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“Ad Brief:” How Do You Combine the Art and Science of Advertising?

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Most industries find themselves as either an art-focused business or a science-focused business. The distinction is one based on whether your primary product is based on innate creativity or large quantities of data. Advertising and marketing, however, find themselves in a unique position where anyone you ask may give you a difference stance on which industry is falls under. While this may sound purely hypothetical, this can actually impact the way marketers approach their next campaign or project. This can drastically alter the final product. So to make sure your company is unified in its creative and vision, which path should you choose? It turns out, the answer is a bit of both. See what other experts have to say on the matter of combining the artistic and the scientific of advertising.

For Judy Tsuei from Wild Hearted Words, the first step is the foundational elements: your milestones and your goals. Even here, the focus between branding and sales highlights the balance of art and science. Once you have your foundation, you then need to understand your audience. You want to know your audience so you know how to communicate and respect your audience. “The community is key,” says Tsuei, “Your audience is going to be the one who’s going to be driving a lot of your marketing.” So listen attentively. By doing so, they can guide the story and marketing that you use.

For others like Jason Fairchild from tvScientific, they look at is from a scientific perspective that gives room for art. “There’s a lot of room for artistic expression in building of the hypothesis,” which to Fairchild is like television creative. While it used to be highly subjective on what TV ads work best, now we can use multiple ad “hypotheses” and see which perform best. This approach leaves tons of room for subjective creativity, but in a way that can now be objectively measured.

James McDonald from Access Global Advisors reveals that with media clients, they often need help finding a direction that is able to be evaluated. You need to use the knowledge you have to create a direction that can be objectively measured but is creatively tailored for your business.

Tim Kilroy from Tim Kilroy Agency Growth adds to the equation. He says what most companies don’t often understand is that the true value is that potential clients buy the benefit to themselves, not the stuff that the company does. Many times, service companies are focused on how their company does things a unique way. “The buyer,” says Kilroy, “Just wants to know how do you stop it from hurting and what does it look like on the other side when things are better?” This shift in focus and mindset can be challenging to companies that are used to creating a product a certain way.


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