Too often, agencies and other marketers look at the creative process as some mystical art form. As such, there is no scientific formula for either creating great ideas (including tag lines, ad copy, logos, other art work, etc.) or evaluating the ideas that have been generated.
There certainly is a significant amount of subjective evaluation that some people are better or worse at than others. See Al Ries' latest article in Advertising Age - Advertising Could Do With More of Bernbach's Genius, subtitled, "Recognizing Good Ideas Can Be More Important than Creativity".
However, well-managed organizations such as our marketing communications agency, Domus, can do three simple things to dramatically improve the effectiveness of creative work that makes it to the pitch stage.
- First, prior to setting loose the creative staff, clearly write down and state the considerations (e.g., background, environment, etc., restrictions) and goals of the task.
- Next, require that the creative staff deliver, along with their creative ideas, a written statement of how their concepts meet all of the originally stated goals and considerations, or (if they don't) a reason why not.
- As part of the evaluation stage, refer back to the original list of goals and considerations. Use that list to ask questions such as, "What was our desired positioning?", "What is the implicit positioning of the delivered concepts?", etc.
The intent is not to suffocate right-brain creative license with left-brain analysis, but to achieve a balance between the two for maximum effectiveness.