Saturday, December 30, 2006

:: adgruntie :: Creatives should be curious

"Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people." - Leo Burnett, quoted in 100 LEO's, Chicago, IL: Leo Burnett Company, p. 26.

This quote really says quite a lot and I whole heartedly agree with it. Especially when you are more of a generalist (like I am) and work on a variety of brands with very different target audiences, the need to understand the mind set of who you are trying to speak to in invaluable. And if you are not a tech guy into Star Wars and the latest gadgets, reading the same materials these guys read, watching the shows they watch and learning about their subculture is critical to being able to create ads that speak directly to them.

One thing I find absurd in quite a lot of advertising, especially B2B advertising, is the lack of one-to-one communication. As this is something every adgrunt learns their first day of class, it's inane how few use this in the creative that is produced today. For B2B it is still one person communicating with one person who is reading the ad, reading the brochure or what have you. If I'm trying to sell you widgets, only you are reading the ad at one time. Businesses do not have conference calls with pieces of communication. There aren't meetings to sit down and read together the latest direct mail piece. So often this most basic precept is forgotten or ignored or, honestly I'm not sure. The idea that you should be curious and interested to find out how to communicate best to the group the ad is speaking to is very important. It's a basic of communication.

It seems to me that so many basics of advertising are left rotting in the notebooks of students or held onto so that those who reiterate them to the masses in their books or lectures become gurus to the industry. It's one thing if you're stating something new. It's another thing if you're just regurgitating what we all learned when we were newbies.

Perhaps if I gathered all my notes from my university days, I too could write a book on the "magic wonders of advertising", without ever stating anything new. ;)

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