“Good design is as little design as possible.” Dieter Rams
Looking around at advertising these days, it seems one of the hardest things for people to do is to simplify down what they're doing. I think there's two sides to this.
Pressure from clients to do everything they can to try make the advertising effective. Or to try to do too many jobs in one go.
Then, from a creative point of view, the current (in my view mistaken) trend that creativity is, by definition, additive. The view that adding more stuff - style, elements, illustration, art directional flourishes, layers of ideas - makes what you're doing more creative.
Yet advertising that endures, or that we celebrate as all-time greats always seems to have a beautiful simplicity to it, both in thought and execution.
More often than not, really effective advertising is the simplification of a thought, expressed in such a way as to make it stick.
Yet it seems the most scary thing in the world for people to actually do these days. In the meantime, everyone hides behind throwing everything in, just in case. But for every element or additional thought that is added to an ad, you are reducing the ability of that advertising to do its main job well.
And maybe that's why advertising now tends to all look very similar, because they have all have the same elements added?
We've had the odd experience in the past where a client has complained that "This doesn't look like a piece of advertising" because it didn't have things like URLs or logos in the places one might expect.
As you can imagine, we took it as a complement.