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Classic Speeches - 4As
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Creative work sessions
Merry Baskin, Warc Best Practice, May 2013, pp. 46-47
This Warc Best Practice paper discusses how agencies can encourage clients to take ownership and engage in the creative process earlier through effective "tissue" meetings.
This Warc Best Practice paper discusses how agencies can encourage clients to take ownership and engage in the creative process earlier through effective "tissue" meetings. Tissue meetings are sessions where a variety of different creative routes are presented to the client as ideas in progress. The term Creative Work Sessions (CWS) was later coined by Jay Chiat, the US advertising legend. The paper goes on to describe how an ideal CWS would work, and where the CWS can go wrong - whether by a failure of the client to suspend judgment over the work until the ideas are all presented, or by the agency not taking it sufficiently seriously.
Mythbuster: Choose words carefully
Les Binet and Sarah Carter, Admap, December 2011, pp. 9-9
There are too many over-familiar words littering strategy documents and creative briefs and most people in the industry are guilty of defaulting to tired adjectives to describe their brands' personalities.
There are too many over-familiar words littering strategy documents and creative briefs and most people in the industry are guilty of defaulting to tired adjectives to describe their brands' personalities. It can be hard to avoid, especially when faced with the need for international alignment, but adland needs to fight against these forces and choose fresh and evocative words that inspire and enlighten. Sloppy language leads to sloppy thinking and loose briefs, producing ineffective creative work and wasted money.
Mythbuster: Don’t put the audience in the ads
Les Binet and Sarah Carter, Admap, May 2011, pp. 9-9
A myth prevails among brand owners that to appeal to certain people, an ad should feature people just like them.
A myth prevails among brand owners that to appeal to certain people, an ad should feature people just like them. In truth, consumers don't like seeing themselves in ads, whatever they say in pre-testing. If you ask people in research, 'who should feature in ads targeting you?', they will tend to say 'people like us'. But this is usually a symptom of a wider problem - the communication not resonating emotionally. People don't identify with what people look like - they identify with their hopes, problems and challenges. It's why Shakespeare's plays are still relevant today. As Jeremy Bullmore said: "You don't have to be black to identify with Othello. Just jealous."
Mythbuster: Brain drain
Les Binet and Sarah Carter, Admap, December 2010, pp. 9-9
In their regular column, Les Binet and Sarah Carter of DDB expose the myth behind a commonly held tenet of marketing wisdom.
In their regular column, Les Binet and Sarah Carter of DDB expose the myth behind a commonly held tenet of marketing wisdom. For November they get a little bit angry when they hear the idea that brainstorming works.
Speed Read - Reclaiming our minds
Martin Bailie, Warc Exclusive, December 2010, pp. 47-47
This article summarises "Future Minds" by Richard Warson, who posits that digital addiction and disruptive work environments are making us unable to think properly.
This article summarises "Future Minds" by Richard Warson, who posits that digital addiction and disruptive work environments are making us unable to think properly. He puts out a call to switch off the smartphones and spend more time in the bath.
Evaluating creative work
Merry Baskin, Warc Best Practice, December 2010, pp. 38-39
Merry Baskin outlines a process to help avoid making a costly mistake in advertising creative judgement.
Merry Baskin outlines a process to help avoid making a costly mistake in advertising creative judgement. The term ‘evaluating creative work’ implies clarity, acuity and decisive creative judgement, but all too often it’s a matter of personal preferences. Evaluating creative work is a big ask, and despite attempts by agencies to set out clear formulae and rational criteria for evaluating their creative concepts, all too often it is the client’s ‘hidden’ criteria that dominate the call, and these can be very subjective and hugely variable. You must start by establishing the evaluation criteria upfront. But it’s very hard to tell upfront if a communications idea is going to move people, shift product or raise the bottom line. Ultimately, you must be confident in your opinions.
When the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Rory Sutherland, Market Leader, Quarter 4, 2010, pp. 58-58
Rory Sutherland marvels at individuals who prove to be very good at more than one thing, such as Eric Maschwitz, who became head of light entertainment at the BBC years after penning classics such as These Foolish Things.
Rory Sutherland marvels at individuals who prove to be very good at more than one thing, such as Eric Maschwitz, who became head of light entertainment at the BBC years after penning classics such as These Foolish Things. But in the same way that it is impossible to split apart the components of a successful song, so it is misguided for marketers to try and compartmentalise good advertising. The interdependencies make it impossible to assess one component in the absence of the others. Internet marketing is valuable but so too is classical mass marketing.
How to write a creative agency brief
Merry Baskin, Warc Best Practice, June 2010, pp. 36-37
Developing the communications strategy, defining its role in addressing the brand's problem, and transcribing it into a brief for the creative team, is the pivotal stage when the agency starts to add value.
Developing the communications strategy, defining its role in addressing the brand's problem, and transcribing it into a brief for the creative team, is the pivotal stage when the agency starts to add value. Distilling the communications strategy into a brief is an art; it should be concise, clear, consistent and creative. Briefs should include: the business background and commercial context; an illuminating definition of, or insight into, the target audience; the key proposition or message; recommended media to complement the strategy; relevant brand values and any other relevant background; as well as measurement criteria and methods.
Point of View: Notes from a Paris café
John Woodward, Admap, May 2010, pp. 7-7
The most radical changes in planning will come from outside current mainstream thinking. Digital media and behavioural targeting will offer a quantum leap in effectiveness with mass adoption of GPS phones.
The most radical changes in planning will come from outside current mainstream thinking. Digital media and behavioural targeting will offer a quantum leap in effectiveness with mass adoption of GPS phones. Many agencies will be competing with the analytics offered by phone companies, IBM, HP, Google and others. However, there will be an enduring role for the 'soft' side of planning that deals with meaning, identity and ideas. There is a narrowing line between brand and advertising. Agencies like to think the advertising is the brand. In fact, the brand is the advertising. The challenge to push agencies focus from immediate creative output to getting the groundwork right.
Advertising effectiveness: Are we still Mad Men?
Bert Moore, Admap, March 2010, pp. 16-17
Developed in the 1950s, the 'predictable ends, certain means' model of creating advertising has remained much the same since.
Developed in the 1950s, the 'predictable ends, certain means' model of creating advertising has remained much the same since. The cost-heavy production spine has calcified the business. By contrast, 'uncertain ends, certain means' is an accurate description of an innovative creative process. Problem-biased thinking is focused on clarifying and solving a problem and then executing the solution. It has four stages: problem definition; high value idea creation; context planning; and campaign management. The system provides the tools to unveil the hidden causes of a problem, unravel consumer purchase patterns, prioritise tomorrow's growth and inspire a brand's pure play differentiation.
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