3. What Makes Someone Good at
They are able to consistently get good advertising on
the air, and keep bad advertising off the air.
It sounds easy, but every ad that turned out great,
had a long list of detractors and obstacles to maneuver or overcome.
5. Theory #1: You Blame Yourself
You are the Biggest Obstacle in Getting Great Advertising!
• You Never Find Your Comfort Zone: You are convinced that you’re not
good at advertising. No experience, feel awkward or had a bad
experience. You are skeptical, uptight, and easily annoyed.
• You Don’t Know If It’s Really Your Place to Say Something: You figure the
ad agency is the expert—that’s why we pay them so much—so you give
them a free reign (aka no direction) Or you give the agency the chance to
mess up, and blame them later.
• You settle for something you hate, because of time pressure, or you don’t
know why. You don’t really love it, but it seems ok for now. The agency
says if we don’t go for it now, we’ll miss our air date and have to give up
our media to another brand.
• You can’t sell it in to management: you need to make sure if it’s the right
thing to do, you are able to sell the idea in. Tell them how it works for your
brand—and how it delivers the strategy.
6. Theory #2: You blame your Agency.
Your Agency is the Biggest Obstacle in Getting Great Advertising…
if only we had a better agency?
• Agency writes a brief you don’t like—or you box them into a strategy they
aren’t really big on. If either of you force a strategy on the other, then
you’re off to a bad start. Have some deep rich discussions. Get on the same
• Creative team over sells you: you get hood-winked with the “we are so
excited” speech: You’re not sure what you want, so you settle for the best
board in front of you—even if you know it’s not great.
• You lose connection with the Agency: Agencies are more emotional than
clients. But they want to make great work. Keeping your agency motivated so
that you become the client they want to make great work on.
• You lose traction through the production and Edit: Talent, lighting, directors
and edits can reflect tone—and if the tone changes from the board to the
edit, then so does your ad. You should make sure the final edit matches your
vision of the board.
7. Theory #3: You Blame Your Brand.
Your Brand is the Biggest Obstacle in Getting Great Advertising….
if only we had a better brand?
• “I work on a boring Brand” argument. You think that Cool brands like
Nike, Apple, Ikea etc. are so much easier to work on. However, think
again, because your boring brand has so much room to maneuver.
• You are too careful and think we can’t swing too far: Good ads either go left
or right, not in the middle of the road. Going in the middle is the riskiest
move to make. Keep in mind, consumers might not notice your “big shift”.
Don’t talk to yourself!
• Advertising Roulette: Where brand managers haven’t done the depth of
thinking or homework, briefing the creatives is like a game of chance. There’s
very few real decisions made. What tends to happen, is brands go round and
round for years looking for an ad idea—still never digging in deep.
• Your Strategy Sucks: You figure if we don’t have a great strategy, a good ad
might help. Some strategies are boring or just can’t be executed. If
advertising is an expression of strategy, then maybe your strategy is just a bad
strategy. Re-look your brief.
8. If you knew that being a good client
got you better advertising work,
would you actually be a good client?
9. Which Type of Client Do You Want to Be?
Good at Suck at
10. Do you treat your Agency like a trusted Partner, or
just another Supplier?
It’s like asking: would you prefer to parachute in tandem with an expert,
or are you good on your own and only ask for help when needed?
11. It all Depends on when You Ask for Help versus
when you tell them what to do.
Do you ask Do you tell them
for help? what to do?
If you ask for help, you will hear a candid “Yes” and “No”
But if you just tell them what to do, you will only ever hear “Yes”
12. Getting Great Advertising is a Balance between
Freedom and Control
Most Marketers allow too much FREEDOM on the strategy but want
to exhibit CONTROL on the creative.
It seems odd because it should be the reverse. You should control
the Strategy and give freedom on the Execution.
13. Advertising is Really “Inside the Box Thinking”
The best creative people are
problem solvers, not blue sky
Creative people are motivated by the
challenge of the problem, more than
the execution of a simple solution.
The role of the brief is to create the right
box, enough room to move, but enough
direction that defines the problem.
The Smaller the Brief, the Bigger the Idea.
14. Creative People Thrive “In the Box”
There’s three things Creative people don’t want:
1. A blank canvas: They prefer a problem that they need to
solve through creativity.
2. An unclear problem: They don’t want endless streams of data.
They don’t want so many options built into a brief, they don’t know
where to start. Giving information “just in case” is confusing for
them. They need focus in order to deliver great work for you.
3. Your Solutions: They find it demotivating to be asked for their
expertise (solving problems) and then not utilized (given the
answer) Stop writing copy. When I need to articulate creative “bad
ideas”, I try such hyperbole to make sure it is “really bad”.
Best feedback you can give Creatives is: a) when they are close, steer them closer
b) when they are NOT close, “put them in a new box” (aka rephrase the problem)
Agency Creative people are Problem Solvers. Let
them solve problems.
15. Love the work
Be passionate, challenge the work to be better, take
chances, reward effort and celebrate successes together.
16. Five Ways You can Be a Great Client
1 Brand Planning
2 Advertising Strategy
3. Creative Brief
4. Feedback at Creative Meetings
5. Decision Making on Creative
17. 1 Your should engage your agency in a consistent manner from the first point
of struggle to the last moment of success.
Planning Brand DNA
(Brand Plan) Brand Issues We Face
Communicating Big Ideas
(Briefing) Creative Expressions
Architecture (Brand Review)
At Each step, having the agency at the table with a strong
voice helps you maneuver to the end execution.
18. 1 Leverage Agency Input into the Process with a 3 Step Process to
build Superior Tactics before the Brand Plan is fully Baked.
Step One Give Agencies 2-3 weeks to
come back with their ideas.
Brand Plan Bit of a buffet.
Vision, Mission Strategy
Step Two All Agencies work together
Brand Team briefs all over 2-3 weeks to create a
agencies at the same complete cohesive plan.
time, outlining brand
Advertising, PR, In Store
strategies in the plan.
Each agency presents their
ideas separately. Brand Step Three
Team gives direction to
each agency and tries to
Advertising, PR, In Store
piece the tactics together.
Agencies work together to
align, build on, enhance and
narrow tactics down and
present a consolidated plan.
19. 2 Brand Team Should Provide Context to the Advertising
Strategy via Six Key Questions.
Within a good brand plan, you should have an advertising strategy that should
answer the following six key questions.
1. Who Do We want to sell to? (Target)
2. What are we selling? (Benefit)
3. Why should they believe us? (Reason To Believe)
4. What Do We want the Advertising to do for the brand? (Brand Strategy)
5. What do Want people to think, feel or do? (Desired Response)
6. What’s the long range feeling the brand evokes (Brand DNA)
These six questions form your Advertising Strategy.
20. 3 Agency Should Take Your Advertising Strategy
and Write the Brief
• Let Agency Write the Brief: If you think
writing the brief yourself gives you
control. Think again. They’ll just write
another one for the Creative Team, and
you won’t approve that document.
• Debate every word: great way to gain
alignment and challenge each others
thinking. Make sure you all speak the
• Advertising Target and Selling Target can be different. With advertising target, you’re
trying to get them to do something beyond just buy the product. Target should be a
balance of Psychographics, Behaviours and Demographics. The tighter the better.
• Try to Avoid Mandatories—or at least reduce them. Do not dictate creative style (e.g.
No Humour). Do not dictate copy or demos.
Control the Strategy, but you should give Freedom to the
creative expression of the Strategy.
21. 3 A Good Brief Should Be Brief, Not Long!
Good briefs should have:
• one objective
• one target tightly defined
• one main benefit
• two main reasons to believe
Take Your Pen and Stroke
Things Off Your Brief!
Avoid the “Just in Case” List
22. 3 Advertising Process that is Inspiring and Personal
A D V E R T I S I N G P L A T F O R M
Brand: Listerine Mouthwash Execution: 30 second TV Ad Timing: On Air Mar 15th, 2007
BRAND BACKGROUND BRAND STRATEGY ADVERTISING EXECUTION
Where are we Now? Brand Vision What’s the problem we need to solve?
• #1 dominant brand with 50 share. • Become Part of the Consumers daily life People think using Listerine once a day
• A bit stuck on equity, because new news Brand Key Issues is enough
has been in our way. 1. How do we fight off Scope? What should Advertising do?
• Current campaign needs refreshing. 2. How do we drive frequency of use? • Get them to see the benefit of using it
How did we get here? 3. How do we drive penetration through new twice a day, everyday
2. Brief to Boards
• Solid “action hero” campaign separated product innovation? Who Are We Talking To?
us from Scope. Brand Objectives • Proactive Preventers, 25-35.
• Good Advertising plus steady innovation • Increase penetration from 18% to 22% Consumer Insights to leverage
has grown us by 8%. • Increase usage frequency: 2.3L to 2.5L • People are doing more and more for the
• New news dominated our advertising in Brand Strategies health of their mouth.
06—as our current campaign was • Drive usage frequency by connecting LMW • Consumers still think Listerine‟s primary
wearing thin to the brushing routine. role is for fresh breath.
Tracking: What’s Working? • Drive trial of new product offerings What Does Your Consumer Think Now?
• Before you see boards, you want a creative
• Action Hero breaks through: it gets (Whitening, Vanilla Mint) • Listerine does fresh breath, and is
brand link and strong equity scores. Overall Positioning Statement probably good for doing gingivitis.
• New “non bottle guy” (One Man) breaks • For Proactive Preventers, LMW is the brand What Do You Want Them to Think?
through as well. that makes you look and feel your best, • Listerine does fresh breath, and is
Tracking: What’s Not Working? because you are doing the most for your probably good for doing gingivitis.
• It has been “Hit and miss” when we mouth that you can. Communication ABCS Priority (top 2)
move away from bottle guy. Brand Essence • Attention, Communication
expectations lunch. Gives you the chance to
• Potential campaign wear out • The Invigorating Clean leaves you feeling Key Equities to Leverage
• Purchase intent and usage frequency better about yourself. • Bottle Guy as a likeable equity. CREATIVE BRIEF
are stuck. Loyal users, but they use it Brand Personality • Gingivitis as key discriminator.
for problems (occasion) not prevention • Strong, defiant, reliable Client: Pfizer Date: February 24, 2005
(routine). Brand: Listerine Mouthwash
What do we need to do? What do we want people to do? What do we want people to feel? 1. Why are we advertising at all?
I‟m letting myself down if Listerine isn‟t a
meet creative team, and have them directly
Need to revitalize the Action Hero Use Listerine, twice a day, every day. To continue to link Listerine to the brushing routine.
campaign and drive usage frequency. part on my routine
2. Who are we talking to?
Reactive Preventers, aged 20-40 (bulls-eye 28). They are the kind of people who react to
news by improving their ways. They usually brush twice a day and see their dentist on
occasion. They may be using Listerine from time to time, but they don’t think of it as a
part of their daily routine. They use it when they want the good feeling of a really clean
ask for any clarifying questions
mouth or when their dentist has alerted them to signs of gingivitis.
3. What do they currently think?
Listerine kills germs and fights gingivitis. I use it once in a while, when I think I need to.
4. What do we want them to think?
1. Strategy to Brief
Listerine every time I brush will mean a healthier mouth.
5. What is the one thing we need to tell them?
• Consider an inspiring location that ties into
If you use Listerine every time you brush you have more power in the fight against
6. Why should they believe us?
It’s clinically proven that using Listerine after brushing eliminates more germs that cause
• As you see the agency’s the message. It sets the tone for what type
gingivitis than brushing alone.
7. Brand character?
Powerful, larger than life, immortal, unfailing, sense of humour, modern and
8. Creative Considerations
creative brief, you want of client you are.
Use of Bottle Guy and Toothbrush Guy
What is required: Pool-out of existing campaign
:30 sec TV with :25 & :15 sec cut-down
English & French
Timing: On air March 14th.
to make sure it reflects Docket#: WLJLIST40529
Legals & Mandatories: Cannot appeal to or show children less than 12 years old.
your advertising strategy.
• Be fussy over every CREATIVE
word—and keep it broad EXPECTATIONS
enough that you can see
Date March 31, 2005 Job No.
Client Pfizer Canada Code No.
Product Listerine CRTC No.
Title GYM File No.
3. Advertising Story Boards
Time 30 PAGE
MUSIC: BACKGROUND MUZAK
OPEN ON TOOTHBRUSH GUY IN GYM (FITNESS CENTRE) TALKING UP TWO YOUNG WOMEN
WHO ARE PEDALLING EXERCISE BIKES. THEY ARE CLEARLY AMUSED BY HIM. BEHIND HIM,
WITH HIS BACK TO CAMERA IS LISTERINE GUY WHO IS FOCUSED ON LIFTING FREE WEIGHTS.
TOOTHBRUSH GUY: Yeah, I like to do it two, even three times a day.
CUT TO REVERSE ANGLE. LISTERINE GUY IS COUNTING DOWN FINAL FEW ARM CURLS. AS HE
PUTS DOWN WEIGHTS, HE NOTICES TOOTHBRUSH GUY IS DISTRACTED FROM HIS ROUTINE.
• You want to make sure the
LISTERINE GUY: (To Brush) Hey?
CUT TO TOOTHBRUSH GUY LOOKING A BIT SHEEPISH AS HE TURNS TO HIS BUDDY.
TOOTHBRUSH GUY: Oh, uh, just telling ‘em about our routine.
CUT TO LISTERINE RE-ENERGIZED BY HIS BUDDY‟S ENTHUSIASM.
LISTERINE GUY: Oh, good work.
CUT TO TOOTHBRUSH GUY SUDDENLY LOOKING A BIT APPREHENSIVE.
TOOTHBRUSH GUY: Really think we can fight Evil Gingivitis?
boards match up to your
LEGAL SUPER: Gingivitis is a minor inflammation of the gums caused by plaque above the
LISTERINE GUY GESTURES TO TOOTHBRUSH GUY.
LISTERINE GUY: Sure, if we can get people to use me every time they use you.
CUT TO TOOTHBRUSH GUY NODDING.
TOOTHBRUSH GUY: Right.
brief, and your platform.
CUT TO CU OF LISTERINE GESTURINGTO TOOTHBRUSH.
LISTERINE GUY: Because it’s clinically proven using Listerine after brushing
eliminates more germs that cause gingivitis than brushing alone.
LEGAL SUPER: When used with proper oral hygiene, including flossing and dental care. Use as directed.
TWO CHARACTERS DO A CELEBRATORY HI-FIVE.
TOOTHBRUSH GUY: Yeah!
CUT TO DETERMINED-LOOKING LISTERINE GUY LEADING HIS BUDDY OUT BY THE ARM
• Focus on your key needs of the
LISTERINE GUY: Let’s roll.
CUT TO TOOTHBRUSH GUY LOOKING BACK OVER HIS SHOULDER AT THE WOMEN
HE HOLDS UP TWO FINGERS. FOLLOWED BY A „CALL ME‟ SIGN.
TOOTHBRUSH GUY: Twice a day! (Mouths words) Call me.
CUT TO SPLIT SCREEN SHOWING THE TOOTHBRUSH GUY ON ONE SIDE
AND THE LISTERINE GUY ON THE OTHER IN KARATE POSES.
ANNCR VO: Want your gums clean? Brush then use Listerine!
platform and your ABCS focus.
LEGAL SUPER: When used with proper oral hygiene and dental care.
23. 4 Feedback at a Creative Meeting is Crucial to the Process. It
can make a Great Ad, or it can destroy the relationship.
• Remember to Relax and Smile: I always find that the room gets so tense, stiff and
serious: we forget to laugh, smile and be real. Imagine trying to present something
funny to a room of deadly serious brand managers. It helps motivate a nervous
• Give the feedback in three ways: a) First Impressions: during the presentation, it’s
great to be engaged enough to say “I like that” or ask a question. b) Giving Direction:
focus on what‘s working and how to make it better. Focus more on the board you like
first, and then move to the ones you don’t like with less detailed feedback. c) Leave
the Detailed Direction on how to make it better for the day after. Moving the details
(copy points, placement, colours) to the next day, helps focus the immediate
comments on big picture items and gives you 24 hours to digest all the little details
that need to be in the spot.
• Focus on Direction, not feedback: Feedback is static opinions, direction has action
and decision making. Speak on behalf of your consumer and your brand.
Have Fun with it: If we are having
fun, then so too is the consumer.
24. 4 Agree upon a process with the Agency
Archaic processes that aren’t producing better work:
1. Account Team re-reads the brief then they do a set up of each board, explaining the
technique/process (e.g. this is funny) Set ups can taint the client’s view of a spot.
2. Agency presents 3 scripts, and says which one is their favourite. Potentially de-
motivator if you ask for their favourite and then dismiss it. A better question is
“which spot did you find you kept coming back to, as you worked the process”.
3. Client Feedback is given with the most junior person goes first, all the way up to the
senior person in the room. This feels very 1950s humiliation and de-motivating to
the junior people on the team.
15 minute client huddle, where the brand team takes 30 min on their own before giving
feedback helps for a few reasons:
1. Agency gets one piece of feedback. Time allows client to get the story straight. The
break helps to slow down process so the client can think things through.
2. Gives Ownership to the Brand Manager, who should do all the speaking on behalf of
the team, not the most senior person in the room that over-rules them.
3. Client Team has a very open discussion, freely hearing out everyone’s thoughts,
giving the junior people easier input the final opinion.
25. 4 The Creative Meeting is not Easy. You’ve got to balance, the
head, the heart, the gut against the good of the brand.
1. Do you love what it can do for your brand? If you
don’t love it, how do you expect your consumer to love it?
A great ad has to have everyone’s heart and soul put into
it. If you “sorta like” it, then it will be “sorta ok” in the
end. If you love it, you will find to it’s death. (The Heart)
2. Is it on strategy? Is the Advertisement an expression of
what you have been writing in your strategy documents?
Is it doing what we hoped it would do? I love the ABCS
technique because it helps me to frame things in my Scatter Brain
mind, so I can evaluate it past how I feel. I think you need
something to ground yourself. (The Head) If there is
something in your gut says it’s off, it likely is. (The Gut)
3. Is it long term Idea? Is a big enough idea that fits with the brand, does the
hard work you want to do for the brand and can last 5 years. Think about leaving
a legacy—which forces you to think of campaign-ability. (The Brand)
26. 5 Clients Need to have a Clear Decision Making Process in place.
• Decision Making: Team leader in the creative meeting room gives direction to
make the work as good as it can be before selling it in. This gives them ownership
over the project. maximum to get it right. When the VP or President attend the
early creative meetings, the work doesn’t get better, it gets more complicated.
• Pre Testing Does Help: Narrow the creative concepts down to 1-3, put into
animatic format and test to determine success potential in the market. Instincts
are great, but having them confirmed by consumer feedback is even better.
• Selling the work in to the Organization. The team leader accompanied by the
senior account person (plus Creative Director if needed) should jointly sell it in the
• Make sure you Leave Enough Time: While everything is a rush these days, a well
run project, with adequate breathing space for creative ideas, 2-3 rounds of
creative, potential testing and adequate time for development. If you don’t use all
the time, that’s fine. But if you don’t HAVE the time, that’s not so fine.