You’ve heard it before. “I love that spot”…”I hate that spot”…”that spot is so lame”…”that spot is brilliant.” Face it, creative is subjective. What appeals to one individual, may be rejected by another. This is especially hard when you are asked to do spec creative in a new business pitch, which we do very sparingly, if at all.
Here’s the problem. You walk into a room full of people you have never met before, and their mission is to judge your agency on how creative it is. There are at least 10-12 of them ranging from younger to older, with a wide range of racial and demographic mixes, plus a vast range of experience—preconceived notions about what is good and not good, and even worse, they are armed with their own personal tastes. Plus, what is their qualification for judging good creative anyway? Your best bet is to assume there is no qualification. My agency once lost a pitch because the prospect said they liked the colors used in another agencies concepts. Do they realize I have the same PMS book that agency has? Frankly, it can be infuriating.
Now here’s the point. Creative is simply, in my mind, an execution of a great strategy. If I can present a rock solid strategy… a point of communication that separates a company from its competition with a unique selling position, then, and only then, do I have something very strong. With this in hand, I can execute that strategy in a variety of creative executions…a very sophisticated way…a very humorous way…a very corporate way…or a very irreverent and outrageous way. If I can convince my prospect I have the right strategy, we’ll find the creative execution.
So if you want creative for creative sake, go talk to a fine artist. We are in a communications business, and it is based on targets, demographics, unique selling positions, and strategy. So, I don’t care how clever and creative you are, if the message isn’t right you’re cooked…for cripsake.