One of the most difficult tasks we face is deciding whether a creative concept is “good.” Not just clever, or witty, or well executed, or edgy. That’s easy. No, what’s really difficult is determining whether it is Good, as in Will it accomplish these two primary real-world goals?
- Will it make consumers do/buy more?
There’s been tons of interesting/fun/clever advertising over the years that seems that it might have been made primarily to entertain and amuse the agency team, not to influence consumer behavior.
- Will the client like it pay for it?
If it’s a pitch, will it win? If it’s work for an existing client, will it deepen the relationship, win even more business from them, or get them to expand their media buy?
While other considerations may be interesting, none are as important.
Just make sure your Creative Director’s POV is considered Expert Testimony and not Just Another Opinion.
I suggest you assess each idea through 5 Points of View (POV). For a concept to be truly successful, it must succeed in each of these 5 areas.
- The Consumer POV
Have you identified the real-world needs, hopes and frustrations of your target (aka Consumer Insights or Painpoints)? Does your message address them? It must.Not necessarily all at once, but throughout the campaign. Otherwise a consumer will have every reason to think you’re talking to someone else.
- The Marketplace POV
How does what you are saying about your client compare and contrast with what others in the marketplace are saying/have said? And what about current events … that’s important, too. If you’re marketing a smartphone right now, you may not want to talk about how it’s “red hot” or “on fire” for example.
- The Client POV
Is what you’re saying about the client something they actually say (or think) about themselves? Maybe it’s something you think they SHOULD want to say but don’t. Just make sure you can articulate a strategic rationale for why you think they should. You’re putting words in their mouth and ideas in their head. Can they back them up? Do they even want to?
- The Marketers POV
Does the concept stake out a position and a personality that’s unique in the market? Is the concept broad enough to enable you to say everything that needs to be said across all the executions in a campaign? Does it let you own important territory and pre-empt others from taking over your corner?
- The Agency POV
At the end of the day, a concept is only as good as your ability to execute it. Your concept might look stunning when viewed through the previous 4 lenses. But, if its execution depends on some expensive, time-consuming technique (hand-drawn illustrations) or a limited universe of creative resources (you end up having to use the same stock photos everyone else does) then you really need to think about whether it’s worth showing to the client. Because you KNOW that’s the one they’ll pick … the one that’s hardest for you to efficiently and predictably produce.
UP NEXT: A look at some ideas that excel in all 5 areas.