Friday, June 6, 2014

Effective Creative Strategies

A recent scientific study by the Cognitive Effect Center (CEC) discovered 
evidence of the effect of highly creative ads on the human brain.*

I do a lot of playing around here. Sometimes it's to parody Webland and sometimes it's for fun, or simply to keep the wheels turning. Occasionally, though, I'll get real boring and write a bit about the industry. Forgive me, but this is one of those.

These days there is a lot of attention given to technical skills in marketing communications. Web site and app coding. Content development. Computer design programs. Social media maximization. SEO – all crucial elements in making things work. Leaders who market their goods and services to a target audience (TA) often concentrate on the technical at the expense of the creative product by using the folks that perform technical tasks (or PR personnel or themselves) to devise creative direction and strategy. In all fairness, sometimes you do meet someone who builds and also has creative chops but mostly it's like allowing a dentist to remove your appendix. If you're new to the execution of creative, here are a few things to consider that can make the difference between an effort that doesn't get noticed and a mind blowing one:

1) Recognize the intelligence of your TA. Giving your audience the benefit of having intelligence will begin your relationship in a positive manner. Well thought out solutions with custom photography or thematic illustrations is far better than standard phrases and the use of generic stock photos with smiling, happy people. Interpreting your unique selling proposition in a memorable, intelligent manner draws attention and lends credibility to your message. With the ever increasing torrent of blasé messages hitting the public on a moment-to-moment basis these days, intelligence is a good way to distinguish yourself

2) Dare to be unique. Thinking differently will elevate a modest marketing communications budget to the value of a large scale one. Concept-based creative, delivered consistently across all media, adds immediate retention value. The use of humor, unique logic and memorable messages will help people remember your product or service over your competition and increase top-of-mind awareness, and

3) Be clean, clear and concise. You don't need to jazz up a layout in order to bedazzle. In fact, with all the clutter out there, the opposite is true. A simple layout with one clear message, topped off with a call to action (i.e. web site address) will plant the seeds of interest and increase your chances for buy in.

Boost the probability of capturing attention and blowing a few minds. Invest in unique, compelling creative. It will work hard for you and help maximize your marketing budget.


(The above samples are from my portfolio. There are many better examples of outstanding ad creative from the industry on this link and on other pages on the web. I urge you to explore and learn.)

*Note: The Cognitive Effect Center and the illustrated discovery is entirely fictional and not to be confused with actual science.


  1. I bet your portfolio is far more entertaining than most I've ever seen. Couldn't agree with you more about too much attention given to tech skills these days. How many ads do we see where we don't even remember what they're selling? Keep on keeping on!

    1. Thank you Linda. If you're curious the most recent version is at A lot of different types of stuff there, some better than others... :)