The Advertising Leader


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The Advertising Leader

  1. 1. 1Advertising is the creative expression of your brand their perception of the brand. Usually the truthstrategy. While it needs to accomplish its strategic is the obvious— we just don’t see it sometimestask, it also projects an image of what your brand or want to deny it (e.g. Listerine is strong). Goodis about. Good advertising starts with a big idea. advertising is a balance between the rationalThe idea must be big enough to stand through time, truth (task benefit oriented) and emotional truthgiving the consumer a consistent touch point with (connection / solution focus).the brand. The idea also needs to have room for an array of messages that build up to the one constant Evaluating good advertising from bad is as easy asvision for the brand. your ABC’S. Good ads need to attract Attention (A) be about the Brand (B), Communicate theThere is truth in advertising! In fact, brand’s story (C), and Stick in people’s minds (S)un-true advertising is rejected by consumers — over time. The best ads are ones that find thebecause the consumer sees no consistency with “creative epitome” where the creative idea actuallyTHE does all four: A, B, C and S.ADVERTISINGLEADER “You Get the Advertising that you deserve” (old ad agency proverb)THE ADVERTISINGLADDER From Strategy to Expression Brand Vision Where Are We? Brand Issues We Face Media Guidelines Strategies to Meet Target Audience Ad Platform Media Range Creative Strategy Big Ideas Communication with Creative Expressions Agency should go up Final Media Direction Ad Architecture and down this ladder Tone/Feel Ad Elements Final AdAs the advertising leader, you have to merry the these together to maximize the expression ofcreative and the media. While relying on 2 divergent your strategy.experts, you have to become the expert in bringing
  2. 2. 2Having this ladder etched into your brain, will allow As we move down through the process, I find theyou to be better at communicating with your agency top part is all about figuring out what you wantor the creative team. to do…the middle part is more about structure, logic and architecture. The bottom part is aboutIt forces you to go up and down, which grounds getting a feel for the tone, character and details. Thepeople in your thinking. You might find that a given challenge is, they all have to match.casting choice doesn’t fit the tone or that the bigidea doesn’t reflect the strategy.WHEREARE WE? The 5 Great QuestionsBefore you start any advertising project, you have Also, 3 months after you go on air, answer theseto be grounded in where you are and where you questions again! You will likely be shocked at thewant to go. Answering these 5 questions helps you impact of your ad…or at least you should be.set your advertising vision, strategy, and in the endthe execution. On the creative side, I always try to critique my » Where are we? own ads and use that as the theme for going » Why are we there? into the next round of creative. » Where could we be? » How can we get there? » Are we getting there?WHAT ARE WETRYING TO DO? Issues & StrategiesWhy are you advertising, and what do you MINDSHARE: Are you trying to get more attentionhope that advertising will do for the brand? This then your competitors, in the hope that attentionshould take you back to your key issues and your drives sales?strategy—and then link these down the ladder to CONNECTION: Are you trying to reflect thecreative strategy. experience of your brand to create a tighter emotional bond to your brand?The answer has to be framed in a behavioural NEW NEWS: Is there something new you have tochange you want to happen in your consumer. announce—new claim, new launch or new reason for buying?DRIVE ACTION: Are you trying to get moreconsumers to eat (drive trial), or your current It could be a combination of things—but the tighterconsumers to eat more (penetration) ? you can narrow “what you want the advertising toMINDSHIFT: Are you trying to drive a new do”, the better the rest of the project will be.positioning or re-enforce your current equity?
  3. 3. 3BEFORE YOU EVEN START... If you think back to your overall brand strategy, Awareness which one of these 5 lines are you focused on activating or triggering? Yes, the other lines will move Trial in accordance, but which one are you strategically Purchase focused on? Re-Purchase Understanding this will help focus you on your task as you dig into the advertising. So when you keep Routine asking yourself: “what am I trying to do”, it will re- ground you in “drive trial” for example.WHAT ARE WETRYING TO DO? What Stage Are You At? ? Trigger: “What started the process?” It can be TRIGGER CONSIDER a special occasion, an emergency, planned or unplanned, a habit, a routine.EXPERIENCE SEARCH Consider: “What were your options?” “What benefits were you looking for...?” Look at answers from consumer’s point of view. This is our $ ‘competition’ BUY CHOOSE Search: How did you find out about them? Don’t under-estimate their information sources. TodayIf you think about what you are really trying to do, everything is a medium. You want to be where theystart with where your brand is, and where your are searching.consumers’ mind is at. This model shows thatconsumers go through a continual loop from trigger Choose: “How did you choose which one toto experience. You have to decide where you want get?” What makes the difference? What’s the keyto focus, and with what tools. You’ll be surprised motivator?that work that focuses on consideration will be verydifferent from that focused on choosing or buying. Buy: “Did you buy the one you’d already chosen?” Things happen at the last minute (e.g.: competitionIt’s a good tool to figure out multi-media approaches, is on sale).using TV to gain the consideration, a website for thesearch and a promo to get them to buy. Experience: “Are you happy with it?”
  4. 4. 4WHAT ARE WETRYING TO DO? An Example: Buying My TVTrigger: My TV is 10 years old and not working Choose: But then I see a 27 inch flat screen forthat great. $399. It’s Panasonic, which I figure is as good as JVC or Samsung.Consider: I want a 27inch for about $400-500. It’smy 3rd TV, so I don’t want to spend too much. I Buy: They only had one left in stock…whichfigure a Japanese Manufacturer—given my bias that appears to be on hold for another customer. AsNA ones are crap. they look it up in the system, I’m thinking, I’ll just ask what else do you have in that range…whichSearch: I’ve been watching the flyers for a while makes me realize the brand didn’t matter, as long asnow. Prices look to be coming down. Get into the it was in my consideration set. At that price, I’m notstore…see a 27 inch down as low as $299…which too fussy.scares me…plus it’s an RCA…is it good? See a32 inch at $499…that’s pretty good, but it’s not a Experience: Maybe I should have gotten the 32flat screen. Maybe I could get bigger within my inch. I guess I’ll watch for when the flat screen 32price range. inch TVs comes down in price.WHO’SBUYING? Target AudienceA good target is defined as what slice of the you to talk to. Too often, brands are tempted to gopopulation will be “most likely” to be motivated to after an aspiration “cool” target (the leading edge),take the action you want them to take. It should while ignoring the “meat and potatoes” target (thebe a mix of demographic and psychographic—use masses). Nearly every town in Canada has a Queena target range to be fairly inclusive from a media Street, so try not to be “too Queen Street West-view, but also don’t be afraid to narrow down to ish”. This does not mean you broaden the target,a bulls eye so you can picture who you are talking but rather to ensure that the bulls-eye is trulyto. Name them if you can (eg NASCAR Dads) , reflective of your strategic target.more so to reflect them then to generalize—ithelps the creatives figure a way to better “express” You can’t market to everyone—while it’s temptingyour strategy. to keep the target broad enough to avoid missing someone, your final work will always expressBe careful to make sure we talk to who we need beyond the “bulls-eye”.to talk to, and not who you or the agency wants
  5. 5. 5WHAT AREWE SELLING? Ad PlatformUsually we start out wanting our ad to do one Ask yourself the question: “what are we selling”.thing, but then we realize we need it to do so many That should naturally force you to think about:things. The biggest mistake is to layer on more Selling solutions rather than over-dramatizingand more benefits or mandatory requirements or the problem…remember that consumerstarget insights. buy solutions not problems.You have to realize that your ad will normally do 5 What’s the difference between your brandor 6 things, just by its very nature. What you have and the others? Make sure you don’t sellto think about….what’s the ONE THING you need the category benefit, and make sure youyour advertising to do for you, and are you doing don’t sell what someone else is well? Focus on consumer needs the brand can own, and not just the product features the brand already has.The Shout From The MountainYou’ll find agencies will use so many tricks to get it one more time, and see if you can take out 5-15down to the ONE THING. And whatever works for words. You’ll be surprised how much better it gets.them or you, the better. If it’s a postcard, a bumpersticker, “what would you say to get someone to And a third way to look at this is through a simplemarry you”….find your own. My favourite seems function, where the probability of success (P) isto be the “SHOUT FROM THE MOUNTAIN”. It directly linked to the inverse of the numbers offorces you to want to scream just ONE THING messages (M) you have in your ad:about your brand—keeping it simple. P = 1 2mAnother good exercise, once you are close on the The more messages, the less chance for success.brief is to challenge yourself to go through the briefCreative StrategyThe big question is always “who writes the brief ”. strategy. A good brief should translate what youI believe it’s the agency that writes the brief. While really want into language that sets up the creatives’the creative strategy should be a mirror of your ability to express that. Debate every word on thestrategic platform, having it written into the agency’s brief with rigger—because if you don’t you’ll bewords and agency’s format allows them to digest it sliding down the Advertising Ladder into a directionand buy into it, which is step 1 in the agency taking you will not like…and you’ll feel that price at a laterover the accountability for the work. point in the process.What’s the harm in them writing it? You are at the Most agencies believe a good brief should be atable and can always input to ensure it reflects your “creative” document that motivates and inspires
  6. 6. 6their creative teams. I worry that those “creative” Before You Go…Does it all Fit?words start to narrow the focus—in either tone orreflection. If you have “fights stains” on the brief, Look for “tubas playing their own song” so you canit has much more room then “goes to war with make sure that everything is aligned—e.g. doesstains”. This is especially true for a new direction—if your target fit your vision and your benefit fit youryou have an established ad idea, the wording should strategy? If you are trying to drive penetration, thenreflect some of the previous work. why are we targeting current users?STRATEGY IS EXECUTIONAND EXECUTIONIS STRATEGY Creative Strategy ExpressionThe creative team will put all their focus behind should no longer be your strategy. Simply put, it’s“what is the one thing that we need to tell them”. impossible to express your strategy in a way theMake sure it’s clear, tight, and you fully buy into consumer gets or finds meaningful. Go back up theit, because this is what the execution should be advertising ladder and re-write the brief.focused against. Also, if you nail it, then your advertising is now aIf you are doing it right, the strategy and execution living and breathing expression of your strategy.are so inter-connected, it should be hard to see After 3 months on the air, you’ll be surprised at howwhere one starts and one ends. fast things can change. Go back up the ladder and start again. A good execution SHOULD alter ourIf an advertising execution is to be an expression strategic thinking…and we should adjust where weof strategy, then a strategy that is not executable go from here.
  7. 7. 7CONSUMERS ARENEVER STRATEGIC Keep the Creative Strategy SimpleConsumers digest 1000’s of messages a day…when Realize though, that your consumers rarely analyzethey open their fridge, drive in their car, walk along your ads…they simple consume and digest them.a busy street, turn on the radio, watch 62 channels If they never “over-think”, than why do you?of TV. Realize that if your message sticks, you have Keep it simple.done 99% of the job. It’s that simple. 0 to 60 ? YesAl Ries says everyone should be able to get theirbrand down into 1 word. (e.g. DQ “thick”). Whilethat might be a lofty desire, you should be able toget your brand down into one idea. What’s the oneword or sentence for your brand—what exactly areyou selling? Very Little Can Say A Lot!THE TRUTH Are you There?Before going into the advertising development, do Emotional Truth: What is the emotional area youyou have a grasp on the truth about your brand? can play in? Based on what the consumer thinksIt’s a strange thing, but they always joke about the about you, where is the brand allowed to go, andlack of truth in advertising—but I always find that how far? Does your ad fit the brand?whenever I get a great ad, it’s likely because I’m asclose to the truth as possible. The truth does not mean you just stand still and tell them what they already know. But rather youRational Truth: What are the rational thoughts your make sure where you are allowed to go. Otherwise,consumer already has about you, or what is in your if there is a big disconnect, the consumer will simplybag of tricks that you’ve yet to share. How do you reject your reflect them back to your consumer? Askyourself over and over again. What are you selling?
  8. 8. 8THEADVERTISINGMESSAGE The Medium is the Message Marshall McLuhan The Truth ? Keep in mind, that ! it’s not what is said, but what is heard. Try to think like your consumer.THEBRIEF Getting All your thoughts down on Paper The Rational Truth: The mind is a medium... All of these thoughts impact your view of the brand. Marketing is constantly about stretching the consumers’ mind. However, there are some things they won’t let you do.
  9. 9. 9 The EmotionalTruth: ...and so is the Heart. It’s easier to think logically then to feel emotionally. But many times, it is even more important. Does it feel right? Tim Horton’s now owns “being Canadian”YOUR Horton’s now owns “being Canadian” TimSTRATEGY The Set UpAdvertising Strategy: What do you want the Specific measures or results that you’ll use to knowadvertising to do for you? if it was a success. Think of it as a step on the road to the success. (eg: if the advertising drives awareness,It’s a sub-strategy to what you are trying to do with we know they’ll try it, and love it)the brand. Advertising is a prompting of action! Tryto think of either an action you want the consumer Should be linked to the advertising actionsto do or an end state of where you need to be to you wanted.fulfill your overall strategy or vision. Target and Insights: Who are they, and what do weObjective: How will you measure if it is successful? know that matters?
  10. 10. 10You want to define the parameters of which slice psychographics. I like the idea of a target range andof the population that you think you can then a bulls-eye.actually move with this advertising,— either based on demographics or What are the 1 or 2 key behaviours about this group that you think you can tap into and use as aYOUR way to get them to take.STRATEGY The PositioningBenefit: What are we selling? Make sure it’s a perfect logical/emotional match toThe benefit is a match between what your brand the benefit.has (what are you selling) and what the consumersactually want (what are they buying). Brand Positioning: Reflects the overall strategyShould be very single minded—and focused on the This becomes a summary of target, benefitslice of the population you want.. and support. “For (this target), Listerine is the brand that (benefit)Support: Why should they believe us? because (support)”The reason to believe the benefit is true. What’sthe one thing we can tell them to help trigger the Brand Character: Words you feel reflect what youraction we want? brand is all about. Think of words that you feel would be the 3-4 defining words of your brand, if it were a person.Agency FormatWhy are we advertising? view the brand afterwards. This is almost your headThe agency thinks about this in terms of head space, space objective.and how they want to impact the consumer’s brains.The hard part is that we think of this as an action. What is the one thing we need to tell them? This should reflect either what you are selling orWho are we talking to? how you are selling. It’s the benefit. Many times it’sThey will use the target references but try to take the only thing the creatives will focus on.our insights and reflect them in an interesting wayfor the creative team. Why should they believe us? This is the reason to believe the “one thing”.What do they currently think about your brand?Think of it as the “before”. A very honest perspective Brand Characterof how the consumer currently views your brand. Reflects your words on your document. Be careful we don’t mix up brand character with “toneWhat do we want them to think? of voice”. I’ve since asked them to add both toThis is the “after” which is how do we want them to the document.
  11. 11. 11An ExampleWhy are we advertising?To continue to develop the link to brushing What do we want them to think?to establish Listerine as a part of the daily oral I didn’t realize that it’s wise to use Listerine all thecare routine. time. But I sure like the idea of keeping my mouth clean and in the best health it can be, so I’m goingWho are we talking to? to start using it every time I brush.Reactive Preventers – the kind of people who reactto news by improving their ways – who currently What is the one thing we need to tell them?use Listerine occasionally (2 – 4 times per week) For the cleanest, healthiest mouth, use Listerineaged 20 – 40 (bullseye 28). They usually brush twice after brushing.daily, and see their dentist on occasion, so probablyalready think that they’re doing enough. When they Why should they believe us?use Listerine, it’s likely triggered by gingivitis or a Using Listerine eliminates more germs thanmouth that just doesn’t feel as good as it should. brushing aloneThey understand what Listerine does, but theydon’t think of it as a part of the daily routine. Brand character Powerful, larger than life, immortal and unfailing.What do they think about Sense of humour. Modern and hard-working.Listerine Mouthwash?Listerine is strong tasting, I know Brand Strategy Creative Briefthat it kills germs and fights Advertising Strategy Why are we advertising?gingivitis. I use it occasionally Objective Who are we talking to? Target and Insightswhen I think I need to. What do they currently think? Benefit What do we want them to think? What is the one thing we need to tell them? Support Brand Positioning Why should they believe us? Brand Character Brand Character
  12. 12. 12EVALUATING &DIRECTING The ABCs of Finding Good AdvertisingADVERTISINGYOUR ROLE IN THECREATIVE PROCESS Before the Creative MeetingThe creative process is a “buy/sell” proposition and Keep in mind “the creative guys have just had theiryou are buying. Think of it like hiring an interior past 9 creative projects turned down, they were indecorator for a house you are going to live in. an edit studio all night for another ad, they haveDoes that change your thinking in you getting what some really funny stuff that they aren’t sure you areyou need? going to laugh at, and they didn’t sleep well worrying about what you think of their work”. If you want toWe do not give feedback, we give direction. get their best work on your brand, think about howFeedback has no action to it and has a “so what” you react, how you engage with them.quality to it, whereas direction has movement. Itassumes you like something or don’t and it has However you phrase things, and however much yousome thoughts on where you want it to go to make like and dislike things, you have to let them knowit even better. A good agency team will listen and how you feel right away. They want to know! Therereact to your direction. is no use hiding it, since it will only come out later anyway, and then they’ll be even more mad and sayAt the creative meeting, I refuse to let the brief be “why didn’t you tell us you didn’t like it”, only thenread. Why? First, your consumer never has access you’ll be further down the Advertising Ladder andto the brief. I always try to put myself in the shoes need to go back up again!of the consumer and try to digest the ads as theywould. Second, how do you balance the rational I always say “be careful what you ask for because itand the emotional if you have just re-read a rational might be crap”, meaning your direction should havedocument about the ads you are about to see. If room for them to operate within. If you get tooyou were getting your house decorated, would you much into “dictating” then you probably won’t likewalk into the room right away and see what it felt what comes or would you stand on the front steps with thedecorator ensuring he understands what you andhim talked about 2 weeks ago? “Why do you nothave the brief memorized?”
  13. 13. 13RE-WRITE THE BRIEFCommon knowledge says that an ad should deliver It’s arrogant to think that you can perfect the strat-against the brief….double check against the brief egy in an ivory tower. If I see good copy, I’d ratherto see that everything is delivered. However, you throw out the brief than throw out the copy.have to be flexible enough to decide if good copychanges your brief.
  14. 14. 14ATTENTION How do we get noticedBRANDING in a crowd?COMMUNICATIONSTICKINESSATTENTION How To Gain AttentionIt is crucial that you stand out among the crowd.Some people think that just by going on air, you’ll benoticed, but I tend to think about having to EARN A themselves or their truth about how they interact with the brand.the consumers’ attention—which means my spot 3. Entertain them: Strike the consumer’shas to work HARD to EARN it. emotional cord - make them laugh, make them cry, or make them tingle. From theThe 4 simple ways to gain attention are: consumer’s view—they interact with media 1. Be Incongruent: Get noticed by being a to be entertained—so entertain them. bit off kilter or different from what they are 4.The Evolution of the Art of Being Different: watching. Avoid being like “wallpaper”--do Movies, TV, and music continues to evolve— you want to stand out? what was funny 5 years ago, doesn’t work 2. Resonate: Find a way to connect with today. As much as your art has to express the consumer in the true way that they see your strategy, it needs to reflect the trends of society to capture their attention.FIND YOURINCONGRUENCE Set Yourself ApartWhen Connor was 4 years old and was cold, he turns to me, smiles and says “my ears are misbehaving…running all right here” He has now engaged with me and he is over the house, in a bit willing to listen to what I have to say. We have now of a daze where nothing connected, even in the weirdest way. But then I can I could say would break begin to talk to him—in an easy way. through, and he wouldn’t even listen to me yelling Ads should have something that is visually, “slow down” or “stop”. emotionally or creatively incongruent to the mind, I would say something to break through the clutter. Remember people sit like “Why are your down to watch their favourite TV shows, not your ears hanging from your ads. Your ads have to run counter to that, in order bum?” That catches him to stand out
  15. 15. 15RESONATE WITHYOUR CONSUMER Relevant and InsightfulTo connect with your consumer, you have to tap where their emotional truth laid were they any thing. something, then Sunlight would follow. Only when they found For years, Sunlight tried to go head to head with Tide. If Tide didinto the unique insights about your consumer’sexperience with your brand. It’s this truth abouthow they feel that makes these ads do a very work-man like job in grabbing the consumer’s attention.While these ads can be a bit on the quieter side—the connection can be very strong. Where somepeople go wrong in this area—is that they think itneeds to be “realistic” to really connect. They takethe fun out of it all. Actually, hyperbole is a greatvehicle to show the exaggerated state of how theconsumer feels. It’s the expression of the insightthat makes it connect. These are the “Seinfeld-isms”that we all feel in our daily life.If you are doing it right, you’ll hear your consumersay “that really speaks to me”.ENTERTAINTHEM Make them Laugh, Make them Cry…InvolvingGiven that all media is the source of entertainment brand—but find a way for the entertainment to actfor consumers, one of the simplest ways to gain as a catalyst for your brand’s message.their attention is to entertain them. Especially, whenyou are trying to appeal to their emotional side— The risk here is the “gag and tag” approach towhether you are trying to make them laugh, cry or advertising—which you can spot from a mile away.inspire them. Funny gag that gets you laughing—but then cut to white screen with the product—add in a change ofFor these spots to work, your brand should be woven pace to the music, say the tag line and you’re out.into the story line of the entertainment. Make sure These spots have a terrible brand link.that the entertainment does not overshadow your
  16. 16. 16BE DIFFERENT FOR THE SAKEOF BEING DIFFERENT Ads Need To EvolvePush Yourself to Set Yourself Apart you should either go left or right, but never in the middle. Everyone has to have some sort of gig—theThink of the “fruit fly” experiment. When you put gig becomes the idea to build on. Try to find what100 fruit flies in a jar, each fruit fly mates at a similar you think is your brands line in the sand, take a steprate to all the other fruit flies. As soon as you put on the other side of it, and it’s probably not so an albino fruit fly, the albino fly mates at twice therate, just because it is different then the rest. Ever notice how TV, music and movies continually evolve creatively. What seemed different or edgy 5Your advertising needs to have something different years ago is common today. It’s the same thing within it just to stand out. Many times people think the advertising: creative devices and techniques come insafest ground is the middle ground. But many times and out of style.that ground is where it’s the most risky, becauseyou end up with no real idea. It’s wallpaper. SoTRACKING How to Know if you are Getting Attention?The key focus of your tracking would be on Don’t discount the use of brand link here—especiallyprompted recall on the specific TV spot plus any since the idea is to gain attention for your brand,changes in the overall line for claimed recall for the and not just the spot.brand. Also, for the ad to really connect, you aregoing to need to see proven recall of the separate You may also want to look for aided opinion scoreselements of the ad, which shows that they are for enjoyability and uniqueness as indicators for howinternalizing the ad. These elements become part well the ad will do over time.of your creative assets that can then be used as partof the branding to set up a longer term relationshipto the branding idea.
  17. 17. 17BRANDINGHow To Brand Your Spot Maximum Brand InvolvementThere is an old advertising saying “half of alladvertising is wasted, but we aren’t sure which B use, but rather how closely connected the brand to the climax of your ad.half ”. The average brand link is 50%…our goal 2. Is it the Truth: It sounds funny, but if thereshould always be to get higher. The obvious goal of is a disconnect between what you say, andadvertising is the desire to get people to see your what you are….then the brand link won’tbrand. be there. People will discard the ad. 3. Own the Idea Area: Be a bit different—The 4 simple ways to brand your spot are: make sure that what you do sets you apart 1. Be Part of the Story: In the spirit of big from anyone else. ideas, how do you tell a story, using your 4. Repeat: Don’t be afraid of building your brand. It’s not how much branding you brand—and the simplest way to get branding is to repeat and repeat and repeat.BE PARTOF THE STORYHigh InvolvementMy pet peeve in advertising is when I hear creatives more branding. A powerful story can capture thesay “and then we cut to the pack shot”. When I hear consumer, and hold them…but also leave themthat, I wonder why people are afraid of the brand? with a little magic…it’s the brand’s life story…andThat’s the “gag and tag” approach where consumers that will make the brand much more memorable.will think it’s funny and they say they like that ad,but then “can’t remember what brand it’s for”. The Here is where you need to think about ad structureway to get involvement is to force your creatives to and architecture. It’s not about “how muchmake your brand part of the story. Avoid cutting branding”….but rather how close your brandingaway to a white screen. comes to the climax of the ad. You don’t always need to give the brand away so early…but youAlso, people remember stories, and if that story should try to give it away at a very powerful partinvolves the brand, then naturally we would have of the adIS ITTHE TRUTH Relevant Consumer InsightsMost people think that all advertising is a lie. Well, So many brands that have trouble, are trying toonly those ads that speak the truth will be successful run in the opposite direction of the truth. Do theover the long run. If an ad’s message is a disconnect opposite—reach down into brand’s soul and find ato the experience or truth of the brand, then people way to simply convey the truth. I’ve talked aboutwill naturally forget what brand it is for and then leveraging assets…even more important is todiscard the message. leverage your brand’s soul. In Listerine’s example, the brand spent the whole 80s and 90s trying to tell people it wasn’t that strong—we were running from
  18. 18. 18the truth—when the truth is that it is so strong, it With all the youngcould be an action hero. seniors, why couldn’t“It’s not your fathers Oldsmobile” actually means it Oldsmobile make it…by being your fathers car. But,is your fathers Oldsmobile. after 20 years of trying to run from the truth, theOWN THE brand is dead.IDEA AREA Set Yourself ApartGood advertising should differentiate yourself from it’s Delicio) and McCains (It’s not take out) had theyour competitor. But what’s crucial is that while you same strategies and execution.both can’t own the same strategic area, you alsoboth can’t own the same executional area either— How many cars have you seen driving around theor you’ll have total brand confusion. bend of the road—and you can’t figure out which brand is which. No wonderFor example, Kraft Delicio Pizza (It’s Not Delivery, Volkswagen stands out.THE “WHY-BECAUSE”FACTOR Use Your Assets to Set Yourself ApartIn the pursuit of finding something different, carry that everywhere and own it. You may alsoeverybody must find a “gig” of their own. want to keep layering on various devices as a senseSomething…almost anything…to stand out. This is of being consistent, but also as a start to owningthe start up of a collection of brand assets that you those icons.can keep building on…to leverage in the future oracross other mediums. On the other hand, there are assets that come along with the brand—they might be non strategic, butThe best icons are those that all connect back to don’t forget these. The Hathaway patch, the gladthe big idea of your advertising…and those that man in white or the “byyy Mennon” tag line. Theywork hard to help express your strategy. If you can are what connects the consumer with the your idea in one visual mnemonic, you can Why keep doing? Because they work.THE BEST WAY TOHAVE A BRANDING IDEAIS TO REPEAT ITGood Selling IdeaThe original reason why we have brands, instead brand manager or a new creative team that doesn’tof buying cereal from a big bin is that the brand want to execute that last person’s work. Trust me,offers a stamp of consistency. What we want to there is enough work and motivation in finding outdo in advertising is make sure we offer that same what’s next as starting again.consistent experience for the consumer. The benefits of a high brand link is that it allows usToo many times, brands bounce around year after to do other things, like get a new message out oryear to a new campaign. Why—because of a new focus your effort on changing behaviour.
  19. 19. 19SURROUNDINGTHE CONSUMERWhen you come up with a branding idea, it is Case in point—the Eveready Bunny. When theessential that you use it in everything that you do. bunny was only on TV, the brand link was 50/50When you see an idea, try to think about whether between Eveready and Duracell. It wasn’t untilthat idea can carry across the different mediums someone figured out to put the pink bunny on theand into the store environment. Look at every packaging that the branding idea became a powerfulopportunity to communicate, as a chance not way to separate the brand from its competition.only to get your message out there, but as a wayto better connect with the consumer. One morechance to tighten the idea.TRACKING How to Know if you are Linking?The obvious answer is brand link—and you should I also look at “made the brand seem different” asbe aiming into the 60-70% as proof that you have a clue to the longer term success of whether thesomething worth sticking behind. However, over idea is worth sticking behind. This is what links thetime you will want to see proven recall moving brand with the main messaging and they shouldup, as a sign they are internalizing the idea. This have some match. If it doesn’t do this, then all themeans the idea is resonating as ownable by ad does is drive share of voice—which is fine in thethe brand. short term, but doesn’t drive longer term success for the brand. The off shoot of this is that the brand impact rating or purchase intent, which should both be going up and above the norm.
  20. 20. 20COMMUNICATION What are you selling?How To CommunicateCommunicating is about selling. Keep in mind, it isnot what is said, but what is heard.The 5 simple ways to communicate are: C the truth. Focus on one message…keep asking yourself “what are we selling?” 3. Powerful Expression: Try to find one key 1. Start a Dialogue: If you can do a good visual that can express what you are selling. job in connecting with the consumer, the This visual can be leveraged throughout branding idea can be a catalyst that enables your work. you to converse with your consumer. 4. Find Your “More Cheese”: Many times it’s so obvious what people want, but we 2. What are you Selling? You have to keep just can’t see it or articulate it. it simple—you only have 29 seconds to sell 5. Sell the Solution—not the Problem: Brands get so wrapped up in demonstrating the problem, when really it is the solutionSTART A that we want to buy.DIALOGUE High InvolvementJust like dating, too many times, creative ideas spend Keep it relevant so they stay involved in what youall the time breaking through (the one liner) and have to time spent on holding the conversation (the talkover dinner). You’ll win over your consumer with a Don’t play mind games where you want them to“one liner”. guess what you are thinking. I see so many spots that are so smart, they out think the consumer.The key to “dialogue” is not in how much you say, Keep it simple and straightforward. I spend a lot ofbut rather how interesting the conversation is. effort to make sure it’s a very logical flow, especially in the structure and architecture of the ad.WHAT AREYOU SELLING? Set Yourself Apart in a Relevant WayThink like a good Stereo Sales Person at the Keep asking yourself “what are we selling…what areFuture Shop. They can assess a consumers’ needs we selling….what are we selling?” Also, make sureand mindset and begin to sell the benefits of you drive the brand, not the product—it’s the brandone stereo over another in 30 seconds…why name that separates you from your competition.can’t we? Al Ries challenges every brand to get your brandIf you only have 29 seconds to sell, then all we could down to one word. Volvo is safety. Mercedes isreally hope for is “ONE THING”. You have to push luxury. What is Saturn?yourself to find that one thing, and be willing tolet go of all the other things. You could be selling SELL SELL SELL!!!something rational, tangible, emotional, or evenan action.
  21. 21. 21POWERFULEXPRESSIONS Say it with the VisualsEveryone always say they hate demos—ad agencies, be building powerful brand assets that give themarketers and consumers alike. But those demos consumer a consistent connection point withare really the “cut-away demos” that feel like a force your into a spot. But, if you re-think that a “demo” isjust a close up visual expressions of what our brand Once you get a visual expression, you can take itreally does, then shouldn’t all our ads be “demos”. anywhere—in print, into the professional office or into the store. It can be something you continue toThe more that you can find a key visual that can build over time, and layer on related mnemonics tohelp to express your strategy and communicate re-enforce its power.what you are trying to sell, then stick with it.Build on the consistency of that visual and you’llFIND YOUR“MORE CHEESE”Keep It SimpleWhen it comes to pizza, it’s pretty damn obvious that “let me sleep like I did before I had kids”. Thesepeople want “more cheese!” But while it’s obvious, simple expressions help match up your brand’stoo many times we get wrapped in so many other assets against the consumers real needs in thethings that are cluttering what’s so obvious. We simplest of terms.could give them friendlier drivers, recyclable boxes,win a trip to Tahiti or a 2-for-1 offer….but what is it Watch out for the tendency to out think or outthat is preventing us from seeing the “more cheese” wit your competitors for a positioning that over-solution. intellectualizes you away from the obvious zone. Continually reach for your instincts to help simplifyIt’s the same thinking that says I want my DQ your problems, down into the most meaningfulBlizzards to be “Thick”, and my cough medicine to way….so you can find your “more cheese”.SELL THE SOLUTION/NOT THE PROBLEM Solutions to Relevant NeedsToo many times, we see an over-dramatization on As you structure your ad, make sure the lastingthe problem, so that we can create a need. The impression is one of positive solutions, not negativeclassic dramatization of dirt thrown around the problems. Selling the solution sets the tonecarpet to sell the vacuum cleaner. What tends to connected to your ad—optimism!happen is that the structure of the ad gets slantedto 75% problem, 25% solution, and the consumer You can still connect the consumer to the problemgets so distracted by the problem, that they can’t by having it be an integral part of your solution. Butdigest the necessary parts of the solution—such as make sure the lasting impression is “what a greatbranding, key benefit or the reason to believe. solution” not “what a big problem”.
  22. 22. 22TRACKING How to Know if you are Communicating?There are two ways to look at communication Efficiency Index (MEI) which is a combined Messagemeasures: 1) In the short term, are consumers x Brand Link, which is a very true indication ofgetting the Main Message. The norm for main what consumers hear connected to your brand. 2)message is 50%, which to me means that if you are In the longer term, you want to track the Imagein year 2 or 3 of a simple message, you should be in Rating Scores to see if you moving the needle, andthe 60% range. But conversely, if it’s a new thought, separating yourself from the brand. If you don’t seeor one that has an uphill battle, getting in the 35- movement, you might want to go back to made the45% can be normal, but you should ensure that its brand seem different and that consumers might notgrowing over time. Ipsos also provides a Message be internalizing the message.
  23. 23. 23STICKINESS How do you get your idea to stick?How To Stick We all want our ads to stick. You need to adopt a S 3. Telling Stories: While visuals are key to communicating, in the end peoplemindset of “will this idea last for 5 years” remember stories—that’s how we are brought up—with ideas and morals that areThe 5 simple ways to stick are: designed to stick. 1. Dominant Characteristic: Things that are 4. Always Add A Penny: With each memorable have something that dominates execution, you have a chance to add your mind (e.g.: the red head kid) something to the branding idea. Avoid 2. How Big Is the Idea? It’s proven that a duplicating what you’ve done…and try to gold fish will get bigger with a bigger bowl. stretch as much as you can. The same for ideas. 5. Know Your Assets: There has to be something in your ad that sticks—know what that is and then use it in new executions or in other parts of the marketing mix.DOMINANTCHARACTERISTICS Keep It Simple In parenting books, they talk dominant feature in our consumers mind and be about the overwhelming power the catalyst for what we want to stand for. of dominant characteristics for your children. These are what device, but it sticks.....Why do it? Because! eye patch is totally incongruent to your mind—so it’s a great break through we naturally use to segment The brilliance of the “Man in the Hathaway shirt” is the simple use of the kids. (e.g.: the tall one, the quiet one, the loud one, the smart one etc. The books talk aboutmaking sure the dominant characteristic is a positiveone. (e.g.: don’t say the fat one, or the dumb one)It’s the same with anything: I remember watchingAmerican Idol last year, and everyone talked aboutthe “red head kid”. I swear he got twice the votes hedeserved, just because he had the dominant featurethat stood out from the pack: the “red hair”. Now,if the red hair was not a positive for what he wantedto say, then he should dye his hair.For our advertising, how do find something asdominant as the “red head kid”. We need to findsomething in our advertising that can act as a Find a Dominant Characteristic
  24. 24. 24HOW BIGIS THE IDEA? Good Selling IdeaIf a brand’s job is to create consistent communication are the things you can use in this idea umbrella overtouch points between the brand and the consumer, the next 5 years.then having an idea big enough to be consistent Can you visualize 5 different spots underover time, consistent across all mediums, and this idea?consistent to the brand’s truth, then you have an How would the idea be expressed inidea big enough. radio, print or other mediums? Can you take this into storesAs a marketer, while the temptation is to continually or professionals?re-invent the brand to fit your vision, having a Can you fit new claims or new productsbranding idea makes it so much easier. could fit under this idea? Can you start to see a layering of icons,When you see an idea, you should be asking what expressions or connections to the idea?TELLINGSTORIES High InvolvementIf it’s the visual expression that drives the success Stories also tend to stick a little more, then one offof ONE ad, then it’s the story telling that drives ads. They are highly involving for the consumer, andthe success of a LONG TERM campaign. We as simple enough for the ideas to resonate.children are brought up on stories—they provideearly lessons and morals in our lives—so we areused to digesting information through stories.ALWAYSADD A PENNY Setting Yourself ApartIn a way, a long term campaign should be the brand’s keep building the idea. Each execution is differentbiography. With each ad, it tells more and more but the same idea, so that we strengthen the ideaabout the brand, while remaining consistent to its and we leave a penny.truth and its character. It’s important to think about where you are andIt’s like the “take a penny, leave a penny” jar beside where you are going, and that will help you in whatthe cash register. You should always leave a penny part of the brand’s life you are wanting to reveal.just in case you need a penny one day. Too many To keep the brand fresh, you should try to layertimes, we try to duplicate and steal from the big on consistent touch points and evolve the ideaidea…we call it leveraging the idea, but really we through time.take a penny. Rather, we should try to find ways to
  25. 25. 25KNOWYOUR ASSETS Setting Yourself ApartThere are two types of assets that you want to you continue to build through the campaign. Thesestay aware of 1) the brand assets, which you can become the heart of the brand’s truth.look to image scores or main messaging scores inyour tracking and 2) the creative assets, which are For the creative assets, you want to understandthose images, icons or parts of the ads that being what’s breaking through and continue to use thoseremembered and internalized. in future executions. This starts to give your brand a sense of consistency in execution.For the brand assets, you want to make sure thatTRACKING How to Know if you are Sticking?With each execution, you want to keep track of The sticky part of the ads are what starts toproven recall of the ads overall plus the key parts of show up without you asking. You should start tothe ads that are coming through. The scores for the see major impacts on the key indicators, such asad as unique and different can be a good indicator changes to image, perception or purchase to how well the consumer is starting to digest the You want to show changes year over year, and seebig idea behind your advertising. a consistency of the impact that ads are having on the business and how tight the connection is to the consumer.
  26. 26. 26THEBRAND’SSWEET SPOT When the ABCs work in HarmonyTHE EPITOMEOF THE BRAND: The Sweet Spot Gets the Puts Spotlight Attention on the Brand When it’s the idea When it’s the idea that that helps to earn the draws and holds the consumers attention The Big attention onto the brand Creative Idea When it’s the idea that When that idea can be helps act as the centre used in many ways, to build a of the brand’s story consistency of brand experiencwe over time Communicates Sticks the Brand’s Story Over timeSAID ADIFFERENT WAY 7 Things That Good Ads HaveTwisting the ABC’s 5. Be Relevant with the Consumer 1. Set Yourself Apart 6. Make the ads High Involvement 2. Keep It Simple 7. Have it based on a Consumer Insight 3. Have a Good Selling Idea 4. Let the Visuals Do the Talking You will notice these are the subtitles along the way, for each of the ways to achieve the ABCs.PERFECT HARMONY:THE CREATIVE Idea and the Brand MessageMy favourite ads are when the creative magnifier task, it makes it easier for the consumer (and moreand the brand’s benefit are perfectly aligned…and fun) to digest, and leaves them with a longer lastingthat story leads to the logical conclusion of the feeling of the brand benefit.brand itself….it’s like you almost feel the idea eruptout of the spot Plus, they can make you smile because of the cleverness behind the effort.When they work in perfect harmony, to the same
  27. 27. 27WHO’S DOINGIT RIGHT? Companies that are Nailing the ABCSTim Horton’s: They do 2 great layers of ads: Volkswagen: While every1) They do Canadian Patriotism advertising like no other brand is showcasing theirother cars driving around curves on mountain side roads,2) They show consumers enjoying their products they stand out by being so no other. Nice stories…no goose bumps, but asmile at the end. Ikea: They stand out by being different. But even more so, the beauty of their work is that I don’tNike: Speaks to the athlete target for 20 years. Not think anyone could do it.only do they capture how it feels to be in that target,they celebrate it.
  28. 28. 28BALANCEDNEEDS: ABCs Finding the Compromise for Your StrategyWhile getting all 4 aligned is ideal, I have found it Some Examplesuseful to go into a given stage of advertising, with afocus on 2 of the 4 that you need to nail. You should • ABcs: the start of a new brand buildingtry to fit it to your brand strategy and identify what idea or where you have nothing really newyou need to be amazing, and what you would be to say (building share of voice)willing to live with. • abCS: established idea already, and youFor example, if it’s a new campaign you might want are trying to layer in messaging and help tothe advertising more focused on A and B and solidify the idea..look to build c and d through future executions.Conversely, if you have an established idea branding • aBCs: trying to associate a unique anddevice, the focus would be on C and S, relying on ownable message to your brand.the previous icons to do the work of a and b. • aBcS: where you are fighting for share ofThe other thing to consider is how the use of a voice in a low message category (e.g. Beer)secondary medium could cover off where you but you want a heavy branding messagemight be weak. Print is great for going deeper on and want something to stick.Communication. OOH can really drive home theAttention by surrounding the consumer with the • AbcS: you have a great branding idea foridea. In store can really drive link by having the idea years, and all you want to do is get attentionclosely connected to the purchase timing. Lastly, the for it.stickiness will be driven deeper by having variousarticulations of the idea—whereby a multi-mediacampaign becomes crucial.MY OWN BIAS TOBRAND LINK Half of all Ads Are Wasted—Which Half?While it’s easy to appreciate the need for grabbing Everyone has their own bias. A lot of creatives goattention, communicating a message and sticking, my straight for attention seeking….technical marketersown bias is towards brand link. Especially in the will focus on how well the message breaks through…lower involvement categories we play in, having the but for me, if they can’t remember what brand it’sbrand stand on a pedestal within the ad is crucial. for, then what’s the use.With $2-3MM of media, we don’t have enoughweight to do a slow build, we don’t have enough The work I have done shows my bias towards brandsexiness inherent in our brands to jump out from link with high brand link ratios in the 70%’s, 80%’sthe crowd which leaves us little room for subtleties and even up to 94%.about our brand.
  29. 29. 29ON THEHOT SEAT Now, it’s YOUR Ad!!!GIVINGFEEDBACK It’s not Feedback-it’s DirectionThree Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself us get our story straight—so we give one piece of feedback to the agency 2) it slows down the processDo you love it? If you don’t love it, how do you so we can think things through—I’ve been doing itexpect your consumer to love it? A great ad has 10 years now, and still don’t feel competent to doto have everyone’s heart and soul put into it. If you it right away 3) we get to consolidate our thinking,“sorta like” it, then it will be “sorta ok” in the end. hear thoughts around the room…and either include(The Heart) or discard them pre giving feedback.Is it on strategy? Is the Advertisement an Focus on What you Like? Let the idea you love beexpression of what you have been writing in your the dominant discussion point. In case they aren’tstrategy documents? I love the ABCS technique picking up your signals, this forces their hand…bybecause it helps me to frame things in my mind, so having it be the dominant point of discussion. TheI can evaluate it past how I feel. I think you need agency will inevitably bring up the ones you don’tsomething to ground yourself. (The Head) like—which allows you to make sure they know you don’t like them.Is it long term Idea? Is a big enough idea that fitswith the brand, does the hard work you want to “We are not there yet”: There will be times whendo for the brand and can last 5 years. Think about you don’t like where you are. I like this phrasingleaving a legacy—which forces you to think of because it’s the nicest way possible to say “startcampaign-ability. (The Brand) over”. You can even use it when you love a spot, but need to make changes to it.Remember to Smile: I always find the room soserious, that we forget to laugh, we forget to even Find Something: No matter how well prepared wesmile. Try cutting the tension in the room by smiling are, or how well aligned we are with the agency, Ias they read their scripts. It helps to motivate a have still found moments where there is relativelynervous creative team. nothing that I like. This is the hardest time for a client. I struggle with the idea of picking the “tallestAlways Ask the Agency Their Opinion: You might of the midgets”, because I know 6 months later I’llnot agree but at least now you know the starting regret it. So, what I’ve done now is I try to findpoint you are working with. something within one of the spots—even if it is not strategic…even if it’s not something we might goEither Give Feedback Right away or Break for 15 with, and I try to start a discussion on what I likemin: I like the break for a few reasons: 1) it helps about that part of the ad.
  30. 30. 30Use “dream like” language: When giving feedback, it, then let them know, and why. It will frustratefind a communication stream that gets away you, that they keep bringing it up again….and itfrom business talk. Reach for analogies, visions, or will frustrate them, that you didn’t tell them anddescriptors that aren’t strategic words. they now wasted so many hours working on it. I have a 2 step process for rejecting ideas: 1) I’mLet the Agency Keep Working their favourite: I have not big on that idea…which then prompts themfound 2 things about allowing the agency to keep to defend it with an explanation and then 2) Givenworking their favourite option or a new path. 1) that explanation, now that I know that, I don’t like ityou might like it when they are done—which means even more. It’s usually dead after’s a good idea to let them try or 2) you mightNOT like it when they are done—which means it’s The “Day After” Feedback: Time to Get Fussy: Ata good idea to let them know that it’s them taking the first presentation, you’ll likely react to the bigthe chance. idea. I always take some time after round 1, and then think about structure and logic. At that point,BUT, if you Hate an Idea---KILL IT: if you leave an I get fussy about the fussiest of details—includingidea area alive too long, and you really do hate challenging the copy points or the smaller details.YOUR ROLE IN THECREATIVE PROCESS Some things to think After It’s a GoWhen you “sell” in a board up to management, be the guinea pig for him stretching his reel. Doesit’s important that everyone in management feels the tone fit with yours? Have they done this style?part of the process. I will always find something for How well does he work with talent? Have theymanagement to recommend so they feel part of worked with him before?this ad—no matter how small it is. When you go to pre-production, I tend to think inBut remember if you have sold it in, you have to terms 1) does the story follow the logic of the ad?remember to bring it back as you discussed, even if 2) do the timings feel balanced? 3) are there tooit’s a starting point for moving them from it if you many shots, mostly the back and forth can hurt theend up liking a new direction. But be careful, if you eye of the consumer? 4) where is my product?don’t bring back what you said you’d bring back,watch out. Your role at the shoot is three fold: 1) get enough shots so you can work the edit—you can alwaysCasting: Guess what, Simon Cowell is right, good “shoot it both ways” 2) make sure your brand islooking people sell more product! Same with “nice” well represented—get enough shots of it, so youfriendly people. Creatives many times lean towards can work it later 3) make sure the tone of the spotedgy, realistic people, so that it doesn’t feel like an feels right—there is a tendency to go dark. Try toad. Guess what, it is an ad! memorize or write down which take you like the best, because you may need to find it later in theWhen you pick a director, I simply look at has he edit studio.done this style of ad before? You don’t want to
  31. 31. 31In the edit, you want to first see what you bought to manage the gestalt of it all. Always think about(aka, what you sold in). “Lets see the story board fit and flow.first”. That forces the creative team to own up towhat they sold in. For me, I find most editors are At each stage, I take it home with me and watch itsometimes more experienced then the creative 20-30 times, to make sure I get every detail. You willteam, so find subtle ways to speak to the editor hate yourself if you let something small go and thendirectly. The editors likely do 100 spots a year, so see it on the air over and over.they know how to communicate effectively in ashort space. If you like everything that is happening, After you go on air, take 30-90 days to figure outthe edit is now a good time to focus on logic—so what you would have done differently. Cognitiveyou can get the flow of the ad. dissonance says you’ll talk yourself into loving every component. But you won’t learn if you let cognitiveThrough the edit process, you are going to see dissonance get in the way. At the same time, do upsound, music, visual edits, etc and each expert a “where are we page” and you might be surprisedfeels the need to “add” their part. You have where you went and what you can now do.ART VSEXPRESSION It has to work for youA lot of people tend to think that advertising is With a thought towards expression, you may findhalf art, half science. I tend to think of it as 100% yourself choosing a version or direction that worksexpressions of your strategy. Art tends to just sit harder for your brand’s goals…rather than one youthere. Expressions do something. “just kinda like it better”.You want a few things in that expression of strategy: Keep asking yourself “why am I doing this…you need the ads to do the work that your strategy what do I want out of it…” and the answerscalls out for, and you need the ads to be reflective of should be the frame for your expressions!!!what the brand stands for—whether it’s messaging, Go back to your strategy if you have and make surepositioning, character or tone. everything fits.WHAT IS IT THATMAKES SOMEONE Good At Making Ads?Simply put, it is someone who can consistently get This means, despite all obstacles—and there aregood advertising on the air. many—you can get the agency to make a good ad and you can get it on the air.
  32. 32. 32THE OBSTACLESTO WATCH OUT FORAgency sells you a brief you don’t like. You can’t doing what I need it to do…will I love it 5 yearslet this happen. You should be debating the overall from now.idea and every word, until you are satisfied. It’s yourbrief! It has to reflect your strategy. You can’t sell it in to management: you need to make sure if it’s the right thing to do, you are ableCreative team over sells you: you get hood-winked to sell the idea in. Tell them how it works for yourwith “we are so excited”: it’s either a boring idea brand—and how it delivers the strategy.that was suppose to be for another brand last week,has no brand connection at all, it is off your strategy You lose traction through the filming, or the edit:or is a one-off to win an award. Go back to your cool director intimidates you, we don’t have time toABCS and figure out if it is worth it. I still do—to do that, or trust me, we’ll get the brand in later. Youground myself. have to stay true to what you want, the whole way. Get the ad that you bought!You settle for something you hate, because oftime, or you don’t know why. Reach in your Not a good match for your emotions: watch outgut and keep asking yourself, do I love it, is it for the tone—it can quickly turn your ad into a dark melodrama. The watch outs here are music, casting, and lighting—it’s amazing the impact theseFINAL can have.THOUGHTS How to Make Great AdsYou need to nail the up front thinking. Be exhaustive It’s always riskier to do nothing or pick the middlein searching for your brand’s truth, be fussy to every of the road. You won’t stand out. Challengeword, and be prepared with your strategy. Ask yourself with the Actuary Rule: why did youyourself every day, what am I trying to do? choose marketing—to make great inspiring work— otherwise, you should have become an actuary, andYou need some method to evaluate advertising. lived longer.Likes and Dislikes are too basic to get good ads allthe time. Try the power of the ABCS: The consumer doesn’t have as many concerns about your brand as you might. You could have • Gain their Attention a misperception of your brand….based on • Be about the Brand internal thinking. • Have the Communication be the key story line Do you love it? I have to love it to put it on air. • Stick in their minds.The mom rule: Phone your mom, explain thead. If she gets it—good. If not, yikes. It keepsthings simple.