Sunday, February 06, 2011

Creativity in Advertising

This happened some years ago. 

A top marketing honcho sat through pitches, saw umpteen presentations and mock campaigns and then hired the advertising agency to handle their marketing and branding activities. The brief given was that the ads should be "out-of-the-box" (I don't know what this means but its the cool phrase to drop at award functions and film premiers.). Also, lest I forget, the agency was asked to give priority to creativity in their marketing and branding campaigns.

The agency was as glad as a poodle at the sight of biscuit and they burnt a lot of midnight oil and did a few ads and collaterals for the company - all with a view of creativity. So with a lot of fanfare and phone calls the agency and client met to discuss the marketing plan. The meeting began. The Vice-president of the agency started the pitch and presented the ads with a great flourish. However, the chief marketing officer was unimpressed and threw away all the campaigns proposed. The conversation went something like this:

Agency: We have designed these ads to give a visual and spatial look encompassing a theme of furniture - which really shows how concerned you are with the environment of the clients and the employees. **giggles nervously**

Client: No, no, it will not work. We don't want fancy pictures and text. I just want a simple statement of facts. I want simplicity of the message not something convoluted.

Agency: but sir, remember, you had asked us to be creative in our ads, we have done that. See how creative this picture is, and this, and this, and this.

Client: all very well, but we are the people who will be selling the products. What of that?

Agency: But, sir, try these out we are sure sales will resut. This is a creative design, in totality a wonderful piece of advertising for which we spent many sleepless nights. 

Client: You say it is creative, show me where (which part of the world) has such a campaign been released?

Agency: Sir, then where is the creativity if we imitate some other ad campaign?

Client: When we say be creative we mean be clever when you plagiarise things. We call it research. We do it all the time.

Some definition this!

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