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1. The art of advertising 3
2. Message strategies 3
A few words about creative strategy 10
Some final thoughts about the message strategy 15
Inputs to message strategies
1. The art of advertising
Nowadays market economy is widespread all over the world. Any company, working in this conditions face a lot of different questions such as arranging marketing system, arranging management system and so on. And the problem of advertising the product is practically at the top of this list. Some people think that to advertise means to let the customers know about your product. Maybe it was so many years ago. Today, in times of severe competition, a function of advertising is much more complex. You should not only let people know you should make them buy. In different forms, in different words you should convince everybody that your product is the best. So when such a problem appeared, advertising was transformed into a science. It was a mixture of management, marketing and psychology. But the large amount of ads all around began to aggravate people. And then the science was developed into the art of advertising. It became creative. Today exist even special institutes where people learn to advertise and to do it professionally.
2. Message strategies
It is not creative unless it sells. This is the stated philosophy of Benton&Bowles and the unwritten philosophy of most other major advertising agencies, and it should be everyone’s guiding star in advertising. Creativity is essential, but for its own sake it is insufficient; it must be used to show the unique benefit of the product in a memorable way. And all the process can come to a full stop when creativity is misguided and doesn’t show a benefit or implies a wrong product. But how can we get to know what is creative and what is not? The only way to find this out is through the philosophy that guides Benton&Bowles. They worked out the main formula of creativity: It’s not creative unless it sells.
So any advertisement usually consists of an image and some text. The text part deals with message strategy. What should be said to consumers so that the objectives set earlier can be met? Liberal doses of art and science must be combined to answer this question. The science of research gives insights into the appropriate attributes, benefits, position, and target market; verbal, visual, and musical arts translate this dry, sterile data into a compelling message.
In addition, the message strategy must fit into the decision sequence framework. Much of the information gathered in the situation analysis will be used here to give insight to the writers and artists who ultimately create the message. Also, the message must help the advertiser to meet its objective (relevant issues here are the task of the message in terms of movement along the hierarchy of effects and the target market to be pursued) and to meet its position (the unique meaningful benefit of the brand). Finally, the message must be consistent with constraints imposed by the media and promotions strategies that are being developed simultaneously. The message strategy part will be divided according to the following topics:
1. The relevance of issues derived earlier from the situation analysis and objectives and positioning These issues are generally broken down to include the product, the consumer, and the competition. The writers and artists must immerse themselves in all available information before they can create a message of relevance. In this section the key issues are reviewed from the perspective of their relevance to message design.
2. Legal constraints Many laws govern advertising. Most of them constrain the type and presentation of information in the message. Current regulations, primarily from the Federal Trade Commission, are presented here.
3. Creativity This is an elusive concept and is certainly not the exclusive domain of writers and artists. It is most appropriately discussed as part of message strategy because it is here that the most visible creativity takes place in terms of the creation of the message.
4. Broad and specific classes of message appeals and execution styles Appeals can be product oriented or consumer oriented and they tend to locate somewhere on a continuum of rationality and emotion. Styles include humor, fear, sex, slice of life, documentary, and many more.
5. Copy and layout Copy deals with the verbal aspects of the message, layout deals with the visual aspects. It is in the areas of copy and layout that the creative translation of dry fact to interesting visual and verbal art takes place. While copy and layout are terms specific to print, the concepts of verbal and visual message components also hold for broadcast.
6. Production After each message has been created and put on paper in rough form it must be produced in its appropriate medium. An understanding of production issues is necessary to help contain costs.
7. Advertising research Although extensive research has occurred in the situation analysis, a special class of advertising research must be discussed as part of message strategy. This research deals with the measurement of the message's impact and can take place at several levels ranging from a test of an early creative concept to a test of a finished commercial that is being shown on television. Dependent variables range from awareness through behavior depending on the nature of the objectives.
The goal of the message strategy is to develop a message or a series of messages that will be informative and persuasive in their compelling presentation or relevant issues to the target audience. This concept can be broken down so that its components can be examined.
• A message or series of messages. The message can be in print or broadcast media. There can be one message or a number of messages working together. In many cases it is preferable to have several messages coordinated over time as a campaign.
• Informative and persuasive. All advertising has elements that are either informative or persuasive. Some is geared to be more of one or the other, but all messages have some of each component. Bu nature, all advertising tries to persuade the consumer to purchase a particular brand and at the same time they tries to be minimally informative.
• Compelling presentation. In order for the informative and persuasive dimensions to have an impact, the message must be presented in a way that stops the consumer and holds attention. The world’s best product will go unnoticed if it is not presented in an interesting way.
• Relevant issues. A compelling presentation is necessary to stop the consumer, but relevant issues are necessary to hold the consumer. The wonderfully entertaining but totally irrelevant messages will also hold the consumer attention, but they don’t necessarily sells the product.
• Relevant audience. Target market is an issue throughout the development of the campaign.
Very important moment in creating the ad and especially in choosing the message is to clearly and correctly set the objectives. The objective has four components:
Task of advertising
Time period within which to accomplish task
Amount of change to achieve within target
Only the first two of these will be relevant to message objectives; time period and amount of change are more relevant for the media and promotions areas. Although the objectives here will just be concerned with the target and task, it is still necessary to achieve a high level of precision in the objective statement. It will also be useful (and should be required) to justify each of the component parts .
It is often said that objectives and strategies are the enemies of creativity, that objectives and strategies stifle, restrict, and confine, that strategies should only provide guidelines. These statements almost always come from writers or artists and show a lack of concern for the business of the client and for the ultimate need to influence behavior.
Of course, the complaints are accurate. Objectives and strategies do stifle, restrict and confine. That is their purpose. Given the level of competition in most product classes and the perceptual defenses put up by most consumers, it is important to direct creativity. It is important that the creative work be on the mark so that it accomplishes the proper task on the proper target market. This doesn't stifle real creativity. Real creativity leads to the development of a unique, memorable, forceful message that is also consistent with the campaign objectives. Remember, it's not creative unless it sells.
As David Ogilvy wrote, "What you have to say is more important than how you say it. Your most important job is to decide what you are going to say about your product, what benefit you are going to promise."
Ed Meyer, head of Grey Advertising, says, "The stimulation of creative advertising starts with the clear articulation of its objectives."
And Dick Rowan of Marschalk Advertising says, "The trouble with most advertising is that few people ever stop to think through the marketing problem and objectives first. "
The rigor imposed by objectives, positioning statements, and strategies is designed to focus rather than constrict creativity. It permits the total creative effort to be directed toward execution
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