For the Love of Advertising

I love advertising. There I said it. I know so many of us (and I’m guilty of it) are afraid to use the “ad” word these days. We go to great lengths to not call ourselves an advertising agency. We’re a creative content agency. We’re a big ideas agency. We’re a hybrid creative marketing shop. We’re a creative PR agency. (I’ve used all of those terms to define Seed Factory.) Anything but advertising because advertising is dead, right? Nope, it’s just merged a bit with other disciplines and the agencies doing it correctly have adapted. But in the end, aren’t we still communicating to the masses (albeit more micro-masses now) about our clients services, products, benefits or beliefs? The agency I co-founded is, at its core, part creative advertising agency and part PR firm. Why can’t we just call it that? We are going to, now that I’m professing my continued love of advertising. My love of good, creative advertising and PR ideas.

What I love about advertising is that big ideas and great executions haven’t lost their power or importance. They really haven’t, no matter what you read and what “the sky is falling” bandwagon people want to tweet about. The channels have changed, but don’t mistake that for creative ideas no longer having the power to catapult brands to success. Creative ideas can be “advertised” in more, different ways now. In fact, it means we need more creative ideas and great executions on so many levels.

If your brand is willing to jump higher,
it’ll stand out and get noticed.

Just because we are being inundated with mediocre creative as so many brands rush to communicate everywhere to everyone does not mean the creative bar of great work has been lowered. It means there’s a lot more mediocrity stewing below the bar and if your brand is willing to jump higher, it’ll stand out and get noticed even more. I’d consider that fact alone proof that great creative work is more important than ever.

The channels used to be newspapers, then radio, glossy magazines and TV. With the Internet, now we have social media and a thousand other touch points, including experiential which can garner earned media coverage. Creative ideas are still incredibly valuable to brands and the smart ones know a great idea can ignite sales and improve long term value. Human insights are still insights, but as always, they’re relevant to the social and generational context of the times. Insights are always needed to get to big ideas, and to have a creative idea is to have an insight—observed or deduced from logical thinking and problem solving. We now have more deep data and analytics than ever before, but it doesn’t replace creative; it simply means we know more to help guide and shape creative ideas, can track results, actions and sentiments, proving creative worth to a brand. But don’t let data stifle creative. It should be there to justify, shape and provide insights as a creative launch pad.



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