There is so much that can be said about creating good advertising that, often, someone looking for guidance can be overwhelmed by it all and not know where to start. I've simplified 20+ years of experience, both from the client side and as an adviser to companies, down to the five most important drivers of good advertising.
I mention "good" advertising. Clearly, this is one of the complexities of this issue as there can be varying perspectives about what this means. In my view, its rather clear. "Good" advertising is effective advertising. It is a strategic communication that builds brand and that influences consumer behavior (i.e. sells product). So often, creatives develop fantastic advertising ideas that make for great cinema, but that don't work as hard as it could for the business and the brand.
Here are my 5 Drivers of 'Effective Advertising':
1 - Sound Strategy - effective advertising must emanate from solid consumer insights. You've got to understand what drives your consumers, and create sound strategy that leverages this data, to influence them to buy. People are bombarded by an avalanche of marketing messages throughout their day. Strategic communications targeted to your consumers with the most compelling message for them gives you the best opportunity to break through the clutter and connect with them; to influence them toward your brand and product.
2 - The Big Creative Idea - to have a strong ad, there must be a compelling idea, story, or feature & benefit to communicate. You've got to have something important to say! The best (i.e. most effective) creative advertising ideas flow directly from consumer insights and solid strategy!
3 - Brand Ownership - too frequently "The Big Creative Idea" overpowers the brand it should be supporting. Advertisers must be careful to balance the over-all communication in their ads to ensure that the brand owns the spot. As well, the message in the advertising should be ownable; it must be consistent enough with the brand's positioning to be believable.
4 - Emotional Hooks - to be most effective, advertising should resonate with consumers emotionally. "The Big Creative Idea' should leverage compelling emotional drivers to connect effectively with consumers - about something that's meaningful to them and in a way that is credible.
5 - A Brand and Product Pay-Off - to be most effective, advertising should position both the brand and the product as the overwhelming solutions to a meaningful problem. The brand should address real emotional needs and the product, physical ones.