What is a crap ad?
Is a crap ad one that isn't creative?
There is an interesting mindset across a lot of the advertising industry that if an ad is not creative, then it's not good.
This became pretty evident when I did Award School a few years ago. It was the training ground for future creatives and every week, someone from the industry would do a lecture and show lots of examples of 'good' ads and 'crap' ads. Always purely subjective.
Not once did I see what the initial brief was, then the ad, then the sales results.
Award School was brilliant and I'd recommend it for all clients. But it ingrains in future creative execs the idea that a non-creative idea = a bad ad.
I was reading a blog on B&T's home page yesterday and a blog entry talked about how most of the ads featured in the Good Weekend are 'crap ads', appropriately titled Why Are Good Weekend Mags Ads So Crap?
It's a piece which confuses creativity with effectiveness. As I said in my comments to the author, the fact is nobody except the client and the agency knows how successful an ad is. An ad is a means to an end - to sell more product.
I've done Brand Power ads which got everyone a bonus at the end of the year. I've done super creative stuff which sold truckloads as well.
The bit that I find most interesting is a comment by the author that "the point of my blog is to get people in the industry to notice how many bad ads are out there."
"According to last night's AdSchool guest lecturer Alex Dobrochodow "90% of ads are crap," it's up to us to stop these bad ads getting approved."
And it's up to marketers to better understand creativity and embrace it, so we can make a balanced decision when it's time to approve creative. And that decision should always be the one we think will deliver the best sales result whilst improving the brand in our consumer's minds.