Topic 13 – Creating the Copy; Art Direction
The “Big Idea” is the creative concept behind an ad that attracts attention and creates a
distinctive impression for the brand in the mind of the receivers.
It has been described as
“that flash of insight that synthesizes the purpose of the strategy, joins the product benefit
with the consumer desire in a fresh, involving way, brings the subject to life, and makes
the reader/audience stop, look and listen,” (John O’Toole, The Trouble With Advertising,
The big idea is also referred to as the key selling idea in a campaign – a guilding
light, such as Apple’s “1984”, Nike’s “Just Do It”,
Coca-Cola’s “Always Coca-Cola”,
VW’s “Driver’s Wanted” and Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef”
The message refers to what is said/show and is composed of copy and art.
Copy is the
written/verbal portion of the message and art contains any visual information.
An advertising strategy is the summary statement of all the essential and defining
planning, preparation, and placement decision.
One major component of the ad strategy
is the message strategy, which consists of objectives and methods and defines the goals
of the advertiser and how to achieve these.
Message strategies may include: promoting
brand recall (repetition is effective along with slogans, rhetorical devices that link a brand
name to something memorable – Bud-Weis-Er, You Deserve a Break Today, Get Met It
Pays; instilling brand preference (feel good ads promote a positive feeling associated with
the brand and humor and/or sex appeal, and may be used to create such an association;
scare the consumer into action – fear appeal ads such as Radio Shack’s $6 million
campaign showing an unprotected home and a slogan of “If security is the question,
we’ve got the answer”, change behavior by introducing anxiety – P&G has depended on
this approach with dandruff shampoos, body odor, athlete’s foot, bad breath; transform
the consumption experience by connecting the experience of the ad so closely with the
brand that consumers cannot help but think of the ad when they think of the brand (i.e.,
Herbal essence, McDonald’s); situate the brand socially so that the brand gains social
meaning by association – slice of life ads often depict the idealized user; define the brand
image by using celebrities such as Michael Jordan; persuade the consumer with high
engagement ads to convince the consumer that a brand is superior – this requires a high
level of cognitive engagement with the audience (i.e.,
when Casterol introduced Syntec
synthetic motor oil, the firm was able to show how synthetic additives increased the heat
protection of the oil compared to standard motor oils – this is an example of a unique
selling proposition (USP) which is a promise contained in an ad which the brand offer a
specific, unique and relevant benefit to the consumer.
USP was championed by R. Reeves at the Ted Bates Agency in the 1950s.