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Developing the Creative Strategy

13 May, 2016 - 16:19

Once all the relevant facts are gathered and evaluated, the process of actually creating the advertisement is appropriate. This process is very complex, and a complete description of it is well beyond the scope of this book. However, it is possible to highlight the primary parts of this process.

To begin with, the person or persons actually responsible for the complete advertisement depends upon the advertiser's organization of the advertising function and whether an advertising agency is used. More than likely, the development and approval of advertising creation is the responsibility of the senior advertising manager within the advertiser company and, when an advertising agency is used, of the agency management. In most agencies, the responsibility is that of the senior account person, in conjunction with the senior creative person assigned to the account. The advertising effort can be divided into two elements: the creative strategy and creative tactics. The creative strategy concerns what you are going to say to the audience. It flows from the advertising objectives and should outline what impressions the campaign should convey to the target audience. Creative tactics outline the means for carrying out the creative strategy. This includes all the various alternatives available, which will help reach the advertising objectives.

The place to begin the creative strategy is to ascertain the proper appeal to employ in the ad. (See Table 8.2) Identifying the appropriate appeal is just the first part of the advertising design process. The second part is to transform this idea into an actual advertisement. To say that there are a large variety of ways to do this would be a gross understatement. The number of techniques available to the creative strategist are not only vast, but the ability of more than one technique to successfully operationalize the same appeal makes this process even more nebulous.

Table 8.2 Primary advertising appeals
Product/service features Many products have such strong technology or performance capabilities that these features can serve as a primary advertising appeal.
Product/competitive advantage When an advertiser can determine that his product is superior, either in terms of features, performance, supporting services, or image, emphasizing a competitive advantage has proved to be a successful appeal.
Product/service price advantage Offering a product at a reduced price or under some special deal arrangement (e.g. buy-one-get-one-free) may be the only viable appeal in a particular ad.
News about product/service There are times when a truly new product is developed, or when an existing product is changed or improved in a substantial manner, that highlighting this single element is the core appeal.
Product/service popularity Although the manner varies, the notion of claiming that a product is "number one" or the most popular is an appeal that has been around for a long time.
Generic approach In such advertising, a product or service category is promoted for its own sake, but individual makes or brands of product are not singled out.
Consumer service A popular appeal is to illustrate through the advertisement how the product may be used to best serve the needs of the consumer.
Savings through use An opportunity to save time, money or energy is always very appealing to consumers.
Self-enhancement Helping us feel better about ourselves (e.g. personal care, clothing, automobiles) is an appeal that many people cannot resist.
Embarrassment or anxiety Situations that represent a threatening situation, either physically or socially, can provide the basis for an effective appeal.
Product trial When this appeal is used, the advertiser offers a free sample, a price reduction, or some other purchase incentive to encourage consumer use or trial.
Corporate This type of appeal presents a company or corporation in a favorable light in order to create a favorable impression or image.