Doing good work in advertising is easy.
You just have to make sure that you have the following things in the order:
1. Good product & Brand
Sometimes it is obvious that you are working with superior product (Apple comes to mind). Other times you have to really dig for the relevant difference, but it is there if you are willing to do the work (something like Orabrush). The sad truth is that sometimes you are dealing with mediocre or even lackluster product. Then you have three choices:
– Decline the work and suffer financially.
– Do mediocre work and hope that adequate media push will ensure enough tick in sales to keep you afloat.
– Do great advertising for it. That is the fastest way to kill inferior product.
Advertising does not create new needs for people. It just amplifies existing ones. If there is no need (existing or latent) for the product, you are pretty much screwed.
2. Good team
You need sound strategic and creative thinking and also the ability to sell that thinking. Sometimes you might have all those capabilities in one person, sometimes even 10-member global team is not enough. When having more than one person in that team, the best results come with right mixture of competition and collaboration. Great team is full of different strong-minded individuals who strive together towards same goal, but not necessarily without fight.
3. Good client
Idea is worthless until it is bought. That is why it is crucial to work with demanding and bright clients who do not settle for the mediocre solutions. Good client knows how to brief and to buy creative product and also treats you like a human being.
When you have these things in order, you only have to come up with one simple thing:
Some praise the insight, some an idea. I combine them together and call it brutal truth. That truth will separate and distinguish you from your competitors. It connects you with your customers. It will provide the springboard for creative leap.
Many times the separation between insight and creative idea is artificial. If you unearth surprising and unique insight, you might actually have your whole marketing communications in that single insight. If the insight is obvious or well-known, then the need for creative leap is much stronger. It is delicate balance between obvious and obscure.
It is brutal truth because it is not always pretty but always effective. It might be quick and dirty solution. It might require changing your whole marketing plan. You might need to break some taboos. You might need to go against the grain, or do totally same thing as others. Brutal truth might not be easy, but it is equally demanding for all.
Every time I have been a member of a good team working for good client around good product, we have been able to come up with brutal truth. When the marketing has been based on that brutal truth, the end result has always been great work.
It is that easy.