The world’s sharpest designers are in high demand in the advertising world because creating compelling ads takes a whole lot more than just pretty graphics.
For instance, when I look at an ad I ask myself four things:
1. Did it capture attention through emotion (funny, surprising, touching, original, etc.)?
2. Did I understand its relevance to the product it is serving within a few seconds?
3. Was it believable enough to move me to engage with the brand?
4. And finally, did the creator listen first? Strategic or subjective?
When you are creating your next ad, keeping these 4 key thoughts in the forefront of your mind will help you ensure that it is relevant and memorable. The most important point being the last: listen first. Constantly ask yourself, “Have I listened?” and, “Do I fully understand the client’s direction?” These two questions will help you achieve greater results and make your life a whole lot easier. With that said, your job as a creative (from a writing or design perspective) is to listen and interpret words and separate a strategic objective from subjective opinion. You have to keep things headed in the right direction: stay ‘on strategy.’
If what a client mentions is subjective, then (with integrity and good intent) make sure they are not sacrificing the strategic business alignment of the project. Gently discuss your concerns with them. Ultimately, the decision is theirs, but as a visionary it’s critical to practice great listening skills, to make sure you have a solid brief, and to decipher subjective opinions from the true strategy to produce sustainable results.
I’ve seen some of the best global ads create great selling points, but fail to be memorable because the images don’t match with the graphics, or the idea is irrelevant to the product, or the overall message is lost because the designer went too far.
Using these 4 recommended objectives as your guide will help you create better, more effective ads. Only results matter in the end. I find that 99% of clients are open to better ideas because you’ve shown genuine concern for better results.
Discover what is true and practice what is good,
Paula Ann Murphy
I am a branditarian.
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