Is Advertising Getting Worse?

“We don’t have the time or budget to do good work.”


Advertising people talk about the heyday of the business and reminisce about great creative from the past. Some say that today’s creative isn’t as good. That deadlines and constrained budgets and client pressures are killing creativity.


I say – “Fie.”


Our memories are selective. There has never been enough time or enough money. And there has always been pressure.  And, frankly, there has always been stuff that sucks along with outstanding creative.


And the great work was then, and still is, driven by great thinking.  Not just the thinking of great creative people. But of smart marketers and messaging strategists that help provide the creative people with direction to translate into something special.


It’s that simple: great direction greatly improves the likelihood of great creative.


Great direction also means fewer false starts and missteps: work is done faster. It gets work approved more often and more easily: if direction is agreed on upfront, there is a much greater (although not 100%) likelihood that the work will be agreed on. And, as for budgets: I wish I could say that great direction leads directly to work that fits in a confined budget.  It doesn’t. But it at least provides good guardrails within which to work. And those help stay within a budget.


Whenever I see terrific creative, I can see the thought behind it. I can see the strategic thinking.


And I can tell that a lot of that work is being done without huge budgets. Some of it, clearly, with little money at all. And I’m sure much of it was done without the luxury of weeks or months to ponder directions.


But I’m also sure it was done more successfully and faster because there was a clear direction – a clear strategy.


So, instead of bemoaning the state of creative and how budgets and schedules and client pressures are killing creativity, get some better direction for what you are working on. Then you’ll have better creative.


Create opportunities for better creative.  Go to Get Better Creative and learn about the workshop where, in one day, your team will become marketing communications rock stars.  Talk with Dave Hamel, Principal of Get Better Creative and lead of the American Marketing Association’s “Successfully Managing the Creative Process” about how creative strategy gets you better creative: 312.623.5567