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Clients Don’t Need Art, They Need Ads That Work

A lot of agency creatives act like they’re painting the Sistine Chapel and I admit it, as an agency Creative Director, I was once caught up in the advertising awards game.  I even won a few.  This can lead to you believing that winning awards is what advertising is all about and you can really lose perspective.

The truth is that award-winning creative work and effective creative work are not always the same thing. Creativity is a wonderful tool for making an ad more effective, but it shouldn’t be and end in itself. Our clients, smart people that they are, have always wanted us to concentrate on “effective” rather than “award-winning.” And that’s where efforts should be focused.  Here, you won’t find copywriters and art directors doing ads to meet the evermore-esoteric standards of today’s award shows. Nor do we have creative people trying to use the client’s advertising budget to entertain their peers or realize their own dreams of being a novelist or painter.

 Does the idea we’ve created draw attention to the client’s ad? Does it help our target audience remember the ad? Will it help them understand the message? And are they likely to buy or try because of it?  These are questions you should ask about creative. Not whether or not it will make the creative team famous.

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