Way too often, ads are filled with too much information and lots of copy. How does that happen? Why does it happen? I can almost hear the collective grumble from all my peers saying…. “Clients!”  But I believe that laying blame at the doorstep of clients, absolves us, the creative professional of any blame. I believe as Creative Professionals, it is our role to accommodate but also to advise. In my experience, once you explain the reasons why you shouldn’t do something , or even show them what is being compromised, clients really do get it.

Just think back… even recently and consider this:

  • Ever watch a TV commercial and say, I don’t get it?…. or worse, what’s the brand? Remember the Head On ad?
  • Drive and spot an outdoor billboard and you can’t read the caption because there’s too many words like the one below…. and the type is so small?
  • Flip through a magazine ad and miss the total point of the ad? Like this one.

It always amazes me that there are ads that actually get to the marketplace without a clear single focused message.  Or the creative is sooo out there, that it doesn’t circle back to the brand or to the product. This is a particular pet peeve of mine, as I just recently wrote an entire blog on this issue! An ad  (any kind of ad) shouldn’t be closing the sale…. it should be generating interest… It needs to communicate benefit and to engage consumers enough so that they take action. Ads were never meant to replace sales people! They were meant to increase awareness of a product and service and increase the knowledge of the benefits within that product or service. Ads are meant to get traffic, whether it’s a website or a physical location.

So the next time you face a challenge, think back on what makes you a creative professional. Advertising isn’t about pretty pictures and for it to work there are certain protocols that need to be followed. At times it can be challenging, but that is what our profession is all about. How often are we faced with and given mountains of information to decipher and create a single succinct statement that says is all. Or given so many logos and visual elements to layout into a visual flow that directs the consumer’s eyes and makes sure that the main message is delivered. The minute we let go of this basic standard, then everyone and anyone who owns a computer can “create” an ad. All they need is Indesign or Illustrator knowledge.