The creative part of advertising involves the process of selecting and presenting the messages. The business of conceiving, writing, designing and producing these messages is called advertising creativity and the key wordsmith is called a copywriter or copy chief or copy supervisor. The success of advertising depends to a great extent on the quality of the message or copy of advertisement rather than the money spent on advertising.
The conventional theory of advertising includes the concept of AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action). Most of the advertisers believe that the message in advertisement copy must attract the attention and interest of the consumer if buying is to result. But they forget that only good advertisement copy or good message can attract the attention and interest of the receiver until and unless the much advertise product attributes have a strong impact on consumers. The consumers come to know the existence of the product only through the advertisement. Advertising tries to persuade the consumers that they need the product. But if the product attributes fail to satisfy the need of buyers, good creativity will not pay.
Creativity is an art. An artiste, writer, poet, novelists, play writer takes well known ideas, words and phrases and relates them in a fresh, often brilliant manner while preparing an advertising copy. They combine the product attributes and the ideas, words and phrases in such a manner that persuades the consumers to buy the product. This combination really represents and art or a creativity. A child can draw a smiling picture of a woman, but it does not carry a creative message of some worth.
The advertising copy writer writes with a purpose to achieve client’s objectives to express features or attributes of particular products and services, presented in terms of consumer benefits and in the language most appropriate to defined target audience. Thus advertising messages should present merchandise in ways that interest people in buying. Print ads and broadcast commercials portray products as problem solvers or methods whereby wants and needs may fulfilled. When creating, copy writer builds messages according to specific plans, to fulfill specific objectives, and he should follow a disciplined way in creating them. In the words of Alfred Polite –“ Advertising creativity has to follow rules which are guided by a well defined purpose, by an analysis of thoughts supplied by imagination, by a selection of the useful ones which meet the purpose.”
Activities comprising Creative Design task Process
Although there is no one set form for designing the process. There are various variables that are typically parts of the creative design process. These activities are:
- Advertising objectives – The main objective of advertising is to aid the selling process through communication with existing and prospective customers. Most advertisements inform and persuade. Some are designed to establish attitudes and buying behaviours of the patterns. Still others strive to reinforce or to change existing shopping habits brand images and usage patterns. The advertisement copy must achieve the advertising communication objectives. Now, it is the responsibility of the creative specialists to translate the information available to them into an advertisement or a basic theme for an advertising campaign that will achieve the advertiser‟s objective.
- Information to creative People – The second task of the creative people, after getting the advertising objectives, is to product for collecting the various information relating to the product and the marketing mix. Creative design people prepare for the design task by examining the information on the product which is to be offered in the advertising. This makes for the integration of advertising messages with the other components of the marketing mix. Such types of information may be gathered in meetings between the creative personnel and the marketing managers for the product.
- Target Audience – The next step in the creative process is to make the copywriter available description of the demographic and psychographic make-up of the specific target audience for whom the ad is being created vis-à-vis the product. Quantitative data such as age, sex, marital status, occupation, income, education, place of residence, must be supplemented by information on consumer attitudes (related to advertised product, and its competitors as well as to the types of creative claims being considered for the message)on relevant media, shopping and buying habits and on product usages. Thus any information that describes target audience is useful.
- Copy and Layout Design – The next task before the creative personnel is to turn to the creative task which is the design of the copy and layout. Creative personnel, including, artists, art directors, and copy writers, must design an approach to the communication of the messages that carry pre-determined advertising objectives. Part of the process involves writing copy, the verbal text of the advertisement. The copy then must be integrated with illustrations into an overall design for the advertisement’s layout. The design of the copy and the layout is an art that requires special skills.
- Credibility or Back-up Claim – Whatever message is designed, it must be a cluster of truth. Truth is essential in advertising. The truth is not truth until people believe in it. They cannot believe in it if they do not know what we are saying if they do not listen to us; they cannot listen to us unless we are interesting and finally we cannot be interesting if we say facts in a fresh, original and imaginative way. In order to establish credibility for our promises, we need to support it with facts and with satisfactions. So, truth is essential in advertising and must be supported with facts.
- Copy Layout Tests – The role of creativity in advertising is very important and should not be underestimated. An important aid to the creative design task is the use of copy layout tests to assess and compare alternatives. After the copy layout is released, samples can be drawn from target audiences to test its effectiveness in specific conditions. Then respondents are asked to give their opinion on the various aspects of the ad including how well it can be seen or read or heard under specific conditions, how quickly and easily the message can be understood, how interesting an ad is liked, how believable it is or how it will influence audience behavior.
- Allocation to Creative Task – The next important task to creativity is the allocation of funds towards this task. Since there is little in the way of modeling effort to help in this decision, the allocation task is usually done judgmentally.
- Creative Strategy and Tactics – Finally every copy strategy must describe the mood and tone of all the forthcoming ad or commercial; cheerful, dramatic, business like and whatever. All types of written materials, such as art work, layout and script must be used as components of printed or broadcast advertisements.
Thus, advertising creativity is the most important part of the advertising programme. It is an art and should be provided sufficient funds in order to achieve the business and marketing objectives.
External Links about Advertising Creativity:
- Creativity in Advertising: When It Works and When It Doesn’t (Harvard Business Review)