When I interview people for creative positions in the creative department, I always ask the question: “So why are you in advertising?” in the hopes of hearing back from them: “Because I want to nail the perfect ad.”
What is a perfect ad and how do you know if you’ve nailed it? Here’s what I think:
> It’s impossible to ignore and unforgettable once you have seen it.
> Whether simple or complicated, the level of complexity is absolutely relevant to what is being sold.
> It speaks in a language that the target market will immediately appreciate.
> It creates such a buzz for the product that your client’s business is overrun.
> It generates conversation.
> It makes the agency famous.
It is Advertising’s holy grail, and there is a certain hungry look about those who seek it.
I believe my old Ball Partnership Creative Director Neil French nailed a few. This one for Prontaprint remains my favourite of his. (Get a readable view of it here.) Chatty, long-winded and requires too much time right? Just like a lot of documents. Amazing how a little colour can focus the eye! Best of all, you don’t actually have to read it except for the one line….then you’ll hunt for the client’s name.
But my favourite ad of all time is this winner from Australia for indestructible surf shorts from Kadu. The creative team was Ben Nott and Paul Bennell, the year 1994. It transformed their client’s business and won them the Grand Prix at Cannes. Meets the criteria I set out above, don’t you think? Made me sick with envy.
Right, back to the drawing board.