Be Diagnostic Not Dogmatic

Advertising needs to become far more diagnostic and less prescriptive.

Agencies need to break the habit of thinking that their ‘special process’ or unique approach is the only way to solve the client’s business problem.

Many agencies favour a kind of blind absolutism, where one approach is right for everything. It's tempting for agencies to have this kind of dogmatic approach to problem-solving, because they feel it gives them something interesting or differentiating to say to clients.

Unfortunately for clients, as the old saying goes the hammer always sees the nail – but the problem isn’t always a pointy piece of metal, nor the solution a heavy knocking implement.

There’s no one size-fits-all, one way to do advertising that’s right for every product, brand, category and business problem.

To suggest there is makes the advertising industry look quite stupid to those in the business world.

We should always start with the business context, the situation of the client, and what they’re trying to achieve, rather than some rigid ideology that you force the problem to fit into.

Great ideas flow best from open minds.

Our new book ‘How To Make Better Advertising and Advertising Better – The Manifesto for a New Creative Revolution’ is available exclusively at the Design Museum.

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