1. The art of advertising 3
2. Message strategies 3
A few words about creative strategy 10
Some final thoughts about the message strategy 15
Inputs to message strategies
The art of advertising
Nowadays market economy is widespread all over the world. Any
company, working in this conditions face a lot of different questions such
as arranging marketing system, arranging management system and so on. And
the problem of advertising the product is practically at the top of this
list. Some people think that to advertise means to let the customers know
about your product. Maybe it was so many years ago. Today, in times of
severe competition, a function of advertising is much more complex. You
should not only let people know you should make them buy. In different
forms, in different words you should convince everybody that your product
is the best. So when such a problem appeared, advertising was transformed
into a science. It was a mixture of management, marketing and psychology.
But the large amount of ads all around began to aggravate people. And then
the science was developed into the art of advertising. It became creative.
Today exist even special institutes where people learn to advertise and to
do it professionally.
It is not creative unless it sells. This is the stated philosophy of
Benton&Bowles and the unwritten philosophy of most other major advertising
agencies, and it should be everyone’s guiding star in advertising.
Creativity is essential, but for its own sake it is insufficient; it must
be used to show the unique benefit of the product in a memorable way. And
all the process can come to a full stop when creativity is misguided and
doesn’t show a benefit or implies a wrong product. But how can we get to
know what is creative and what is not? The only way to find this out is
through the philosophy that guides Benton&Bowles. They worked out the main
formula of creativity: It’s not creative unless it sells.
So any advertisement usually consists of an image and some text. The
text part deals with message strategy. What should be said to consumers so
that the objectives set earlier can be met? Liberal doses of art and
science must be combined to answer this question. The science of research
gives insights into the appropriate attributes, benefits, position, and
target market; verbal, visual, and musical arts translate this dry, sterile
data into a compelling message.
In addition, the message strategy must fit into the decision sequence
framework. Much of the information gathered in the situation analysis will
be used here to give insight to the writers and artists who ultimately
create the message. Also, the message must help the advertiser to meet its
objective (relevant issues here are the task of the message in terms of
movement along the hierarchy of effects and the target market to be
pursued) and to meet its position (the unique meaningful benefit of the
brand). Finally, the message must be consistent with constraints imposed by
the media and promotions strategies that are being developed
simultaneously. The message strategy part will be divided according to the
1. The relevance of issues derived earlier from the situation analysis
and objectives and positioning These issues are generally broken down
to include the product, the consumer, and the competition. The
writers and artists must immerse themselves in all available
information before they can create a message of relevance. In this
section the key issues are reviewed from the perspective of their
relevance to message design.
2. Legal constraints Many laws govern advertising. Most of them constrain
the type and presentation of information in the message. Current
regulations, primarily from the Federal Trade Commission, are
3. Creativity This is an elusive concept and is certainly not the
exclusive domain of writers and artists. It is most appropriately
discussed as part of message strategy because it is here that the most
visible creativity takes place in terms of the creation of the
4. Broad and specific classes of message appeals and execution styles
Appeals can be product oriented or consumer oriented and they tend to
locate somewhere on a continuum of rationality and emotion. Styles
include humor, fear, sex, slice of life, documentary, and many more.
5. Copy and layout Copy deals with the verbal aspects of the message,
layout deals with the visual aspects. It is in the areas of copy and
layout that the creative translation of dry fact to interesting visual
and verbal art takes place. While copy and layout are terms specific
to print, the concepts of verbal and visual message components also
hold for broadcast.
6. Production After each message has been created and put on paper in
rough form it must be produced in its appropriate medium. An
understanding of production issues is necessary to help contain costs.
7. Advertising research Although extensive research has occurred in the
situation analysis, a special class of advertising research must be
discussed as part of message strategy. This research deals with the
measurement of the message's impact and can take place at several
levels ranging from a test of an early creative concept to a test of a
finished commercial that is being shown on television. Dependent
variables range from awareness through behavior depending on the
nature of the objectives.
The goal of the message strategy is to develop a message or a series
of messages that will be informative and persuasive in their compelling
presentation or relevant issues to the target audience. This concept can be
broken down so that its components can be examined.
1. A message or series of messages. The message can be in print or
broadcast media. There can be one message or a number of messages
working together. In many cases it is preferable to have several
messages coordinated over time as a campaign.
2. Informative and persuasive. All advertising has elements that are
either informative or persuasive. Some is geared to be more of one or
the other, but all messages have some of each component. Bu nature, all
advertising tries to persuade the consumer to purchase a particular
brand and at the same time they tries to be minimally informative.
3. Compelling presentation. In order for the informative and persuasive
dimensions to have an impact, the message must be presented in a way
that stops the consumer and holds attention. The world’s best product
will go unnoticed if it is not presented in an interesting way.
4. Relevant issues. A compelling presentation is necessary to stop the
consumer, but relevant issues are necessary to hold the consumer. The
wonderfully entertaining but totally irrelevant messages will also hold
the consumer attention, but they don’t necessarily sells the product.
5. Relevant audience. Target market is an issue throughout the development
of the campaign.
Very important moment in creating the ad and especially in choosing the
message is to clearly and correctly set the objectives. The objective has
Task of advertising
Time period within which to accomplish task
Amount of change to achieve within target
Only the first two of these will be relevant to message objectives; time
period and amount of change are more relevant for the media and promotions
areas. Although the objectives here will just be concerned with the target
and task, it is still necessary to achieve a high level of precision in the
objective statement. It will also be useful (and should be required) to
justify each of the component parts .
It is often said that objectives and strategies are the enemies of
creativity, that objectives and strategies stifle, restrict, and confine,
that strategies should only provide guidelines. These statements almost
always come from writers or artists and show a lack of concern for the
business of the client and for the ultimate need to influence behavior.
Of course, the complaints are accurate. Objectives and strategies do
stifle, restrict and confine. That is their purpose. Given the level of
competition in most product classes and the perceptual defenses put up by
most consumers, it is important to direct creativity. It is important that
the creative work be on the mark so that it accomplishes the proper task on
the proper target market. This doesn't stifle real creativity. Real
creativity leads to the development of a unique, memorable, forceful
message that is also consistent with the campaign objectives. Remember,
it's not creative unless it sells.
As David Ogilvy wrote, «What you have to say is more important than how
you say it. Your most important job is to decide what you are going to say
about your product, what benefit you are going to promise.»
Ed Meyer, head of Grey Advertising, says, «The stimulation of creative
advertising starts with the clear articulation of its objectives.»
And Dick Rowan of Marschalk Advertising says, «The trouble with most
advertising is that few people ever stop to think through the marketing
problem and objectives first. «
The rigor imposed by objectives, positioning statements, and strategies
is designed to focus rather than constrict creativity. It permits the total
creative effort to be directed toward execution rather than toward a search
for directions and, ultimately, allows for a measurement of the success of
the messages in accomplishing their goals. A nicely written defense of
strategies was prepared a by Howard Shank of Leo Burnett; as it appears
A few words about creative strategy
It seems to be in the nature of creative people to chafe at those
little pieces of paper entitled «Creative Strategy.»
To watch a lot of creative people react, you'd think those documents were
really headed, «Arsenic. Take full strength. Do not dilute.»
There is, to be sure, some reason for this revulsion. It is not unheard
of for writers and art directors to be asked to execute something that
should really be called an «un creative strategy.»
The authors of these papers have been known to be neither creative nor
strategic in their thinking and to mask a certified non-idea behind
formularized words. If you execute such a non-idea, what you are bound to
have is a noncompelling advertisement. No matter how cleverly you write
Basic truth, you folks: the highest form of creativity in advertising
is the setting of real creative strategies.
We must never forget it.
It's what buid this business.
It's where your future and my future lie.
It's where at least half the joy in our business is found.
It's also where the hardest work is found, I'll admit. But don't
forget, you always love hard work.
If you're still with me, I'd like to tell you what a real creative
But first, I'll suggest to you some of the things it is not.
It Is not just a sentence that says, «The advertising will convince
people that our product is the (tastiest) (freshest) (mildest) (hardest-
working) (classiest) (fastest) product in the store.
It is not the product of logic and analysis alone—although they're
part of how you get there. It is not the province of the client or the
account man—although they should be heavily involved.
It is not a jail for creative execution. Rather, if you've got a real
creative strategy, it will inspire you to write and visualize at the
height of your powers.
It is not aimed at robots but at human beings with hearts and guts as
well as brains.
The last sentence is the crux of the matter.
The real creative strategy is the one that relates product to yearnings.
Formula to life style.
If you can look at a thinner cigarette and see not only as a special
cigarette for women but also as a symbol of equality for women, you can
create real creative strategies.
If you can look at a bar of soap with pumice in it and see not only an
efficient hand washer but also the solution to the problem of «Public
Dirt,» you can create real creative strategies.
If you can look at a glass of chokolate milk and see it not as just a
yummy thirst-quencher or a hunger fighter but as a cure to kid’s
whimsicalities, you can create real creative strategies.
In all truth, the process that leads to real creative strategies is
the process that leads to inventions.
It involves the seeing of old facts in new relationships.
It involves the discovery of needs and wants in people that even the
people may not have discovered in themselves. (Hardly anyone knew he
needed a telephone until A. G. Bell came along.)
It also involves hard work. As I said before.
When you have a creative strategy problem on your plate, you are
confronted by a need to know everything you can get your hands on. About
the product itself. About competitive products. About the market: its
habits, its attitudes, its demographics. About the advertising history of
You need to study all the research you can get your hands on.
You need to ask questions until people hate to see you.
You need, in short, to dig, dig, dig.
The dismal truth is that your chances of finding a compelling creative
strategy are in direct proportion to how much information you stuff your
If you are working on a new coffee, say, you will wind up knowing more
about coffee than you ever thought you wanted to know.
There is a very good reason why you must do this human sponge act if you
are to invent real creative strategies.
Your subconscious mind—where a very important part of the invention
process goes on—needs a richly-stocked data bank to do its best work.
The job of your subconscious is to review and re-review everything you
know about a subject. It searches, even during your sleep, for new
relationships between people and products; searches, as I suggested
earlier, for new combinations of old Ideas; searches for the new insight
that can give even a very old product the right to ask for new attention
in the market.
If you stint your subconscious on the input side, it will surely stint
you on the output.
Creative strategy goes around in the world under several pseudonyms:
basic concept, basic selling idea, product positioning, basic selling
But whatever the name, the purpose of real creative strategizing is
simple and vital: the invention of a big idea.
I said earlier that this kind of creative strategy work is the highest
form of creativity in advertising.
I believe it wholeheartedly. I also believe wholeheartedly in the
power of brilliant execution.
What I believe in most of all is the synergism you create when you couple
a big idea with brilliant words and pictures.
When you can do that regularly, you can't help getting rich and famous.
Not to mention happy in your work.
Responsibility for developing objectives and strategy lies at the
agency, but before execution can be initiated there must be approval from
the client. The statement of objectives and strategies should be complete
but concise and should show justifications for decisions that emerge from
the situation analysis.
Tightly defined strategies also give freedom to copywriters because
they know that their work should be judged solely against these preexisting
guidelines. This direction should, therefore, be cherished. From another
perspective, Norman Berry of Oglivy & Mather says «There is nothing, in my
view, so stupid, or so wasteful of time, talent and money, as to produce a
whole lot of work saying one thing brilliantly, when in fact one should
have been saying something else in the first place.»
To set accurate message objectives, a quick revue of relevant issues
will be useful.
In terms of target market:
Describe the audience as precisely as possible in relation to demographics,
geographics and psychographics
What the problem that the brand will solve. for consumers.
In terms of the task:
Describe the task in terms of the stage of the hierarchy of effects.
Describe the task in terms of audience involved.
Describe the task in terms of the brands benefits.
Describe the task in relation to the competition.
Describe the desired tone of advertising
Some final thoughts about the message strategy
The statement of message tasks must cover four specific areas:
Whom to sell
What to sell
Support of selling idea
Tone of selling idea
For a message to be effective in accomplishing its tasks it must be:
Attention getting.. It must attract and hold the receiver.
Understandable. It must use symbols that are common to both the sender and
Relevant. It must arouse basic needs and suggest the way to satisfy them.
Acceptable. It must suggest the solution that is compatible with the
In developing objectives and tasks, the manager must develop a
coordinated campaign, not just one or a series of messages. There must
ultimately be continuity across all messages so that consumers can learn
|Accomplish |выполнять |
|Advertise |рекламировать |
|Advertisement |реклама |
|Affirmative |утвердительный |
|aid |помощь |
|aim |цель |
|appeal |обращение |
|appropriate |соответствующий |
|approval |оправдание |
|audience |аудитория |
|awareness |осведомленность |
|benefit |выгода |
|bias toward |склоняться к |
|brand |марка |
|captivating |увлекательный |
|commercial |реклама |
|compelling |убедительный |
|competition |конкуренция |
|conceive |постигать |
|conductive |способствующий |
|connotation |дополнительное |
| |значение |
|constrain |сдерживать |
|constrict |сократить |
|controvertial |спорный |
|conventional |обычный |
|conсise |сжатый |
|copy |рекламный текст |
|core |суть |
|creative |творческий |
|creativity |творческий подход |
|customer |покупатель |
|degrade |приходить в упадок |
|department |отдел |
|derive |происходить |
|dimension |направление |
|disparage |относиться с |
| |пренебрежением |
|dominant |доминант |
|elicit |извлекать |
|emphasise |подчеркивать |
|enlarge |развивать |
|evident |очевидный |
|execution |исполнение |
|expose |подвергать |
|extol |превозносить |
|fragile |хрупкий |
|gasp |замирать |
|generic |общий |
|goal |задача |
|guideline |руководство |
|hamper |мешать |
|hierarchy |иерархия |
|immerse |погружать |
|impact |воздействие |
|implicitly |косвенным образом |
|innovative |изобретательный |
|invention |изобретение |
|involve |вовлекать |
|justify |определять |
|layout |формат |
|life cycle |жизненный цикл |
|management |управление |
|market |рынок |
|marketing |маркетинг |
|mediocre |посредственный |
|merit |достоинство |
|misperceive |неправильно понимать |
|niche |ниша |
|nonconformity |несоответствие |
|objective |задача |
|on behalf |в пользу |
|parity |соответствие |
|particular |определенный |
|perceptual |восприимчивый |
|persuasive |убедительный |
|positioning |позиционирование |
|precede |предшествовать |
|promotion |продвижение |
|province |область |
|prudent |предусмотрительный |
|purchase |покупка |
|pursue |преследовать |
|quantifiable |исчислимый |
|rational |рациональный |
|regulation |ограничение |
|reject |отвергать |
|relevant |актуальный |
|represent |предсавлять |
|rigor |оцепенение |
|share |доля |
|solely |единственно |
|solution |решение |
|stem |происходить |
|stifle |сдерживать |
|stint |ограничивать |
|stray |блуждать |
|stumble across |натыкаться |
|subcontious |подсознательный |
|superb |превосходящий |
|superiority |превосходство |
|tangible |осязаемый |
|target market |целевой рынок |
|tradeoff |торги |
|trigger |спусковой крючок |
|vendor |продавец |
|virtue |достоинство |
|visual |визуальный |