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What do great ads have in common? What makes it possible for ads or commercials we may have seen years ago to remain in our memory? How can some ads continue to do their job years after they were first created?
It clearly has nothing to do with the ad's technique. Great ads have been done using celebrities and spokespeople, fantasy characters, kids, dogs, music, comedy, drama, animation- you name it.
No, what makes an ad great is remembering to focus on the three most significant dimensions of modern advertising: Strategy, creativity, and execution.
The strategy on which the ad is based must work in concert with the marketing strategy. Both must be sound. To be great, an ad must be carefully directed to a specific audience. It must also be driven by specific objectives, crafted to address the audience's most important concerns, and finally, run in media that will effectively reach the audience.
It's the "big idea" that sticks in your mind, the unique, the different, the captivating. As you sit in your easy chair mulling over the most memorable ads you've ever seen, they will all have a striking creative concept at their core.
Creativity drives all good advertising. Developing the strategy- even the communications objectives- calls for creative problem solving. So does conducting research and buying and placing ads in appropriate media. Advertising creates a constant demand for creative solutions to media and message problems.
Every great ad is well executed. To be great, the craftsmanship used to create the final product must be impressive. Every aspect, every detail must be scrutinized and fine-tuned. The "production values" must be top-notch.
The old pros know that good advertising is as much what you say as how you say it. What you say comes from the strategy, how you say it is a product of the creative concept and exactly the right execution for the message.
Put it all together, a sound strategy, an original creative concept and an excellent execution, and you, too, could have an ad destined to be a classic.
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