Saturday, September 01, 2007

Creative Criteria

My last blog entry about creative evaluation got a lot of reaction from friends and work colleagues. Most questions centered on attempting to find a brief but powerful list of criteria to judge creative content.

Here is my list of four criteria that we should always keep in our minds when we are reviewing creative:
  • Business centric Creative - Are there enough reasons to believe that the presented creative will successfully attack the identified business challenge?
    First, you need to know the true business challenge to figure out if the creative is “On Strategy” or just a beautiful idea that will vaporize in the universe of communications. Then you need to analyze if the creative has a high likelihood of being successful in meeting this business challenge.
  • Insightful Creative - Is the creative inspired by a powerful and true consumer insight or key consumer data points?
    Only a creative rooted in great insights will have a high success rate. Everything else might work 1 out of 10 times but it will not provide a consistent positive impact.
  • Powerful Creative - Is the creative idea so engaging that it will stop people doing what they do right now and at least invest 3 seconds of digesting the creative work?
    Most consumers don’t care about our work, so we need to see if the presented creative is so strong to break through to all the clutter and loss of interest of most consumers.
  • Channel agnostic Creative - Do we see a big idea that is so powerful that it can be brought alive in any kind of marketing channel?
    The idea can be presented just a creative concept, in a 30 second TV spot, in a print ad, or a digital application. It does not matter; the idea needs just to be simple and broad enough to be stretched positively across a multitude of media channels.

It’s extremely helpful to file your creative judgments and compare them with post-launch real impact data. Only if you know if you were right (or wrong) about your call on creative work, then in the future you will better your judgment approach and improve your success score. This is the only way of how one can continuously improve its own judgment. Unfortunately most marketers will have forgotten their creative judgment after the creative has met the real consumer world. But they still believe that their creative judgment grows with experience. Isn’t insanity the phenomena of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

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