

Buffa, I definitely agree here. When a client tells me he or she does not like one of my ads, i almost feel offended. They came to me to advertise for them, because I am the expert. It's like telling your doctor how to perform a surgery.


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