Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Difference of Creativity and Strategy

We re-define what creativity means in order to deceive ourselves into thinking that what we're doing is good. We tell ourselves that creativity is, for example, "the clear and compelling articulation of a strategy". Which, in my opinion, is not creativity. Creativity is completely unrelated to strategy. Let me say that again -- creativity is completely unrelated to strategy. Creativity is what happens after the strategy is done. Creativity is the process that transforms a strategy into a terrific ad. Or, more usually, the absence of creativity is what transforms a strategy into a smelly turd. That's not to say that strategy is not an important component of advertising. It is. It's just that advertising has two components. The first is strategy. The second is creativity.

In my opinion, those who think creativity is merely "the clear and compelling articulation of a strategy" are doomed to a career of apologizing -- apologizing for mediocre ads, and apologizing for mediocre results. Now the complicated part of all this -- and the part that is guaranteed to drive you crazy -- is that good creative doesn't always produce good business results. Which is another way of saying that good creative isn't always effective advertising.

Above are some very interesting thoughts from Bob Hoffman at AdContrarian. I highly suggest you read the full post to get a clearer picture of what he is trying to say.

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