Advertising Creative Process, Creative Strategy Development, Advertising campaign6th July 2020
Creativity in advertising does not exist in a vacuum. Productive originality and imagination are useful in all areas, even those that relate to such typically managerial tasks as the planning and organisation of advertising departments, and the establishment of controls.
In a recent survey of top managers in large corporation the lacks of innovative thinking in promotion was identified as a major concern. Specifically, there appeared to be general unwillingness to take necessary risks, as well as inability to define new methods for promoting products to customers in the face of major increase in the cost of media advertising and personal selling.
The creative process is not a scientific process; rather it evolves from insight or inspiration. Nonetheless creativity in advertising must not only produce unique and interesting results, it must also produce useful solutions to real problems. Baker describes the concept of creativity as a pyramid divided into three parts.
Advertising creativity frequently takes off from a base of a systematic accumulation of facts and analysis. The second phase represents processing, or analysis, and the third part—the idea—is the culmination of creative efforts.
English sociologist Graham Walls outlined the four steps in creative process as follows (Fig.):
Fig: Graham Walls creative process
Gathering background information needed to solve the problem through research and study.
Getting away and letting ideas develop.
Seeing the light or solution.
Refining and polishing the idea and seeing if it is an appropriate solution. One of the most popular approaches to creativity in advertising was developed by James Webb Young, a former creative vice president at the J. Walter Thompson agency.
Young said that “the production of ideas is just as definite a process as the production of Fords; that the production of ideas, too, runs an assembly line; that in this production the mind follows an operative technique which can be learned and controlled; and that its effective use is just as much as a matter of practice in the technique as in the effective use of any tool”.
Young’s model of the creative process contain five steps (Fig.):
Fig: James Webb Young creative process
Gathering raw material and information through background research and immersing yourself in the problem.
Taking information, working it over, and wrestling with it in the mind.
Putting the problems out of your conscious mind and turning the information over to subconscious to do the work.
The birth of an idea The “Eureka! I have it” phenomenon.
Reality or Verification:
Studying the idea to see if it still looks good or solves the problem, then shaping the idea to practical usefulness.
Model of the creative process are valuable to those working in the creative area of advertising, since they offer an organised way to approach an advertising problem. Preparation or gathering of information is the first step in the creative process.
The advertiser and agency start by developing a thorough understanding of the product or services, the target market, and the competition. Attention is also focused on the role of advertising in the marketing and promotional programme.
These models do not say much about how this information will be synthesized and used by the creative specialist because this part of the process is unique to the individual. In many ways, it is what sets apart the great creative minds and strategists in advertising.
Fig: Sequence of event in the development of message
Principles of Advertising Strategy:
As all advertising process begin with an advertising strategy. Advertising strategy is the formulation of advertising message that communicate the benefit or problem solution characteristics of the product or service to the market.
The message must be consumer oriented in meeting consumer needs or wants and must offer the desired consumer benefit, otherwise even a brilliant advertising strategy will not succeed. Hence, the advertising message must be the right one which when projected to the right audience at the right time, will bring the desired results.
Following principles (guide lines) are to be kept-in mind while formulating the advertising strategy:
(a) The consumer benefit must be directly related to the specific features of the product. This strategy would differentiate the product from the competitors. Then the consumer need or want associated with a particular brand reduces the competitor’s edge.
(b) Right type of media should be chosen for the product/service advertising for the proper and effective communication
(c) The benefit offered to the consumer must be wanted by the consumers. The product features offered must be what the consumer actually wants and not what the manufacturer thinks that the consumer wants.
(d) The advertising message must be clear that the product offered will solve a consumer problem and fulfill a consumer need or offer a consumer benefit. The benefit must be clearly communicated.
Advertising campaigns are the groups of advertising messages which are similar in nature. They share same messages and themes placed in different types of medias at some fixed times. The time frames of advertising campaigns are fixed and specifically defined.
The very prime thing before making an ad campaign is to know-
Why refers to the objective of advertising campaign. The objective of an advertising campaign is to
- Inform people about your product
- Convince them to buy the product
- Make your product available to the customers
The process of making an advertising campaign is as follows:
- Research: First step is to do a market research for the product to be advertised. One needs to find out the product demand, competitors, etc.
- Know the target audience: One need to know who are going to buy the product and who should be targeted.
- Setting the budget: The next step is to set the budget keeping in mind all the factors like media, presentations, paper works, etc which have a role in the process of advertising and the places where there is a need of funds.
- Deciding a proper theme: The theme for the campaign has to be decided as in the colors to be used, the graphics should be similar or almost similar in all ads, the music and the voices to be used, the designing of the ads, the way the message will be delivered, the language to be used, jingles, etc.
- Selection of media: The media or number of Medias selected should be the one which will reach the target customers.
- Media scheduling: The scheduling has to be done accurately so that the ad will be visible or be read or be audible to the targeted customers at the right time.
- Executing the campaign: Finally the campaign has to be executed and then the feedback has to be noted.
Mostly used media tools are print media and electronic media. Print media includes newspaper, magazines, pamphlets, banners, and hoardings. Electronic media includes radio, television, e-mails, sending message on mobiles, and telephonic advertising. The only point to remember is getting a proper frequency for the ad campaign so that the ad is visible and grasping time for customers is good enough.
All campaigns do not have fix duration. Some campaigns are seasonal and some run all year round. All campaigns differ in timings. Some advertising campaigns are media based, some are area based, some are product based, and some are objective based. It is seen that generally advertising campaigns run successfully, but in case if the purpose is not solved in any case, then the theory is redone, required changes are made using the experience, and the remaining campaign is carried forward.