"I Like It" "So What?"

One of the things I like most about our agency is that when someone says something like "I think this works better" someone else always asks why.

Being able to explain why you think one thing is better than another is vital to our industry - because we need to do it if we want to get people to make better advertising.

Nothing in advertising is pure art, pure creative, for its own sake. We use the power of artistic techniques and creative crafts for a reason - to make communication more effective.

If you're putting something in a piece of communication that isn't there to make it more effective, just for your own artistic reasons or to win a creative award, you're probably a hack. Sorry about that.

This is why the language of how we talk about advertising is vital.

We have to be able to talk to senior people in client companies about why the creativity or craft will be more effective.

One of the fascinating, yet slightly crazy, things about advertising, is that it seems even the people who work in advertising can't agree on what is 'good'.

And I think part of the reason for that is that people are often not arguing about whether something is 'good' or not at all.

They're just saying they like it. So it becomes subjective.

I hear people say I like this.

Woopee-fucking-do. I like pineapple on pizza.

I don't care, quite frankly, whether you like it or not.

Instead, let's have a conversation about what makes it work. Why do you think it will work?

That's a conversation that professional people should be having.

Liking an ad is a privilege of the amateur.

Does it do what it's meant to do?

Why will this do the job well?

I still believe that there is no single 'formula' for what makes something a 'good' piece of advertising, which I think can only be a good thing, can't it?

But because of this, we have to become better as an industry, creatives, planners, everyone, at having a proper conversation about why things work, and why our creativity and craft makes things work better.

Until we all magically find clients who will just let us do whatever we think is right (I'm not sure that's a good idea by the way), this is the only way better advertising is going to be made.

With a respectful doff of the cap to Dave Trott