1.The art of advertising3
A few words about creative strategy10
Some final thoughts about the message strategy15
Inputs to message strategies
1. The art of advertising
Nowadays market economy is widespread all over the world. Any company, working in this conditions face a lot of different questions such as arranging marketing system, arranging management system and so on. And the problem of advertising the product is practically at the top of this list. Some people think that to advertise means to let the customers know about your product. Maybe it was so many years ago. Today, in times of severe competition, a function of advertising is much more complex. You should not only let people know you should make them buy. In different forms, in different words you should convince everybody that your product is the best. So when such a problem appeared, advertising was transformed into a science. It was a mixture of management, marketing and psychology. But the large amount of ads all around began to aggravate people. And then the science was developed into the art of advertising. It became creative. Today existeven special institutes where people learn to advertise and to do it professionally.
2. Message strategies
It is not creative unless it sells. This is the stated philosophy of Benton&Bowles and the unwritten philosophy of most other major advertising agencies, and it should be everyone’s guiding star in advertising. Creativity is essential, but for its own sake it is insufficient; it must be used to show the unique benefit of the product in a memorable way. And all the process can come to a full stop when creativity is misguided and doesn’t show a benefit or implies a wrong product. But how can we get to know what is creative and what is not? The only way to find this out is through the philosophy that guides Benton&Bowles. They worked out the main formula of creativity: It’s not creative unless it sells
So any advertisement usually consists of an image and some text. The text part deals with message strategy.What should be said to consumers so that the objectives set earlier can be met? Liberal doses of art and science must be combined to answer this question. The science of research gives insights into the appropriate attributes, benefits, position, and target market; verbal, visual, and musical arts translate this dry, sterile data into a compelling message.
In addition, the message strategy must fit into the decision sequence framework. Much of the information gathered in the situation analysis will be used here to give insight to the writers and artists who ultimately create the message. Also, the message must help the advertiser to meet its objective (relevant issues here are the task
of the message in terms of movement along the hierarchy of effects and the target market to
be pursued) and to meet its position (the unique meaningful benefit
of the brand). Finally, the message must be consistent with constraints imposed by the media and promotions strategies that are being developed simultaneously. The message strategy part will be divided according to the following topics:
1.The relevance of issues derived earlier from the situation analysis and objectives and positioning
These issues are generally broken down to include the product, the consumer, and the competition. The writers and artists must immerse themselves in all available information before they can create a message of relevance. In this section the key issues are reviewed from the perspective of their relevance to message design.
Many laws govern advertising. Most of them constrain the type and presentation of information in the message. Current regulations, primarily from the Federal Trade Commission, are presented here.
This is an elusive concept and is certainly not the exclusive domain of writers and artists. It is most appropriately discussed as part of message strategy because it is here that the most visible creativity takes place in terms of the creation of the message.
4. Broad and specific classes of message appeals and execution styles
Appeals can be product oriented or consumer oriented and they tend to locate somewhere on a continuum of rationality and emotion. Styles include humor, fear, sex, slice of life, documentary, and many more.
Copy deals with the verbal aspects of the message, layout deals with the visual
aspects. It is in the areas of copy and layout that the creative translation of dry fact to interesting visual and verbal art takes place. While copy and layout are terms specific to print, the concepts of verbal and visual message components also hold for broadcast.
After each message has been created and put on paper in rough form it must be produced in its appropriate medium. An understanding of production issues is necessary to help contain costs.
7. Advertising research
Although extensive research has occurred in the situation analysis, a special class of advertising research must be discussed as part of message strategy. This research deals with the measurement of the message's impact and can take place at several levels ranging from a test of an early creative concept to a test of a finished commercial that is being shown on television. Dependent variables range from awareness through behavior depending on the nature of the objectives.
The goal of the message strategy is to develop a message or a series of messages
that will be informative and persuasive
in their compelling presentation
or relevant issues
to the target audience
. This concept can be broken down so that its components can be examined.
¨ A message or series of messages.
The message can be in print or broadcast media. There can be one message or a number of messages working together. In many cases it is preferable to have several messages coordinated over time as a campaign.
¨ Informative and persuasive.
All advertising has elements that are either informative or persuasive. Some is geared to be more of one or the other, but all messages have some of each component. Bu nature, all advertising tries to persuade the consumer to purchase a particular brand and at the same time they tries to be minimally informative.
¨ Compelling presentation.
In order for the informative and persuasive dimensions to have an impact, the message must be presented in a way that stops the consumer and holds attention. The world’s best product will go unnoticed if it is not presented in an interesting way.
¨ Relevant issues.
A compelling presentation is necessary to stop the consumer, but relevant issues are necessary to hold the consumer. The wonderfully entertaining but totally irrelevant messages will also hold the consumer attention, but they don’t necessarily sells the product.
¨ Relevant audience.
Target market is an issue throughout the development of the campaign.
Very important moment in creating the ad and especially in choosing the message is to clearly and correctly set the objectives. The objective has four components:
- Target market
- Task of advertising
- Time period within which to accomplish task
- Amount of change to achieve within target
Only the first two of these will be relevant to message objectives; time period and amount of change are more relevant for the media and promotions areas. Although the objectives here will just be concerned with the target and task, it is still necessary to achieve a high level of precision in the objective statement. It will also be useful (and should be required) to justify each of the component parts .
It is often said that objectives and strategies are the enemies of creativity, that objectives and strategies stifle, restrict, and confine, that strategies should only provide guidelines.These statements almost always come from writers or artists and show a lack of concern for the business of the client and for the ultimate need to influence behavior.
Of course, the complaints are accurate. Objectives and strategies do
stifle, restrict and confine. That is their purpose. Given the level of competition in most product classes and the perceptual defenses put up by most consumers, it is important to direct creativity. It is important that the creative work be on the mark so that it accomplishes the proper task on the proper target market. This doesn't stifle real
creativity leads to the development of a unique, memorable, forceful message that is also
consistent with the campaign objectives. Remember, it's not creative unless it sells.
As David Ogilvy wrote, "What you have to say is more important than how you say it. Your most important job is to decide what you are going to say about your product, what benefit you are going to promise."
Ed Meyer, head of Grey Advertising, says, "The stimulation of creative advertising starts with the clear articulation of its objectives."
And Dick Rowan of Marschalk Advertising says, "The trouble with most advertising is that few people ever stop to think through the marketing problem and objectives first."
The rigor imposed by objectives, positioning statements, and strategies is designed to focus rather than constrict creativity. It permits the total creative effort to be directed toward execution rather than toward a search for directions and, ultimately, allows for a measurement of the success of the messages in accomplishing their goals. A nicely written defense of strategies was prepared a by Howard Shank of Leo Burnett; as it appears below:
A few words about creative strategy
It seems to be in the nature of creative people to chafe at those little pieces of paper entitled "Creative Strategy."
To watch a lot of creative people react, you'd think those documents were really headed, "Arsenic. Take full strength. Do not dilute."
There is, to be sure, some reason for this revulsion. It is not unheard of for writers and art directors to be asked to execute something that should really be called an "un
The authors of these papers have been known to be neither creative nor strategic in their thinking and to mask a certified non-idea behind formularized words. If you execute such a non-idea, what you are bound to have is a noncompelling advertisement. No matter how cleverly you write and visualize.
Basic truth, you folks: the highest form of creativity in advertising is the
setting of real
We must never forget it.
It's what buid this business.
It's where your future and my future lie.
It's where at least half the joy in our business is found.
It's also where the hardest work is found, I'll admit. But don't forget, you always love hard work.
If you're still with me, I'd like to tell you what a real creative strategy is.
But first, I'll suggest to you some of the things it is not.
It Is not just a sentence that says, "The advertising will convince people that ourproduct is the (tastiest) (freshest) (mildest) (hardest-working) (classiest) (fastest) product in the store.
It is not the product of logic and analysis alone—although they're part of how you get there. It is not the province of the client or the account man—although they should be heavily involved.
It is not a jail for creative execution. Rather, if you've got a real creative strategy, it will inspire you to write and visualize at the height of your powers.
It is not aimed at robots but at human beings with hearts and guts as well as brains.
The last sentence is the crux of the matter.
The real creative strategy is the one that relates product to yearnings. Formula to life style.
If you can look at a thinner cigarette andsee not only as a special cigarette for women but also as a symbol of equality for women, you can create real creative strategies.
If you can look at a bar of soap with pumice in it and see not only an efficienthand washer but also the solution to the problem of "Public Dirt," you can create real creative strategies.
If you can look at a glass of chokolate milk and see it not as just a yummy thirst-quencher or a hunger fighter but as a cure to kid’s whimsicalities, you can create real creative strategies.
In all truth, the process that leads to real creative strategies is the process that leads to inventions.
It involves the seeing of old facts in new relationships.
It involves the discovery of needs and wants in people that even the people may not have discovered in themselves. (Hardly anyone knew he needed a telephone until A. G.
Bell came along.)
It also involves hard work. As I said before.
When you have a creative strategy problem on your plate, you are confronted by a need to know everything you can get your hands on. About the product itself. About competitive products. About the market: its habits, its attitudes, its demographics. About the advertising history of the category.
You need to study all the research you can get your hands on.
You need to ask questions until people hate to see you.
You need, in short, to dig, dig, dig.
The dismal truth is that your chances of finding a compelling creative strategy are in direct proportion to how much information you stuff your head with.
If you are working on a new coffee, say, you will wind up knowing more about coffee than you ever thought you wanted to know.
There is a very good reason why you must do this human sponge act if you are to invent real creative strategies.
Your subconscious mind—where a very important part of the invention process goes on—needs a richly-stocked data bank to do its best work.
The job of your subconscious is to review and re-review everything you know about a subject. It searches, even during your sleep, for new relationships between people and products; searches, as I suggested earlier, for new combinations of old Ideas; searches for the new insight that can give even a very old product the right to ask for new attention in the market.
If you stint your subconscious on the input side,
it will surely stint you on the output.
Creative strategy goes around in the world under several pseudonyms: basic concept, basic selling idea, product positioning, basic selling proposition.
But whatever the name, the purpose of real creative strategizing is simple and vital: the invention of a big idea.
I said earlier that this
creative strategy work is the highest form of creativity in advertising.
I believe it wholeheartedly. I also believe wholeheartedly in the power of brilliant execution.
What I believe in most of all is the synergism you create when you couple a big idea with brilliant words and pictures.
When you can do that regularly, you can't help getting rich and famous. Not to mention happy in your work.
Responsibility for developing objectives and strategy lies at the agency, but before execution can be initiated there must be approval from the client. The statement of objectives and strategies should be complete but concise and should show justifications for decisions that emerge from the situation analysis.
Tightly defined strategies also give freedom to copywriters because they know that their work should be judged solely against these preexisting guidelines. This direction should, therefore, be cherished. From another perspective, Norman Berry of Oglivy &
Mather says "There is nothing, in my view, so stupid, or so wasteful of time, talent and money, as to produce a whole lot of work saying one thing brilliantly, when in fact one should have been saying something else in the first place."
To set accurate message objectives, a quick revue of relevant issues will be useful.
In terms of target market:
1. Describe the audience as precisely as possible in relation to demographics, geographics and psychographics
2. What the problem that the brand will solve. for consumers.
In terms of the task:
3. Describe the task in terms of the stage of the hierarchy of effects.
4. Describe the task in terms of audience involved.
5. Describe the task in terms of the brands benefits.
6. Describe the task in relation to the competition.
7. Describe the desired tone of advertising
Some final thoughts about the message strategy
The statement of message tasks must cover four specific areas:
- Whom to sell
- What to sell
- Support of selling idea
- Tone of selling idea
For a message to be effective in accomplishing its tasks it must be:
1. Attention getting..
It must attract and hold the receiver.
It must use symbols that are common to both the sender and the receiver.
It must arouse basic needs and suggest the way to satisfy them.
It must suggest the solution that is compatible with the receiver.
In developing objectives and tasks, the manager must develop a coordinated campaign, not just one or a series of messages. There must ultimately be continuity across all messages so that consumers can learn more easily.
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