Mar 14, 2011

Five Reasons why you should not think you made a bad ad, according to Me.

It all started because of one little argument and bingo, there was my food for another post. Funny how people’s opinions about one thing can totally start up another issue, and this one I’m taking here to WAS so maybe people join in the fun and give us their opinions.

So. Here is the question: Can you tell me, in all honesty, how do you know if an ad is bad?

I mean… what is bad, anyway? For me, it’s totally relative. Like witty, beautiful, boring… bad is such an abstract word that at least in my book can’t totally be defined. We all have our own idea on what it means to each of us and I can bet you a shitload of money that my bad is kind of your bad but not the same bad... sorta. I'll try to think up all the arguments against bad advertising I've heard while slaving away at advertising and give you the other side of the coin on why bad is sometimes.. good?

An ad truly sucks if...

1)... it doesn't stand out of the clutter.
Total bullshit. I can think of a gazillion arguments why this is sometimes not so. People sometimes don’t notice ads, not just because they are a turd on paper, just that they are not looking for that special product or service. Sometimes creatives and clients think that their design stands out like a total atheist at a church (we do look awkward, you gotta accept it) but in all honesty... I've seen normal people browsing the internet or the newspaper and you know what? They just pass the page, honey. All the prizes in the world cannot make your ad be looked at carefully.

2)... it has to be memorable.
Oh come on! In this age when you cannot remember a damn thing because of all the ad bombardment? In fact... can you remember any 5 tv ads that you love and honestly tell me that you know all the brands for each one? COME ON! Maybe you remember three of them. And as well as bad or tasty, memorable is also relative. Why? You forget. Get over it.

3)... it isn't creative/witty.
Ok this one I won't even go there. ... ... ... Ok. OK! I will, dammit. Creative? You mean to tell me creative? Everything is creative! Sometimes it's really crappy creative, sometimes it's way too creative. So there you go. Try to figure how much creative you want with your ad.

4)... if you don't get the message clearly.
Dammit, maybe there you got a point. It does has to be clear. So... yeah. Point taken. Let's move on.

5)... if it's ugly or badly designed.
Tom Cruise is not beautiful for me, people. Ugly is EXTREMELY relative. As well as badly designed. Take, for example, a couple of years ago there has been a trend where you use the ugliest fonts, the most fucked up photographs and you make such a weird ugly design it actually looks fucking awesome. But some of those arts that you see today would have not seen the light of day 10 years ago. Yeah, you know the ones, the funky fonts that you sometimes cringe of using? Yeah. Those ads. Totally would have gotten fired for doing that years ago.

Man, I mean... Jesus Christ. I've seen mediocre ads sell an OBSCENE amount of money. I mean... buttlicking donkey sex obscene. Sometimes clear but not so witty ads will do totally the trick and then some. I've seen clients be so thankful for an ad I was deeply ashamed of because it spiked sales in a huge amount, I've seen award ads of mine go totally unnoticed - only at boring prize shows. You do the math.

This might be a small list and I know the debate can go on for quite a while, but all I want you to really think about is... is your really crappy ad that crap? I do this because all of us sometimes doubt ourselves and sometimes we overthink way too much our creativity. I'm not saying that now you just need to chill and don't produce great concepts. In fact, you shouldn't! But you have to realize that not all the crap that you think of is bad. There are many factors that affect it. Clients, time, your boss, your problems at home, your hormones, your lack of coffee... you are the ad you create. So take it all with a grain of salt.

Embrace the crap within, people. It not all stinks.

Much crappy love, Me.


RestrictionsApply said...

It's been shown in numerous marketing studies that people are more likely to remember "bad" ads. When asked to recall their favorite ads, people reluctantly only remembered the ones they didn't like. Try the experiment for yourself. I recall "Crazy Eddie's Electronics Store" and Empire Carpeting... and these are from the 80s! However, I can't remember the ads I saw this morning.

Mariam said...

A bad ad to me is one that has a million messages, in 4 square inches!
Those really piss me off.
First there's a pictures, illustrations and graphic elements, add phones, address, email, fax, alternative email, AND twitter, facebook, foursquare.
Then you got 2 headlines and subhead and body copy, which are all the same size and in comic sans by the way...
want more? There's a rainbow in the background. Just because.
I'm not making this up, I actually saw this in the subway, I'll send a pic if you like.

Why is this bad? You don't even know where to look at, too much info, too little space. AND the fact that it's the first thing I see in the morning during my commute to work. It's torture.

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