March 24, 2014
Great Advertising Transcends Strategy
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know that advertising is 50% strategy and 50% execution. Or something like that.
But that's only true of normal advertising. The kind you and I do.
It's not true of great advertising -- the kind people a thousand times better than us do.
Great advertising transcends strategy. It's great for all the wrong reasons -- the reasons we never talk about in new business pitches, or mention at client meetings, or have break-out sessions about at advertising conferences. It's great because it's great. Period.
It doesn't matter if it differentiates the brand, or delivers a benefit, or has a call to action.
Good ads need strategy and benefits and differentiation. Great ads don't need any of that. They appeal to us as humans, not consumers.
It's like art or music or literature. The really good artists and musicians and writers know the rules of artistry. But the great ones say "screw the rules."
Here's an example. One of my favorite spots of the past couple of years was a spot for Audi. As far as I can tell, the strategy isn't very compelling, and the targeting is questionable, and there's nothing your average CMO would call a "benefit."
All there is is a great ad.