A Little Creativity Goes a Long Way

Many people think in order to be effective with creativity in your advertising, you have to have a complex ad campaign with a big budget. Although having deep pockets helps get your campaign idea out to more people, the underlying message still needs to hold strong regardless. Whether it gets out to an audience of millions, or a small number of people in your database, the messaging shouldn’t be affected by smaller or larger budgets. We always preach here that a focused message is really the key to a great campaign. Building ideas around that message just makes the creativity shine even brighter.

Back in school, one of the golden lessons I was taught about effective advertising was the “KISS” method (Keep It Simple Stupid). You may be familiar with this, but the KISS method basically preaches that keeping your message simple will have a more effective result than getting too complex. Studies show that people spend mere seconds with your ad efforts in magazines, postcards and commercials, so you have to make sure what you want noticed is memorable in a quick and simple fashion.

Here are a few examples of very effective campaign ideas that just took a simple message and added just that little bit of creative touch that takes it to “Brilliant!” status.

Rona Paint is a Canadian paint company. In an effort to market their paint recuperation and recycling campaign, they decided to piggyback off of Apple’s worldwide iPod campaign. The new iPod Nano campaign touts the various bright colors the new generation has available. The Apple campaign is very colorful and incorporates images of wet paint splattering and dripping with various colors onto the different iPod Nanos. Rona took a very familiar ad campaign and added a little creativity to exemplify their message… not to mention, in a very cost-efficient way. See it here. (Note: the French writing says, “We Collect Leftover Paint.”)

We all know the Hard Rock Café. Whether you like their image or not, you have to give credit to their newest campaign imagery. Staying true to the “KISS” method and their image, they took the legendary hand gesture for rock music, and in a very simple and creative manner, summed up everything they needed to say, without using a single word (minus the logo of course). Pure genius … I deem this campaign as “Brilliant.” [Ad Sample]

This has to be one of my all-time favorite rivalry ads. As many big brand names compete to show how much better than their competition they are (i.e. Coke vs. Pepsi, Microsoft vs. Apple, Energizer vs. Duracell), sometimes a simple returned message mixed with a little creativity can win the fight. Audi made a bold marketing move to call out BMW with their new A4 model. On a billboard in California, they basically put the car up with the headline, “Your Move, BMW.” Not to be outdone, BMW purchased the billboard across the street and fired back a bullet that left Audi speechless. The billboard was thought out in every detail. White car on black backdrop vs. black car on white backdrop. Comparable class of vehicle. Continued theme of chess. Audi will definitely think twice next time.

This may be a shameless plug, but I want to show that even smaller budgets on a local level can benefit from this. One of our clients, Holman’s of Nevada, a Las Vegas-based technology company that provides business technology solutions to the AEC community, needed a direct mail campaign to help boost paper and ink sales. With a little creativity, we worked on an ad campaign that physically showed the problem people were having – running out of ink in mid-print. Being proactive and creative, the postcards addressed a strong message and instantly generated calls for Holman’s within days of delivery to consumers. [ POSTCARD SAMPLE]

Jef I. Richards summed it up best, “Creative without strategy is called art. Creative with strategy is called advertising.” With that, close the door, clear your mind, put on those brainstorm caps, and come up with your brilliant message to wow the world.

Ehsan Kaveh is an Account Executive at Imagine Marketing.
Contact Ehsan at ekaveh@imnv.com
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