Ben posted this interesting David Abbott interview yesterday. It's well worth a read. It seems more relevant now than ever.
A part that stood out to me was this:
“In advertising, words are the servant of the argument. Choosing the precise word is important, but I don’t use words to impress the audience by their strangeness or the their intellectual quality. Good plain words usually work better. The language we use in advertising should serve the argument. [It should] not stand out in sense that makes on think, “Oh my God, that’s well-written.” It’s like typography. If something is well-written, you walk in and out, you don’t notice that it’s well-written. You just know you’re into the ad, and you’re liking what they’re saying. You might buy this product or go on that cruise ship or whatever. We’re not poets, we are salesmen.”
That is pretty much bang on the way we approach our work. Today 'creativity' in advertising and marketing seems to be about cartwheels and spangly bits, not communication. I guess that's one of my frustrations with the creative awards. They don't seem to recognise great advertising craft - just entertainment and creative tomfoolery for its own sake. Advertising that says "look at how clever we are" rather than "look how good this product is".
The best advertising makes a star of the product, not yourself.