Good Example Of Lessons Learnt From Chapters 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 And 11 Report
Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy, and Design
Chapter 1: Copy, Design, and Creativity: The Nature of Our Business
Chapter one introduces the concept of the ‘creativity revolution’ and creativity in the business of design.
Creativity is an innate attribute that cannot be taught and while. Creative abilities vary by person and regardless of the advertising career path one chooses, it is important to have at least a basic understanding of creative strategy. For example, graphic artists and art directors’ roles are more ‘hands on’ or design based so they have a responsibility to ensure that graphical/visual output is in line with creative strategy. On the other hand, account executives are less hands on but in order to ensure their clients’ needs are met, they must be adept at evaluating creative work.
Creative skills are also useful to non-advertising roles.
The chapter also gives valuable insight into the typical creative roles in an agency and emphasizes the important and often multiple roles of the copywriter. There are numerous career paths and scope for upward mobility in the advertising field; ranging from designers to creative directors. Creatives typically seek fame, fortune and fun.
Regardless of the role one plays in an agency or the creative process, it is important to understand the product well and have an understanding of creative strategy to ensure that job output meets overall strategy. Additionally other lessons to be applied to life as a creative professional are that digital media creativity skills are important and trends in popular culture, technology and online viewing must be monitored for their impact on the creative industry.
Chapter 2: Strategy and Branding: Putting a Face on a Product
This chapter, like others in the book, emphasizes the importance of following a strategy in the creative process in order to solve a problem.
Account planning lays the foundation for solving clients’ problems and involves both primary and secondary research. The difference between strategy, tactics and objectives (parts of the account planning process) is essentially that objectives are what you need to achieve, strategy is the overall plan to achieve the objectives and tactics are the breakdown or practical tools to meet objectives. Strategy is usually geared towards “continuity, growth and return on investment.” Tactics may also be seen as “the bid idea.”
Chapter 4: Issues: The Times They Are A-Changin'
The title of this chapter is inspired by a 1950s Bob Dylan song and it outlines the evolution of issues in advertising.
The creative must be aware of socio-cultural issues in the development and execution of creative strategy to prevent brand fallout. Some things that were acceptable in advertising decades ago are no longer. For example, prior to the 1960s there was a trend to represent African Americans as dark skinned whites and advertising did little to represent cultural ethnicities beyond whites. Today however, it’s not a question of whether to appeal to multicultural audiences but how to do it and more importantly, how to do it without using stereotypes?
If we avoid the obvious, do we deny their identities but if we represent the obvious will we do it properly and not alienate other audiences? As advertisers, we must be responsive to a cultural shift that suggests many people see themselves as multiethnic or multicultural.
Additionally, advertisers need to be wary of suggested ideals for example ‘skinny’ versus ‘fat.’ Being on the cutting edge of trends and understanding the shifting lines of cultural identity are imperative. It could be advantageous to use models that have an indefinable ethnic look when trying to appeal to a more general audience or include different body types to demonstrate that the product is developed with diversity in mind.
Chapter 6: Concepting: What's the Big Idea?
Chapter 6 conveys the important lesson that the advertising professional should strive for mindshare by using an “edgy strategy” or the “big idea.”
Concepting is the process of arriving at the ‘big idea’ which can be done alone or as part of a creative team. There are two main ways for creatives to do this but only one is recommended by the text. The first way is to work backwards- from idea to strategy. This is an ad hoc, directionless way that usually only works for advertising competitions, class submissions, pitching new business and portfolio development. Needless to say this method is not recommended.
The recommended way is to start with research and a good strategy, from which the concept will be developed. Eleven questions are listed as guides to ensure that adequate research has been done and the strategy is clear. These questions may not be relevant to all products.
The chapter makes it clear that there are several approaches to conceptualizing however they are not useful for developing new advertisements and so a simplified approach is offered: show the product; show the benefit; show the alternative; compare it to other products; introduce something seemingly unrelated and provide an endorsement or description of what it did for someone else.
Perhaps the most important lessons to be applied to the professional life are that concepting is not an orderly process and the best way to go about is to do it by ‘the book;’ writer’s block is a common occurrence and there are several proven strategies to overcome these and that all ideas or concepts must be evaluated at different levels before finalizing.
The book offers very practical solutions for persons that persons struggling to develop creative concepts can use. For example, Luke Sullivan’s “Say it straight, then say it great” idea is an easy way to get started since many persons who struggle with creative concepts do not lack creativity but simply do not know what it is they need to say. Once you know the point that needs to be communicated, it is easier for you to refine it in a more creative way.
A related option is to develop a number of straightforward concepts and get the internal team to identify the main idea. Once the team has done this then the copywriter can focus on making the main idea more appealing or creative.
Chapter 7: Design: Worth a Thousand Words
Chapter 7 demonstrates the important use of design/layout to convey meanings without the use of any or many words. Humans rely greatly on their sense of sight and visuals can dramatically increase readers’ attention and message comprehension. This is especially because our eyes are more attracted to pictures than words.
It is important for the creative to be able to design; if he or she is not directly responsible for design production, it is likely that he/she will have to evaluate the work done to ensure the rules of design and the creative strategy are being followed. Consequently, every creative should be familiar with the basic principles of design, layout considerations.
Design for the web and mobile advertising are newer skillsets that creatives must embrace.
Chapter 8: Campaigns: Synergy and Integration
The understanding of a campaign derived from this chapter is that it is a series of ads for a product
(or service or company) that work individually and cumulatively to communicate the advertiser's message to consumers. A common theme and message should be discernible by readers or viewers.
The chapter introduces popular types of campaigns and the discussion of integrated marketing communication facilitated a greater understanding of the benefits of a synergistic approach to meeting the client’s needs. By integrating creative functions such as advertising, marketing communications and public relations in campaigns, clarity, consistency and maximum impact can be achieved.
The chapter provides a greater understanding of a campaign’s components and offers valuable tips that can be assimilated into campaign planning and execution.
Chapter 9: Headlines and Taglines: First Get Their Attention
This chapter provides insight into the information overload that consumers experience and how
advertisers must craft their messages to be heard and maintain consumers’ attention.
Advertisers and marketing communicators only have five seconds to grab their audiences’ attention. A good headline serves this purpose and five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. It is important to note that headlines are not confined to print copy.
Additionally, a good headline commands immediate attention, selects the audience, leads readers into the body copy, completes the “creative equation” and delivers the entire message.
Some valuable headline writing tips learnt include the use of rhymes, puns, alliterations and double entendre. Mentioning the brand in the headline is another beneficial technique.
All headlines must be evaluated before finalizing and the steps for doing this include putting it in the context of a campaign- can it be extended or even repeated and deciding if the headline is the best you could conceptualize.
Sub heads, taglines and slogans relate to the headline. Sub heads clarify headlines, while taglines/slogans are important for branding purposes and continuity of the campaign.
An important application of the lessons in this chapter is that the advertising professional must have intimate knowledge of the various headline styles and when these styles are best used.
Chapter 10: Body Copy: Writing for Readers
The need for body copy in advertising is controversial and not all ads use it, however copy is important to providing product details, differentiating products, explaining complicated subjects and describing multiple features. Regardless of the need, it is advantageous for the advertising professional to know how to write copy for the various media platforms.
Whether the copy is long or short, it must engage and captivate the audience. The most important thing in copywriting is not to impress the client but to convince readers that the product actually meets their needs. Copywriters must use proven “selling words” as opposed to clichés and they must be careful not to make false claims about the product, use words that are offensive or poor language mechanics.
Perhaps the most enlightening aspect of the chapter is the fact that the creative process must be customized to bear the best fruits. Consequently, one should facilitate their creativity at a time that works best for them, which is typically not during the typical workday because of the associated distractions. Additionally, it is important to have an independent person proof read your work. Although good writers are normally good proof readers or editors, because of their familiarity with their own material, they tend to miss critical errors.
Chapter 11: Print: Writing for Reading
This chapter was valuable in engendering an understanding of creative writing specifically for magazines and newspapers.
Magazines can be a powerful tool in campaign planning because they offer access to niche or special interest markets.
The quality of magazine print is extraordinary and because this print medium lasts longer because it is often read, re-read and shared, the visibility for advertisements is high. A key benefit of advertising in magazines is the value for money it affords: advertisers placing inserts can benefit from the lack of restriction on the number of inks and varnishes; magazines often offer advertisers value-added packages that support their marketing efforts; because most magazines have websites and social media pages, there are limitless cross promotional opportunities for the advertiser.
A few promotional campaign ideas were derived from the chapter; specifically, running a campaign in a single issue but using multiple insertions. Simplicity is however of utmost importance.
The benefits of advertising in newspaper are many. The main one is that it conveys information fairly quickly to large audiences. Because most newspapers are daily publications, or are at least printed more often that magazines, it is possible to place different advertisements in each publication. It is also possible to place much larger inserts in newspapers than magazines.
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