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Why good creative matters more today than ever.

by Dave Carter on July 17th, 2012
Creative Services, Broadcast Production

Where’s the beef?

What’saaaahhhhppp?  Just Do It.  Think Different.  Don’t Leave Home Without It.  What’s In Your Wallet?  You recognize them all, don’t you?  And, more than likely you could match these slogans to the product they immortalized without any help.  That’s the effect of good advertising.


Is it bad

the average bloke on the street can’t tell you the first sentence of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, but he can tell you three (or more) of the slogans McDonald’s has used over the years?  No.  It’s all in the presentation.  If the Gettysburg Address came with a hot music track, exciting images of tantalizing meal items and a snappy little slogan, we might remember more of it.  The point is, good advertising gets remembered, gets talked about and, ultimately gets people to go from being just a viewer to a customer.


When an ad is “good,”

that is to say, when images and words come together in just the right way, they create a lasting memory.  Some messages become so widespread in appeal they become part of the American lexicon – bandied about in conversations at dinner, around the water cooler, in the lunchroom, at parties and out on the town.



how does one truly define what a “good” ad is?  After all, “good” is completely subjective.  Right?  Well, yes and no.  I think a strong case can be made for the fact that all good ads have one thing in common.  They aren’t “safe.”  Meaning, the presentation of the message and/or the message itself is a fresh look at a topic – not just a rehash of the familiar.


Now, more than ever

your advertising needs a fresh slant to get noticed.  Why?  Because the field of competitors is more crowded than ever. And, growing every day.  You can’t afford to let your advertising disappear into the sea of the “same old, same old.”  Or, if you can, “shame on you for wasting all that money.”

“Fresh,” “unexpected” and “envelope-pushing”

Is an ad always “good” just because it possesses the qualities above?  A definitive “No.”  Two other things have to be present:



If your advertising message isn’t relevant to the buyer’s needs, it doesn’t matter how fresh it is.



An ad has to have the right tone to be truly effective.  For instance: you wouldn’t want the “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!!!” tractor pull voice talking about how much your hospital cares.


Before you spend

another dime placing an ad, ask yourself, “does the message and the look offer something fresh, intriguing or fun?”  If not, send your agency back to the pond.  There are plenty of good ideas swimming just below the surface, and any agency worth it’s salt should be able to fish a few out for you.



Dave Carter

About Dave Carter

My name is Dave Carter. I am the President/Creative Director at Sheehy+Associates. After over 25 years in the advertising industry, there isn’t much I haven’t seen or done with regard to advertising within most any business segment on a local, regional or national level. I relish the unique opportunities that accompany every client with which we partner. In my free time, you can usually find me outdoors, backpacking and/or mountaineering. I also coach high school track and cross country at St. Xavier High School.

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