“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap” Dolly Parton “It costs a lot of thinking to look this impulsive” Creativity – By @WeR4everPpl

By Sean Grace


“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap” – Dolly Parton

“It costs a lot of thinking to look this impulsive”- Creativity 


The last week has been pretty intense. On Thursday, we all presented our posters for portfolio brief 4, the final deadline being Friday. In fairness we had been told that we’ll be lucky to see 10% of our work taken on, and Thursday’s feedback was no exception with about 90% of rushing back to the drawing board. I have tried to capture the best of the feedback to stress test my work in future. 

  1. Enjoy it. Don’t overthink it. Loosen up a bit. Don’t take it quite so grippingly seriously. 
  1. The more time you have, use it, don’t abuse it!
  1. Try to find a true insight that has something about it that is universal.
  1. Is the target market too niche i.e. are there enough of them?
  1. Is there character about your SMP?
  1. Is the final ad a good fit for the persona?
  1. Is there a clear call to action?
  1. Does you idea connect two unconnected things to make something new?
  1. Does it look like nothing else out there and nothing in its category?
  1. Do you get what it’s about straight away i.e what it affects, how it helps, what it means to me?
  1. Is any competitor talking like this already?
  1. Is the art direction / train of thought consistent across the campaign?
  1. Is the copy / tone of voice consistent across the campaign?
  1. Is the idea shown in varied executions / layouts across the campaign?
  1. Plan how you’ll inject energy into your presentations and make sure you made enough to say “but we didn’t stop there” at least three times.
  1. Can you avoid using a stock image?
  1. Avoid ‘straight’ executions for example if using a mum make her a ‘drag compere mum’. 
  1. If you changed out the copy, could the image be used for something else? 
  1. Does the power of the execution match the immediacy of the line? 
  1. Is the white space balanced or is too much of it making the image or copy float around?
  1. Does the copy need help from the art direction to sell it, or vice versa?
  1. Is the type layout a help or hindrance to people reading it?
  1. Are the line breaks regular at this point size, and if not can you change to another?
  1. Is the amount and size of copy appropriate for the media e.g. is it big enough to read?
  1. Does the copy say somewhere what the product is?
  1. What’s the pay-off for reading long copy? Is it beautiful copy / beautifully written, or a great story? 
  1. Can you say it without long copy e.g. a sorry you’re leaving card? 
  1. Have you edited long copy to check you are not repeating yourself?
  1. Have you actively decided on the look / tone of voice for the brand?
  1. Did you write 200 straplines before choosing the one(s) you went with?
  1. If using an unexpected image for a product, reflect it in the strapline e.g. using tigers to sell household insurance you could say ‘we know household insurance won’t send you wild’
  1. Is your aim to make me laugh, or to play with my emotions?
  1. Does it accentuate the real point of difference for the brand / product?
  1. Is the strategy coming across in the campaign?
  1. Are people gonna put this on instagram or share it with a friend or on a wall?
  1. Is it going somewhere really good, or taking the product to a new place?
  1. Does it make people do something unusual like move their head to read it?
  1. Will it reward me with an interesting fact that teaches me something new?
  1. Does it go a step too far and will the company want to go there?
  1. How is it differentiating the company / product?
  1. To create a pastiche character, and do it well, write a whole back story for the character. 
  1. Is the weight being put on something that really isn’t relevant? Is there a lot of noise for not a lot of communication?
  1. Does it make you laugh and want to get involved?
  1. If you go for it will it make you the outlier on the deck that the client can’t stop thinking about?
  1. Will it get the client to say that was really uncomfortable, but make them think ‘if we don’t do that will someone else?’
  1. Are we brave and are we breaking things and shaking things up and upsetting people?
  1. Is it basic, cheap and does it communicate really quickly?
  1. Is it interactive e.g. an OOH that brings up a message when you look at it?
  1. If someone looks at the ad, is there a twist, or a pay off / reward?
  1. Now show it to all your classmates and ask if they can give you a better strapline / art direction etc.

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