Do You Only Know How To Make Ads?

The things that make a print advert work are the same things that make an editorial layout, or piece of printed art strong. The things that make a TV commercial great are the same things that make a TV programme, film or piece of video art great. The crucial difference being that, obviously, the ultimate job of the commercial work is to meet its brief; sell a product, change your opinion about something, etc. But still, the things that make it work in the end are the same craft skills that make other things strong in that media.

The problem comes when you forget this, and you think about making adverts. People tend to do things to adverts that they wouldn't do to an editorial piece of design, or to a film. But unfortunately ads don't get processed differently by people. Either it's good or it isn't good. There are no excuses just because it's an ad. But still, people try to cram in way too much information, over-the-top branding, social media logos, and other guff, because it's an ad

Sometimes it makes you think that people, clients and agency alike, have forgotten how to make interesting things that also happen to be great ads, and they only know how to make things that look and sound like adverts.


  1. wow! thank you so much for this post. Keep it up!

  2. Would that clients understood this, or that agency people understood how to convince clients of this.

    I have not received a creative brief in the last epoch that did not list some sort of link, social media tag, ridiculous QR code or other such nonsense. Think about what the ad says:

    "Hi, we're interrupting your program, song, magazine, drive to work or other activity you're attending to try to convince you to buy this product. You should totally halt your schedule/activity to go find out more about this interruption and the product it sells by investing your own time to do so. Thanks awfully."

    I understand that people do more research online now than ever, but I also understand that most of them don't trust the advertiser. They look online for other information. And while they may ask their friends about it, they don't typically do so on social media sites, even as they plead for that exact action.

    A good ad does the job all by itself. Call me old-fashioned, but an ad that needs support isn't an ad. It's a failure.


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