Is it clever? Funny? Different? Intriguing? Awesome? Troubling? Bizarre? Well crafted? Is it a smile in the mind? Does it speak to your intelligence?
The answer is: there is no definition for great creativity.
But the best way to know if you’re looking at great, applied creativity is to ask yourself these simple questions:
1) Is my ad/campaign working? Are my sales are up? do I have more customers at my door? Did it change something for my business? Am I top of mind in a decision process? Do people behave differently?
2) Is my ad/campaign timely? Like Dove evolution in the first YouTube year, The Gazette TV ad with MLK one year before the Obama election or a Bombardier TV ad about Canadian pride while watching our athletes compete at the Olympics.
3) Is my ad/campaign noteworthy? Like Whopper Freak-out or Whopper Sacrifice
4) Is my ad/campaign at par or better then its surrounding environment? (exemple: is my ad that appears in a big show (Mad Men, Six Feet Under…) that attracts millions of viewers is at least at par with its content, in quality of idea, of execution).
5) Does my ad/campaign communicate? Or is it just pretty or a confused web experience?
6) Does my ad/campaign build my brand? Like an other brick in the wall of your brand promise or it’s a one-of doomed to be forgotten?
7) Does my ad/campaign talks (to the heart or the brain) of your customers? Is it empowering? Like a -Just Do It- ad?
08) Does my ad/campaign provide an answer to a need, a society challenge? Like RED and Bono that raised 150 millions $ to this day for HIV in Africa.
9) Is my ad/campaign a subject matter good enough to trigger conversation at work, at home and naturally in the New Social Media Thirsty Beast?
10) Is my ad/campaign set in time and space? Does it unfold according to a potentially flexible plan?
11) Does my ad/campaign talk to the right people at the right place at the right time? Great creativity happens only when proper strategic research, thinking and decisions are made.
12) Is my ad/campaign on a campaign to win, to achieve its objectives? Is it a passive thing or a living thing?
13) Is my ad/campaign built to succeed? I hope so.
14) Does my advertising language or proposition make my brand unique in its market? Like the Brammo campaign by CP+B
15) Is my ad/campaign, my efforts are integrated? Is it an efficient ecosystem? Are the pieces of the puzzle talks to each other?
If you answered YES to ALL these questions, you are looking at great creativity.
Great creativity is insignificant when it does not achieve its goals. Clever ideas or creatively outstanding campaigns are less then nothing when not doing this. Great advertising relies on great strategy and on great tactics in time and space.
The best advertisers are like generals on a battlefield. They practice the Refined Art of War. And the field recently just got much bigger. They think, plan, consult over a big map and then they fight on the ground. Not only ounce. And they always come back and refine or change the plan over an ever-changing bigger map.