Your advertising ideas should end the argument. To form the strongest argument, simply think of the strongest counter-argument(s), and then get better.

Think of an arrogant, stubborn, drunk guy arguing at a bar. Your campaign idea should be so good that it will shut him up immediately, and hopefully end the argument then and there.

An idea should end the argument for buying a product.

If people remember your ad more for how it looks and sounds and feels than what it’s saying, that’s when style has overtaken substance; execution has overtaken concept; and brand has overtaken benefit.

But sometimes you have little or no choice: ‘advertising is the USP’ is perhaps a brand’s last resort in a sea of parity products.

It all depends on how good your ads are.

Print advertising is considered to be advertising’s hardest creative discipline, especially compared to broadcast (TV and radio). Think about it, a print ad has to communicate an idea in a few seconds rather than thirty, the images can’t ‘move’ or use sound like in TV, and it has to compete with the interesting newspaper and magazine articles right alongside it.

Research more than you could possibly need on each particular subject. Why? Because if you research only according to your first impressions on a project, or according to preconceived ideas about what you will finish up with, your end product will be constrained by the limites of your own conformity.

Headline only, visual only, or headline and visual. The other components might include the product shot/logo, sub-headline, body copy, and tagline.

We have to build up an internal reference system. We have to develop a new way of storing images, ideas and visual metaphors so that we can call on them when needed. Notebooks and sketch books are essential adjuncts for this.

A poor strategy is virtualy impossible to work from. The three biggest culprits in a poorly devised strategy statement tend to be:

1.) the non-single-minded proposition

2.) the lack of credible suppot points

3.) the undefined target audience.

When titling your script, avoid the temptation to rush the title of your TV script. Titles may seem relatively trivial, but they can be important for various reasons:

1.) it gives the script an identity. Naturally, the title is what everyone will start referring to your idea by, so keep it short and avoid potentially annoying, stupid names.

2.) people naturally read or present the title before reading the script, so make sure it doesn’t give anything away, especially if there’s an unexpected twist at the end of the commercial.

3.) the title can actually help to sell a script. If the title can refer to the proposition in some way, it cleverly reinforces the fact that the idea is ‘on strategy.’ Or, give it a title that will appeal to the client.

Seconds before it went off to the client, my group creative director changed the title from ‘Bed’ to ‘Torture.’ It was a stroke of genius. Suddenly the product was the hero.

The end frame (of your video) can be a simple cut away to a blank screen with the tagline and logo neatly centered (voice over optional). It’s a simple, clever, and relevant way to give (your video) some visual branding, which helps to make the campaign more memorable.

Humor should not be forgotten as a way to sell products! It is a bonding element between human beings: if you can make someone laugh, he will feel friendlier toward you and perhaps even remember you!

Humor is effective when product-centric and relevant to a sale message.

Emotional Branding by Marc Gobé

Leave it to a director to (not) understand your idea. Be open minded to suggestions, but remember: your job is to make the ad communicate; to make sure the main idea isn’t getting ‘lost.’

I’ve got this tiny pang of regret when I think of how much I have probably missed out on in the last few years because I was too scared to take a risk, or too shy to speak up, or too worried to be bold.

Jessi Kirby, Golden (via simply-quotes)

Finding new ways to sell a product requires a cetain amount of lateral thinking, and a considerable amount of original thinking. Once you have a clear strategy in place, you should be able to create multiple campaign ideas (or one shots, if required). Your job is then to pick the best one, or rather, the one that produces the best ads.

Innovation comes from the margins, not out of the established, dominant voice.

Brand Jam by Marc Gobé

Interrogating clients is an essential part of being a designer. If we don’t learn to ask questions, we run the risk of never getting to the heart of what good design can be. No question is ever too dumb to ask, and if we are frightened of exposing our ignorance we will never understand anything.

Websites vs. Microsites. Websites refer to the main website for a brand. Microsites (or mini-sites) refer to sites that are specific to a single message or campaign and are therefore separate from the main website. However, sometimes successful microsites become the main brand website.

A site can be an ad in itself. So can email. Try to create a webstite that makes consumers want to enter their email so they can be targeted again via subscription (until they choose to unsubscribe).

Writing is a very high-pressure job, made easier by the precise audience profile, which gives you plenty to work with in terms of establishing a relationship with the reader. This low-volume, high-quality list gives you a clearly defined target audience to whom you can speak in their own voice, and use examples directly relevant to their lives.

Broadly speaking, there are three types of interactive concepts:

1.) Entertainment-driven

2.) Informational-driven

3.) Some combination of the two

Having an interesting, relevant concept that draws the consumer in, followed by interesting, relevant product information to keep them interested, and in some cases make a sale.

You can always argue about it in post-production – but you can’t argue about footage that isn’t there!

Due to the reduction of consumers’ attention spans and information overload, it’s more important than ever to be quick, interesting, and true.