Commercials Are Either “Creative” Or “Effective”, Very Rarely Both – Advertising Expert Tim Burt Explains

So, What’s A “Creative” Commercial, Anyway?

It’s 99.8% of all advertising you see and hear on a daily basis, in my opinion…which sounds great, until you realize that most consumers can remember the premise of a commercial, not the advertiser.

That’s a huge problem.

It really takes a lot for me to become angry (those who truly know me may doubt that statement, but it’s really true).

Yet nothing  angers me more when I hear (uninformed/misinformed) clients make demands about their yet-to-be produced advertisement:

“I want my commercial to be really creative.”

This is the question I always respond with:

“Do you want to be creative, or do you want it to be effective?”

A commercial that is both “creative” and “effective” are about as rare as a Honus Wagner baseball card…and just as valuable.

Who Made This Mess In The First Place?

There’s plenty of blame to go around:

  • Big-shot Madison Avenue advertising “executives”
  • Wanna-be Madison Avenue advertising executives
  • (insert your city here) Advertising agencies who follow the lead of Madison Avenue
  • Clients who saw a “creative” commercial that they want to copy (from Madison Ave.)
  • Radio/Television Sales representatives who concoct misguided concepts

Ultimately, this is the fact of the matter:

A Commercial Cannot Be Everything To All People

Just as not every commercial will speak to everyone (identify your target audience, then speak to them – and only them) – not every commercial can be both “creative” and “effective”.

In fact, can you think of the last truly “creative” commercial you saw or heard that made you want to take the desired action (call, visit, go to their website)?

Remember This One Rule Above All Else

The audience will only recall the image you can paint in their mind.

When your core, singular message is buried under mounds of “creativity” (which cannot and will not be remembered), then what is the point of your advertising?



About timburtmedia

30,000+ ads globally. Commercial Advertising Marketing - world-wide audio producer, voice-over talent, copywriter.
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