Deciding which lever to pull in advertising

Levers

The development of advertising inevitably involves trade-offs.

A creative brief asks a lot of things of a piece of communication.

I find it helpful to think of those things as levers.

The first lever is getting attention, to be noticed, cut through.

The second lever is the message to convey.  The key proposition, a message take-out.

Levers three, four and five:  Then there might be other levers.  Leave an impression of brand personality or values.  Ask people to do something – have a call to action.

It’s inevitable that most pieces of creative can’t cover off on every aspect of the brief.  If they do, they are truly exceptional and deserve to win every award the Creative team enters.

But usually, it’s a matter of deciding which lever to pull the hardest.

Recently I worked on a brief targeted to young males aged 18 – 25, a notoriously hard to reach audience.  I was assisting my Client to evaluate three different TVC ideas to convey our message.  Each TVC idea had merit in its own right, but inevitably, each idea pulled on the levers in a different way.

We all ended up deciding on the spot that pulled the first lever the hardest, attention-getting. Because with young males, the hardest thing to do is get their attention, especially when they are unlikely to be sitting in front of the TV and are more likely to be viewing cool content on You Tube anyway.

Try it yourself when evaluating concepts – think of the brief as a series of levers and see how you go.

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