Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why not give a serious thought to create an ad-campaign during this season …?

Calvin Warr who is a marketing pro in Singapore wrote a good article in his blog on how to tackle the economic downslide and how clients can use this time to strategize and develop their advertising campaigns: Facing the Economic Recession by Calvin Warr

I felt like just mulling over what these ad-campaigns are all about superficially and, want to share few thoughts and experiences of mine over making of it, and how clients generally feel about it. What are the pet peeves of copywriters and art directors too?

Ad campaign –is like introducing oneself to the readers

An advertising campaign will have a series of ads which talk about the various facets of the product or the service. If the ad-campaign is about a launch of a new product, it is preceded by a couple of teaser ads which drum up some curiosity about the product and the launch. Or, if it were to be a mere promotional campaign it builds up on the response and success of the product, which once again reinforces about the benefits of the product or the service. Often these ad campaigns are akin to formal introductions to other prominent people or guests - we do introduce with great panache without hurrying up and annoying our esteemed audience. In this case to a stark stranger (very prominent) who looks way too preoccupied with his own life.
A series of ads released will catch the attention and live in the minds of the readers along with some promotional activities.

“If you ever have the good fortune to create a great advertising campaign, you will soon see another agency steal it. This is irritating, but don't let it worry you; nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else's advertising”. David Ogilvy

One at a time

The main campaign if it were a new product and being introduced will talk about the biggest benefits (the USP) of the product. In Logan (an automobile sedan) ad-campaign the car has the widest body –the space in the car is quite huge and can give you maximum luggage space too. Hence that is the biggest benefit: the wide body. This benefit was explained in different ways with combinations of different other benefits. Each ad should mainly highlight about one benefit in the headline. That makes the reader to identify the benefit and the product easily. (After all, the readers will never have so much time to read the body copy of your ads to know what it is all about!)

Cut the clutter

Some clients want everything at one go. If they are releasing a recruitment ad or any product/ service ad, they are in a big confusion. Should they say everything about the company or the product (most of the time the client has so much to say and don’t know which is first and how!) in each ad in one go; or not. The clients out of so much confusion, anxiety, and utter lack of knowledge about the whole thing (customers’ mindsets) make the marketer and the creative team –especially the copywriter- exasperated and leave them in a chaos. The result: the ad appears like a crammed mess.

Allow the copywriter to do the best job (‘cause, he is preoccupied with how to catch the attention, as its his cuppa). Cross check it if the ad is in sync with the strategy or not. In 99 out of 100 cases the copywriter if he is worth the years of expertise would match up to the strategy and wow every one. If not, hit on further brainstorming session with a renewed angle till fresh brief is prepared to work on.

Ferment it

For wine to get the requisite and the desired taste and flavour, it needs to be stored in a place for quite sometime; similarly the copy and the creative too needs to be kept aside for a period of time to see if they really resonate with the strategy or not. Usually for that to happen it takes minimum of a week’s time; if kept for longer time there maybe better results too.

But reputed ad- pros can churn awarding winning copy at a shortest time possible. But they too swear by the minimum requisite time to see if their rush of adrenaline which spilled onto their copy and ideas does make any sense at the end of the day. For sure, our mind reacts –especially a copywriter/ art director’s after a modicum of understanding of the product or the service of the company - but in most cases that may not be adequate. And we’ll be left lamenting that something better could’ve been done given some little time to breathe. Hence ample time, energy and preparation is needed to come out with a good advertising campaign

It’s like how we introduce ourselves to a guest with a dash of reverence and genuine love towards the other person. You won’t over do it and maintain the status quo with the reader, and yet tell him what you’re all about without mincing words (with few rehearsals!).


Vivienne Quek said...

I remembered my ex-boss used to remind us to give our strategy, copy and creative at least an overnight test. When we were too engrossed, we sometimes miss a blind spot.

Solomon said...

Yes, it's true. we work with our impulses and rush of enthusiasm. Just giving a pause to our mind, makes it see the clear picture.

Thanks for the thoughful comment, Vivienne!