Well, not exactly. This worked when there were fewer brands in the market with limited communication channels. Today, the entire advertising process has gone through a sea change: multiple channels, messages, and options for the same product or service.
So how does the brand get noticed by the target audience? By standing out from the crowd through creative advertising!
What is creativity?
Creativity is not just a “bright idea” but a process. The creative process in advertising brings together various elements to develop something new or different while communicating the brand.
Creativity separates the ordinary message from the memorable message, the plain “collection of words” from a charged-up “call to action”. The creative process in advertising starts with strategy – the building of a marketing message that gives a solution to the customer’s problem. It ends with the delivery of this message to the customers at the right time through the right channels.
Digital advertising – creativity sacrificed for scale?
Digital advertising allows a brand to design customized messages that seem to address an individual customer. This is important because it has been estimated that a person spends just 52 seconds on a website before moving on!
Digital advertising teams, therefore, tend to sacrifice quality for quantity, believing that constant ad placement on customers’ screens, rather than “creative advertisements” with a thought-provoking or humourous slogan or tagline will push customers to remember their message and make them buy their brand!
Brands and advertisers also try to make their advertising simple and “easy to understand”, thinking (wrongly) that creative messaging will not be understood by the audience, and will drive them away from the brand. This is a real problem in today’s hyper-digital world where short attention spans are a reality.
But this approach can reduce “advertising” to a mere list of product benefits and features and may not have the impact required to push a customer to buy the brand.
Is there a creative process in advertising?
Yes, there is. The most frequently used creative process in advertising was developed by Professor Graham Walls, an English sociologist and co-founder of the London School of Economics. He listed four steps in the creative process in his book “The Art of Thought”:
- The Preparation stage: collect background information
- The Incubation stage: development of ideas and thoughts to solve the communication problem
- The Illumination stage: the stage of reaching a solution
- The verification stage: the confirmation that the solution fits the customer’s problem
This process allows the advertiser to create a message that is targeted to the right customers, offers the required benefit, and delivers the required results.
Does creativity influence purchase behavior?
The more competitive the product category, the more communication noise is created by the brands in that category – for example, automobiles, cola, coffee, or detergents. A message created by brands in such categories must attract the consumer’s attention in a very limited time. In such a situation, better creativity helps to develop more attention-grabbing messages.
It is important to remember that a creative message does not always influence the purchase behavior of consumers or contribute to actual sales revenue. But it certainly helps in allowing advertising to perform its key task of drawing attention to the brand, by being unique enough to stand out from the clutter.
So why choose creative advertising in 2023?
Creativity in advertising is all about developing a novel, different and engaging way of communicating a brand promise or proposition to the target audience. Therefore, the brand must develop the ability to design and present a clear solution to the communication problem in a unique manner. This solution must be presented to the audience on time through a useful channel.
Creativity in advertising is important in today’s world because customers spend very little time on a brand or e-commerce website. Creative messages can generate more attention and help develop positive attitudes toward the brand being advertised. This is because creative advertising is more impactful, lasts longer in the customer’s attention span, helps reduce media expenses, and works faster!
Creative advertising helps create the “difference” between two similar products in the same category. Creativity also creates a lasting and memorable impact that pushes the customer to buy a particular brand and not that of a competitor.
Creative advertising provides great value to a brand’s customers by developing durable and long-lasting connections in their minds, to create brand recognition and engagement. The brand’s customers will relate better to the advertising or communication message if it is unique, useful, and relevant to their interests or needs.
Creative best practices to follow in 2023
As we noted earlier, the attention span for digital ads is very small. Also, ads are being increasingly seen on mobile devices. Therefore, to be effective, digital advertising for brands must follow certain best practices creative advertisements. Below are the main best practices for Facebook and Google Search – the biggest digital advertising platforms today:
- Facebook ad copy
- Keep Facebook ad copy length to a maximum of 2-3 lines for the primary text
- The text should ideally be about 125 characters in length
- Use mobile text optimization so that your Facebook ad copy does not get cut
- Google Search Ads
- Google Search Ad copy should always include the primary keywords
- Limit your text ad to three headlines up to 30 characters each
- Do not go beyond 125 characters in your copy
Creative advertising will be important for brands in 2023. Brands must use the creative process in advertising to create effective brand communication. Creativity in advertising will help brands tap into the human ability to capture and register information in seconds!