In the competitive digital landscape today, several considerations are required in order to break through the noise of mass media. Whether your goal is to build brand awareness, increase traffic, translate leads into loyal ambassadors, and/or boost conversions, creativity is an all but necessary ingredient to success.
With that said, in what follows, we’ll be exploring the definition of creativity and creative advertising. Further, we’ll discuss the importance of creative advertising in the context of today’s competitive digital ecosystem. Finally, we’ll share the five components of creativity, ultimately reaching a conclusion about creativity’s effectiveness in the marketplace.
What you’ll learn is that while creativity is essential to any advertising campaign, the level of creativity required depends greatly on several factors not limited to product category, industry, and campaign goals & objectives.
Without further ado, let’s get right into it, shall we?!
Defining Creative Advertising
Before diving into the world of advertising and defining creative advertising, it’s important to first explore the word creativity… At its most basic, creativity is the employment of the imagination; to use original ideas to solve a problem or produce a piece of work.
Often defined as divergent thinking, creativity is a unique ability that many lack, advertisers included. Contrastingly, creativity has proven to be an extremely effective and all-but-essential tool to employ, particularly in the advertising industry.
Now that a basic understanding of creativity has been defined, let’s now explore the world of creative advertising… Put simply, creative advertising is the act of producing campaigns that both tell a story and engage an audience in unique and captivating ways; to provoke emotion through the creation of a clear and memorable message.
Creativity in advertising, when implemented appropriately, is necessary for those who are seeking to break through the noise and capture the attention of sizeable target audiences in hopes of lasting conversions.
With that said, before diving into the five components of creativity and exploring when creativity is appropriate and when it might not be, let’s first discover its importance, generally speaking…
The Importance of Creativity in Advertising
While the research to date doesn’t conclusively suggest the effectiveness of creativity in advertising in the context of influencing purchasing behaviors, there’s no denying its effectiveness in garnering targeted attention and increasing engagement.
In short, creativity matters. Here’s why…
No matter your campaign goal or objective, engagement tends to remain atop the list of any key metric. In order to optimize engagement, creativity must be prioritized…
By prioritizing creativity in your advertising campaign, more viewers will be captivated, thus increasing the likelihood of engagement and influence. The end result? Increased interest and thus conversion.
By providing your audience with meaning and value through creativity, you inevitably improve your brand’s reputation, thus garnering more recognition than otherwise possible.
Because of the values of today’s consumers, creativity allows brands and businesses alike to resonate with their audience by providing meaningful value through relevant content and creative messaging & storytelling.
Much like the rest of the digital ecosystem, the advertising space is highly saturated across media platforms. The result is a bombardment of ads, good and bad, in front of the eyes of the consumer.
In order to break through this noise and stand out amongst the rest, you must produce creative ads that uniquely capture the attention of the said consumer. In other words, the most compelling of ads are those which are creative, creating a lasting memory for those who are lucky enough to see it.
Today’s consumers value personalization more than ever. Whether through developing a meaningful relationship or creating a personal experience exclusive to the individual consumer, businesses and brands alike can develop a loyal following that will ultimately allow them to garner more success.
How do you implement personalization in your ad campaigns, you ask? Through creativity, of course!
The Five Components of Creativity
While we’ve already discussed and defined creativity, both in a broad sense and in the context of creative advertising, we’ve yet to explore the five components of creativity that which was brought about by a trailblazing communications researcher out of Indiana University.
These five components of creativity about to be discussed are extremely relevant in the context of advertising because it provides both campaign direction and creative measurement of a given ad.
In other words, rather than an abstract definition of creativity, following the five components of creativity allow for a clearer depiction of how creative and effective your ad might be…
So, without further ado, below are the five components of creativity:
Defined broadly as the process of developing an idea in more detail, elaboration in the context of creative advertising is the act of extending a message so as to make it more intricate or complex, thus more interesting and captivating to the viewer.
In a visual ad, for example, elaboration can be brought about by fantasy or over-exaggeration… Take a sports car advertisement, for example. Promoting its sheer speed, a commercial may illustrate a jaguar running side-by-side with the vehicle, only for the vehicle to drive off into the sunset, leaving the jaguar in the dust.
Not only does this visual capture the attention of the viewer but it elaborates on the flagship feature of the vehicle in that of its speed. And a purpose. Motion, and destination.
Defined broadly as the quality of being unique, novel, and even unusual, originality in the context of creative advertising is launching an advertisement that’s both rare and surprising; one that captures the attention of an audience via the uniqueness of ideas, diverging from the norm and instead portraying a message that gets the consumer thinking.
Whether through text or visuals, ads that are original tend to be the most viral, thus the most successful in both building brand awareness, increasing traffic, and boosting conversions.
Whether aesthetically appealing, design-centric, sound-satisfying, or visually daunting, artistic value comprises elements that create the high production value of an ad. The result of an artistic, high-production ad? More engagement, more memorability, more value, and higher conversions.
Artistic value is likely the most relatable of all five components of creativity because, well, artistry is associated with creativity!
When creating an ad campaign with the intent of capturing attention and increasing conversions, you must aim for that campaign to score high on flexibility. But what is flexibility?
In short, flexibility is the ability of a given ad creative to touch upon several areas, problems, or challenges that the product or service in promotion solves. Flexibility may also be defined as the sheer visual of the ad itself presenting various scenarios. Form, and function.
Synthesizing a message promotes the idea in creative advertising of divergent thinking… At its most basic, synthesis involves combining two otherwise unrelated ideas and making them cohesively one.
One example of this would be a commercial where dogs can talk; two separate, unrealistic ideas, that when synthesized as one, make for a comprehendible and engaging advertising message.
Because of this synthesis of ideas, creative ads are far more likely to capture the attention of its viewers, thus increasing engagement, interest, and hopefully, conversion… The power of divergent creativity.
It Depends on the Industry…
While creativity is effective across the board with regard to advertising and promotion, the effectiveness of creativity largely depends on the industry and product category with which you’re advertising.
For example, products that are highly purchased based on their functional purpose tend to experience weaker results when creativity is the sole focus of the ad. In such a case, an ad should instead focus on the realistic function and feature of said product…
Contrastingly, a consumer commodity that has the potential of improving an environment or experience such as a coffee or candy bar can benefit greatly from creativity, for without it, it’s a boring commodity with little to no selling feature.
In short, understanding the industry you’re in, the product category with which you’re promoting, and the buying behaviors that your business or brand tends to experience will help you tremendously when determining your creative approach to advertising.
Nevertheless, creativity is an effective implementation across the board, proving its worth for advertising professionals and consumers alike. The best part? When implemented appropriately and effectively, creativity can save a substantial amount on your marketing budget at large.