We Don’t Need Better Creative

Yes, you read that right.  We don’t need better creative.  We’ve got enough good creative.

What we need is better work…

Let’s face it — in varying degrees (and the peanut gallery can argue about this all day long), everyone does good creative.  And yes, some even do great creative.  But the fact remains that good creative alone will not solve a client’s problems or meet their needs.

When was the last time a client came to you and said “I want an ad, a website, a brochure, a [fill in the blank]” without an accompanying “because…”?  Client’s don’t want or need marketing and advertising just to have — just to sit back and admire.  They want and need it to meet specific needs, address business challenges or solve problems.  Creative alone (usually) does not solve those problems.

Creative, combined with a smart strategy?  Now we’re getting somewhere.

A solid understanding of your customer? Your target audience?  Well defined goals and objectives?  These things are not optional.  They’re the roadmap that guides everything.  They’re what allows good creative (and yes, even great creative) to become effective creative.  The work that moves the needle.  The right combination of message and medium.  Copy that’s written for a specific purpose to a specific audience, not simply because it might be witty or clever.

Good creative doesn’t make up for bad placement.  A killer creative idea is only that if there’s a purpose to it — something that generates that spark in the client’s mind, and more importantly — in their customer’s mind.  That’s when the real magic happens.

Yes, this could go on and on and on.  But the fact remains — we don’t need better creative.  We shouldn’t try to force an idea or a concept.  We need better planning and strategy.  That’s what gives guidance.  It gives the creative a purpose.  That’s what creates action beyond an ad, a website, a concept or idea.

That’s what makes for better work.  That’s what moves the needle.

And that’s my challenge to you.  What can you do to move the needle?

And Now a Question for the Audience

I received the following question via email recently, and felt it was worth passing along / opening up for discussion to the crowd at large:

Why do media buyers and ad agencies not invest more of their clients $$$ into Hispanic advertising on radio, TV and print in Idaho?

Thoughts? Opinions?