Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Keep It Simple and Great Creative Will Follow

Sound strategy + singular message = great creative.

Simple, right? You’d be surprised. When an agency lets a flabby strategy go to the creative department, the outcome will most certainly be flabby creative.

You know you’re there when the conversation after the creative presentation goes something like this:

Client: Nothing really WOWS me.
Agency: Really? What do you mean?
Client: Nothing here captures what I want to say.
Agency: Are we trying to say too much?
Client: Maybe….but bring back more creative...I’ll know it when I see it.

More creative? Don’t even begin to think about it until you’ve outlined—in writing—a sound strategy and a single-minded message. And secured buy-in on both from the client. That way, client and agency alike are sure where they’re headed and what to expect from resulting creating.

Absent a sound strategy and single message, creative directors can’t direct. Writers and art directors can’t create. Account people can’t evaluate. And clients can’t decide whether or not the agency has nailed a creative idea.

Clients often resist narrowing the message because “everything is important.” Any agency worth its salt will help zero in on a single, compelling selling premise with supporting copy points—and do whatever it takes to help clients see that they’re best served by keeping the premise behind the big idea as compact as possible.

Beyond causing frustration for all involved, “backing into" a creative solution can be very costly for client and agency.

Start from a well-grounded strategy and a narrow, clearly articulated message, and the creative process can’t help but produce ideas that are on-strategy. Because once strategically sound ideas have been delivered, the only challenge becomes which concept do we all think will resonate with the target audience?

And that’s a great place to be.

No comments: