Instant Advertising

Television makes coming up with advertising look pretty easy. “Bewitched.” “Mad Men.” “The Crazy Ones.” Once in a while, it comes easily. But it’s usually a pretty complicated effort. It’s time consuming. It requires research, insights and a whole lot of thinking and rethinking. And that’s before creative work ever begins.

Advertising is a PROCESS.

Before we put pen to paper on creative ideas, we have to dive into each client’s industry, learn about the target audience, analyze their competitors and figure out what their product or service offers that’s unique and/or more appealing than their competitors’ offerings. That is very difficult. Many times, there is no real point of difference.

Think Kleenex or toilet paper. They’re commodity products, often purchased solely on price. Lately, they’ve spent a lot of time touting product enhancements to try to differentiate themselves: the toilet paper roll without the cardboard center, the tissue with aloe in it, the toilet paper with wet wipes in it. For commodity products with no point of difference, it boils down to price or positioning (how we can position our product in a more appealing way than our competitors).

Only when we’ve established our POSITIONING and it’s been approved by the client does the creative work begin.

The first thing you do is spew ideas. You study the strategy and fill page after page with potential thoughts, drawings and germs of ideas. You write everything down – the good, the bad and the ugly. You get all the puns out. Then, you sit down with your fellow creatives and share what you’ve got. This is the fun part. It’s when you feed off one another. One person’s bad idea can inspire a great idea from someone else. The free flow back and forth is when the creative juices begin to flow. After this session of sharing, you take all the ideas you’ve discussed and go back to your desk to come up with more. Then, you repeat the process.

Over and over again.

This process can take a day, a week, a month or even longer. You’ll know when you’ve got strong creative ideas that are dead-on strategically.

This is when the CRAFTSMANSHIP begins.

What should this feel like? What kind of photography or graphics should be used? What type treatment is most appropriate? What kind of voice should copy be written in?

I believe everyone is creative. But coming up with creative messaging is an art. It requires a combination of raw talent and specialized skillsets. Like constructing a house, it takes a lot of knowledgeable people to properly build your creative message. And that costs money.

This is something you should think about the next time you’re considering doing it yourself or, worse yet, going on
Just because we have software that allows us to spit out an ad in an instant doesn’t mean we should. And just like in most other industries, in advertising, you get what you pay for.