Creative Certification: Evaluating Creative


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Creative Certification: Evaluating Creative

  1. 1. Welcome to the DMA‘sCreative Certification Course Part One Evaluating Creative Wed., Oct. 17, 2012 ; 1:00 – 4:00 pm Presented by Alan Rosenspan & Carol Worthington-Levy
  2. 2. Scope of the Course• How to Evaluate Creative• How to Get Great Print Work• How to Get Great Digital Work• Questions & Answers throughout, breaks as needed 2
  3. 3. Alan Rosenspan Creative director in three countries, for O&M and Digitas My teams have won over 100 Awards – including 20 DMA Echo Awards for results. More importantly, a working creative director and direct marketing consultant Client list has included American Express,, Bank of America, Capital One, Embrace Home Loans, Humana, HSBC, Life Line Screening, Oreck, Princess Lines, Scotts Lawn Service, Viking River Cruises, many others 3
  4. 4. Carol Worthington-Levy Wears three hats – Design/art director, writer and creative director/consultant A stickler for responsive design: has read it all, tested it all, and even attended a seminar in Switzerland to learn what will encourage response… or crush it! Recently sold her multichannel marketing partnership – yay! Possibly one of the only 8-time DMA Echo winner in 3 categories: Mail, Catalog and Online/digital Clients: AAA Auto Clubs, 5.11 Tactical, Adventures Cross Country teen travel, Wine of the Month Club, Jacuzzi, French Toast School Uniforms, Hewlett-Packard Printer Division, Niman Ranch premium meats, Comcast, American Isuzu, Intuit, BMW and more 4
  5. 5. Two points of view Carol‘s primary  Alan‘s background is background is art copy Carol is from the  Alan is from Boston West coast Carol has an  Alan is from Boston impeccable sense of style, design, color… 5
  6. 6. But more importantly We are both working creative directors and direct marketing consultants We are both teachers and students of direct marketing We both believe in great creative work 6
  7. 7. Who are you?• You want to learn more about how to develop winning creative• You want be a better manager and motivator of your team or your agency• You want to be able to better evaluate creative before investing a lot of time and money 7
  8. 8. Introductions• Your name and what you do• You biggest challenge…• What makes you unique? – “I think I am the only person in this room who…” 8
  9. 9. Before we begin…• Judgement call• The truth about evaluating creative…• Backgrounds and introductions 9
  10. 10. What do you think? 10
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  16. 16. What do you think?• What‘s your overall reaction?• Do you think it will work?• What do you like?• What do you think might be improved, or what would you do different? 16
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  22. 22. The Truth about Evaluating Creative• You are an excellent judge of creative• You are intuitive and thoughtful…• …when you stop to actually think about it in a critical way 22
  23. 23. Case HistoryAdventures Cross Country Teen Work Travel (ARCC) Building a multichannel creative and marketing effort 23
  24. 24. ARCC was founded 30 years ago by twowise educators who saw promise in takingteenagers on work/travel adventures 24
  25. 25. Their catalog wasbeing used fordirect mail — and itwas too expensive• Even good response could not make up for bad ROI• Big catalogs make poor lead generators because they‘re too hard to get through 25
  26. 26. Plus the catalog was designed by a creative who made it ‗pretty‘ but too hard to read Tip: Reversing type out of a solid dark color can reduce comprehension to as little as 10% of what it could be 26
  27. 27. The world had changed: a new approachwas needed to reach parents and teenswho would be good prospects • Mail costs and printing have gone up $$$ • People are SO busy • Email and websites are better for teens • In-person presentations are ideal to answer questions of concerned but interested parents 27
  28. 28. ARCC multichannel program• Instead of sending the catalog out first… Send self-mailer 28
  29. 29. Self mailer …• Quick-reading piece• Highlight the learning and mentoring aspect for parents• Show fun and adventure for the teens 29
  30. 30. Self mailer breaks the concept down intoshort, easy pieces• Plug in testimonials by impressed parents 30
  31. 31. Includes an intro that shows the founders, and says ‗in their own words‘ their vision for ARCC• Prominent call to action keeps the parent thinking about next steps 31
  32. 32. Break down the barriersone by one… usingabbreviated schedules totease• ―I don‘t know whether we‘ll have time this summer…‖• ―They may not go places my kid wants to go…‖• ―My son loves to swim and boat — will there be anything for him?‖• ―It‘s important for my kid to have experience that colleges will take notice of.‖ 32
  33. 33. Postard campaign• Prospecting lists used for the self mailer can also be used for the cards• Send to customers from prior years, who are likely to be ―pre- sold‖• The cards highlight locations of in- person presentations in their exact geographic area 33
  34. 34. Reinforce thevacation-classroomconcept, plustestimonialsfrom students 34
  35. 35. We create many touchpoints: highly targetedand focused — and each with a specific goalPrint catalog issent to respondto requestsSeminars arepowerful Mailed brochurestouchpoints! reach targeted lists to Mailed cards invite families to drive traffic to special presentations held near web, phone and their home, or online catalog request 35
  36. 36. The material did not exactly matchthe catalog…• Brand concerns: how different can we make an effort and still have it recognized as a brand?• We had response reasons to choose different fonts, different treatments, etc.• In the long run, the ‗brand look and feel‘ they had was counter-responsive…• Our approach was to do what we knew was the ‗right thing‘, and go for the response 36
  37. 37. What do you think?• What‘s your overall reaction?• Do you think it would work?• Why or why not?• Questions about the methodology or approach 37
  38. 38. SuccessThe campaign served several purposes…• Generated interest among those who never heard of ARCC• Educated parents and kids about what‘s available• We didn‘t get deeply into the topic of the competition… why start educating the reader that there IS competition?• Cannot share numbers… but client came back for the following year‘s campaign! 38
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  45. 45. Our goals How to get the best creative work What to look for; what to watch out for Checklist on ―How to Evaluate Creative‖ How to motivate people to do their best work for you. 45
  46. 46. Section 1:How to Get The Best Creative Work 46
  47. 47. • How can you tell if it will work in advance?• How to give useful and welcome feedback• Timing & Budget Questions 47
  48. 48. First, a definition What is the best creative work? You‘re not looking for work that makes you laugh, or may win an award show You‘re looking for creative work that‘s going to generate response 48
  49. 49. • Does it have to be new?• Does it have to be different?• What are some signs of good creative? 49
  50. 50. Does it have to be new?• Not for the sake of being new• New in this category• It must be relevant to the product and the market 50
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  52. 52. Does it have to be different?• Not for the sake of being different• Good creative should tell you something you don‘t know…• …or make you think of something in a new or different way 52
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  55. 55. • But it should never, ever take away from the message• Or worse, send the wrong message 55
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  57. 57. 7 Key Elements to Look For 58
  58. 58. 1. Does a Big Idea Burst Through? 59
  59. 59. The first question to ask of any direct mailpiece, advertisement or press release 60
  60. 60. ―Without a big idea,your advertising will passlike a ship in the night.‖ -David Ogilvy “In direct marketing, the ship will sink.” 61
  61. 61. Why are big ideas so important? A big idea cuts through the clutter A big idea can multiply your success 10 times over You only need one It costs more to do a bad idea than to do a big idea 62
  62. 62. What is an Idea, anyway? An idea is a change ―I have an idea; let‘s do things the way we‘ve always done them before!‖ The bigger the change, the bigger the idea 63
  63. 63. Letter to Ministers in Germany They were concerned about declining church attendance They wanted to ―wake up‖ ministers – and invite them to a discussion about the problems They used a very simple letter – with just one sentence! 64
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  66. 66. 1700 Views! 1700 Views!
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  72. 72. How do you know if it‘s a big idea? Is it a new idea? Or new in this category? Is it relevant to the product? Does it make you think? Not ―what are they talking about?‖ but about your relationships, your job, your life, your future… 74
  73. 73. How do you know if it‘s a big idea? Does it make you feel? Emotion is stronger than logic Is it credible? Do you believe it? Does it stand out from others in it‘s category? 75
  74. 74. 2. Does a single-minded message come through? 76
  75. 75.  People have a hard time ―getting‖ even one thing It‘s not because they‘re dumb; they‘re just busy Make sure your message breaks through the clutter – by focusing on one message 77
  76. 76. The ―Bed of Nails‖ Approach 78
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  79. 79. 3. Is the Creative Focused on People? 81
  80. 80. One of the great secrets... Most companies focus on their products...or worse, themselves The best companies focus on their prospects and customers 82
  81. 81. The world‘s largest genealogy company Has access to over 3 billion records, and will help you search Their most successful direct mail and e-mail 83
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  85. 85. But make them look good Don’t show your prospects as ―dumb‖ Don’t make fun of them… Make them into heroes – like Kodak 87
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  92. 92. 4. Does it have an arresting Visual? 94
  93. 93. The Power of Visual Thinking People remember less than 10% of what they‘re told (and it‘s always the wrong 10%) ―Follow my directions carefully‖ People remember more than 50% of what they see They even make it up - to fill in the gaps 95
  94. 94.  Show and tell Show me what you‘ve got Show me what you‘re made of “Show me the money‖ 96
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  100. 100. Imagine a HarleyDavidson Motorcycleparked inside a great cathedral 102
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  104. 104. 5. Does it have a compelling headline? 106
  105. 105. Headlines are Critical They should have your key benefit in them 80% of people read that – and nothing else Subject line in e-mail even more important Johnson box serves the same purpose 107
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  108. 108. WFNX – 101.7• Alternative Rock Station in Boston• How can they capture the tone of their station in a billboard? 110
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  111. 111. 6. Is it involving? 113
  112. 112. What Barnes & Nobles knows 114
  113. 113. 3 Proven Ways to Involve People in your Advertising Ask questions or quiz them Use an involvement device Use the word ―you‖ – a lot 115
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  124. 124. 6. Is it ―campaignable?‖ 126
  125. 125. ―Campaignable?‖ Is it just a one-shot, or can you build a long term campaign around it? Does it easily lend itself to other media? A big idea can last for years… 127
  126. 126.  Antwerp Zoo in Belgium was looking to boost attendance Their elephant got pregnant Send out a birth announcement? …or create a campaign? 128
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  129. 129. Congratulations, it‘s an elephant! Multi-media campaign started right after conception Turned all of Belgium into proud parents Millions of people followed her 22 month development from inception to birth – including her first ultrasound photograph! 131
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  131. 131.  Kai-Mook became the first elephant born on the internet on May 17, 2009 – weighing a healthy 100 kilograms. Zoo attendance more than doubled – over 300,000 new visitors 133
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  133. 133. Absolut Best Campaign First ad appeared in 1980; still going strong 1500+ ads later Created by Geoff Hayes of TBWA Ads have become collector‘s items; thousands of people write in requesting their favorite Rolled out ―In an Absolute World‖ in 2007 135
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  141. 141. Judge for yourself:Do these upcoming examples meet that list of criteria?...• Big idea• Single-minded message• Focused on people• Arresting visual• Compelling headline• Involving• Campaignable 145
  142. 142. • Target market: Web programmers and webmasters for medium to large sized businesses• They hate getting junk mail• We‘re going to ―sell‖ them a web portal for a new research site• Client doesn‘t believe that mail works 146
  143. 143. • Big idea: make your website charismatic, lik e Elvis! 147
  144. 144. • Letter 148
  145. 145. • Brochure:Only Elvis can draw as many people to your site… 149
  146. 146. • Reply with Offer: a limited edition Elvis collection that everyone wants, even programming geeks 150
  147. 147. Comcast … see if this mailer meets the criteria• Single-minded message• Focused on people• Arresting visual• Compelling headline• Involving• Campaignable 151
  148. 148. Home entertainment: Comcast • VIP invitation gets attention • They flip it over… 152
  149. 149. Home entertainment: Comcast • Concept: you can have your own private film festival in your home — how??... 153
  150. 150. • Challenge: Comcast high speed internet might at first not seem like entertainment as much as for email and website access. But Comcast wanted to position it as a way to download movies 154
  151. 151. • This positions the reader as a VIP when they get Comcast high speed internet 155
  152. 152. Did it fit these criteria? Do you think it worked?• Single-minded message• Focused on people• Arresting visual• Compelling headline• Involving• Campaignable 156
  153. 153. Isuzu B2B mailing: does this meet the criteria too? • This Isuzu truck is a huge seller • It’s especially well sized for two industries: light construction, and the food industry • Challenges: how to get companies with fleets to consider buying several instead of just one • Budget $90,000 157
  154. 154. • Targeted twoIsuzu Fleet campaign markets ONLY • Created a mailer for each, that is very specific to that industry • This one is light construction: This truck can carry ―6000 pounds of cement‖ 158
  155. 155. Isuzu Fleet campaign • This truck can carry about 6,000 lbs of cement – sized specifically for typical construction load • Of course it‘s absurd – the box is 12 in. wide 159
  156. 156. Isuzu Fleet campaign • A dimensional package needs all the hardworking elements that traditional flat mail does! 160
  157. 157. “500 gallons of Tomato Paste enclosed” • This one is for the food service industry • Typical load for this industry would be 500 gallons of tomato paste 161
  158. 158. Sent out 3000 boxes per targeted market• Campaign cost $90,000• We sold 140 trucks• Bottom line - $4.2 million in sales• New leads generated for future contact• Huge ROI 162
  159. 159. Isuzu B2B fleet mailing: does it meet our criteria?• Single-minded message• Focused on people• Arresting visual• Compelling headline• Involving• Campaignable 163
  160. 160. One last example: The Wayfarers Walking ToursDoes it have…• Single-minded message• Focused on people• Arresting visual• Compelling headline• Involving• Campaignable 164
  161. 161. Wayfarers had a very expensive catalog they were mailing • Too expensive for prospecting: beautiful production values, heavy paper, etc • Response not high enough when going to cold prospects 165
  162. 162. Mail is great for lead generation to travelers • Costs a fraction of a catalog • You can actually get to the point much faster, generate more action 166
  163. 163. The big idea: A walking tour is different —and this difference gives you a morewonderful vacation 167
  164. 164. Roll fold self mailer releases information gradually 168
  165. 165. Targeted a high end audience who loves travel• Emphasized great meals• Showed people becoming friendly• Emphasized that the most memorable adventures are best experienced close up• The journey is as important as the destination• Response: 5% to cold mailing lists• Strong respondents converted in high numbers 169
  166. 166. The Wayfarer’s mailing: does it meet our criteria?• Single-minded message• Focused on people• Arresting visual• Compelling headline• Involving• Campaignable 170
  167. 167. How Mick Jaggerbriefed Andy Warhol for “Sticky Fingers”album cover 171
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  169. 169. The Secret to Getting Great Creative Creative people always have choices. They can‘t always decide what they will work on; but they can always decide how much of their effort and heart they will put into their work. Your goal is to make them want to go that extra step for your projects, your product , your company – and of course, for you. 173
  170. 170. Where the BestCreative Work Begins 174
  171. 171. Briefly speaking• Successful creative starts with a well thought- out brief or Creative Strategy Form• It doesn‘t end there – but it starts there• The more time and effort you put into your brief – the more likely you are to get effective work 175
  172. 172. The Briefing Meeting• A brief should never simply be handed-out or e-mailed.• It should be an interactive process; with the final brief emerging from the meeting• You need to encourage comments and questions – and get the answers as soon as possible 176
  173. 173. Your Role in Briefing Creative To initiate the project and provide the information necessary to complete it To be an ―expert‖ on your business; or to get the answers they need before the work is completed To be open to new ideas and solutions To give constructive and specific feedback to help improve the work (when necessary) 177
  174. 174. Not Your Role To dictate the work To withhold information or fail to provide it on a timely basis To not have the answers To create false deadlines or emergencies To abuse creatives in any way, shape or form 178
  175. 175. The Role of Creatives To represent the consumer‘s point-of-view To be an ―expert‖ on their business – advertising and direct marketing …and to become an ―expert‖ on the clients business To come up with big ideas 179
  176. 176. Not the Role of Creatives To give the client only what they asked for… To postpone the work and do a last-minute scramble To give up, or do less than their best To think that that account people, or clients, aren‘t smart or good at their jobs 180
  177. 177. The Deathof an Agency 181
  178. 178. The Creative Strategy Form 182
  179. 179. The Creative Strategy Form Every company has a different format It is a blueprint of the job -- and a contract It should be developed, agreed on and signed by everyone involved in the project - particularly the most senior person It can be used to evaluate work It has to be simple, understandable – not just filled with jargon 183
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  181. 181. The Creative Strategy Form1. Project Description  What are we doing? Why?2. Objective  What are we trying to achieve?  What do we want people to do?  Be as specific and realistic as possible3. Target Audiences  The more specific, the better 185
  182. 182. The Creative Strategy Form4. Main message and proof  What is the single most important reason that someone will buy our product or respond to our mailing?  Why should anyone believe you…? 186
  183. 183. The Creative Strategy Form5. Offer  What do they get?  What do they have to do to get it?6. Key points  What other benefits do we need to communicate?7. Ways to Respond  Did we make it easy?  Did we give them a choice?8. Tone and Manner  Consistent with the product? 187
  184. 184. The Creative Strategy Form9. Mandatories  Legal, logo, etc.10. Budget  How much do we have?  Let the value of the customer drive the budget11. Schedule  How much time is left?!!!! 188
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  186. 186. Put time on your side… You want to give creative people time to do their best… ..but you also want your project to stay top-of- mind Plus you don‘t want them to forget anything, or worse, do it at the last-minute 190
  187. 187. Think in stages Ideally, you want them to come back with rough ideas within 5-7 days This keeps your project fresh in their minds and motivates them to get started right away After this first meeting, you can give them more time to refine, make changes, add to the mix 191
  188. 188. Two questions you must answer12. What is the target market currently using/doing?  Understand their mindset  Are they using a competitive product? Making do without?  Why should they switch to yours?13. “You know you need it when…”  When does someone know they need your product?  Puts you in their shoes  Identifies points of pain  You‘re looking for agreement... 192
  189. 189. Reviewing the Work 193
  190. 190. Best Practices Allow them to finish their presentation, before you jump in Start by acknowledging how much work has been done, and what you like Review the brief to make sure that everything important has been addressed 194
  191. 191. Be constructive See the big picture first – don‘t nitpick Never get personal. Not ―I don‘t like that headline‖ but ―Does this headline have the main benefit?‖ Go through the Checklist with them 195
  192. 192. Moving ahead Take the time to provide thoughtful, useful feedback This is your first exposure to the work; they have been at it for days Resist the urge to change for change‘s sake 196
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  194. 194.  Never say ―The client will never buy this…‖ Don‘t try to anticipate what others will say or think; give your own opinion Remember you are all on the same side 198
  195. 195. How do you know if it will workbefore it goes out? 199
  196. 196. ―You cannot judge direct marketing. It judges you.‖ - Denny Hatch 200
  197. 197. Besides… ―Creative‖ packages don‘t usually work The ―ugly‖ stuff almost always seems to win Even the best work seems to produce a disappointingly low response 201
  198. 198. How do you know…? The only guarantee in direct marketing is a moneyback guarantee It can be very surprising what works and what doesn‘t However, if you use the following checklist, you will maximize the probability of success 202
  199. 199. Checklist12 questions to ask about any creative execution 203
  200. 200. 1. Is it on strategy?2. Is it appropriate to the product and the positioning?3. Is there a big idea? Does it come through?4. Does it have a striking visual or graphic? 204
  201. 201. 5. Do the offer and main benefits come through quickly and clearly?6. Does the offer stand out?7. Is it believable? Are claims supported with facts or testimonials? Is there a guarantee?8. Does it include a strong call to action in every element? 205
  202. 202. 9. Does it make you think or make you feel10. Will it stand out from others in this category?11. Are all the elements working as hard as they can for you?12. The big question: would you respond? 206
  203. 203. These are all the ways to evaluatecreative for regular advertising.But direct marketing has to work even harder 207
  204. 204. We have to get people to act Go to our website Call a toll-free number Send in an application or response form Bring something into a store 208
  205. 205. 1. It must be 100% absolutely clear• Above all, it must be clear and easy- to-understand• If people don‘t ―get it‖ – you lose• You need to be direct in direct marketing 209
  206. 206. 2. It must have a compelling offer• ―If you want to dramatically improve your response, you must improve your offer‖ – Axel Anderson• They must know exactly what you want them to do, and how• They must have an urgent reason to act now 210
  207. 207. 3. Credibility is king• We need to prove what we claim• We must use numbers, specifics, facts, lists• Testimonials are critical• One false note can kill response 211
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  209. 209. The rest of theScott‘s LawnService case-history 213
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  223. 223. What do you think?• What‘s your overall reaction?• Which package did you like best?• Which do you think worked best?• Why? 227
  224. 224. We told you thatyou’re an excellent judge of creative! 228
  225. 225. Thank you! Alan Rosenspan & Carol Worthington-Levy See you tomorrow at Part 2: Creative Rules that Work for PrintThursday Oct 18, 2012 — 8:30am - 12:00pm 229