communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.
Yesterday I had a very long and interesting conversation with a creative about what can and cannot be done with strategy.
Main points of the conversation were largely:
- if strategy is not inspirational it should be changed
- strategy needs to be laden with "tension" to inspire
- strategy needs to make an "argument" rather than generate the potential for an emotion
- strategy is easily misunderstood and it's generally the planner's fault
- strategy is more important than creative execution (yeah, he said that!) because a creative execution without a big idea behind is not EVER going to work
Eventually we got into an argument about emotional executions vs. argumentative executions, meaning ads which simply made your hairs stand up and ads which made you go "oh, I get it. that was nifty of them".
Somehow, it seems this is another barrier in the creative vs planner relationship because strategy needs to fit with the creatives' "approach" too - besides being all of the above and more. Some creatives, it seems, only think with the emotion part of the brain and thus they can write about someone looking out of the window and make it a tear jerker. Others, however, can only work if they have a BIG Idea to dramatize and can make a point at the end.
It's very much like the difference between situational comedy and slapstick comedy (I really don't want to say Seinfeld and the Groucho brothers right now).
The things that bothers me right now is, however, if you can really state that as an argument to you not wanting to do a campaign. Because, I don't believe in advertising as a form of art, so, in theory, you should be able to do your job in whatever form you are required to. On the other hand, I also believe in skills and pushing people to develop their most acute skills. So, if you are an argumentative creative maybe you should be only asked to develop argumentative ads.