2014 Blog Greatest Hits: Advertising Needs A Big Slap Across The Face With A Large, Wet Fish

Continuing our reprise of this year's most popular posts with Advertising Needs A Big Slap Across The Face With A Large, Wet Fish..

Advertising needs a big slap across the face with a large, wet fish.

We have become confused about what 'craft' or creativity is in advertising.

Advertising creative craft at its best isn't merely styling, or thinking up a funny or entertaining thing with the product somehow involved – yes they are things that many amateurs or "kids in Australia" [reference to a Doritos ad] can do.

But that isn't good advertising creative craft, and probably that Doritos ad isn't really good advertising, it's just funny, or entertaining.

Proper, great, advertising creative craft is about searching for that thing in the product or service that will mean something to the consumer, it is about understanding what the consumer wants, what will motivate them, understand how people work, how they decide, and putting all this together in compelling ways that show the consumer what's in for them, in ways that are engaging, interesting, unexpected, relevant, intelligent and memorable, that are robust and enduring, that build companies and grow brands over time by getting more people to buy more product or service more often.

That is advertising creativity. It is only because we underestimate and misunderstand what real advertising creativity is, that we think "anyone can do it".

Proper advertising creativity isn't just creativity.

But the industry has downgraded a whole generation of creatives to merely being being stylists and producers of branded entertainment.

Advertising will not get itself out of the confusing fug it is in until we reverse that trend and remember what proper advertising creative craft is, and understand and re-engage with the value it can give to business, be proud and confident about it, and put that thing back in the centre of the business.

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