Advertisers use numerous criteria to evaluate the creative approach suggested by
the ad agency. In some instances, the client may want to have the rough layout
storyboard or animatic pretested to get quantitative information to assist in the
evaluation. However, the evaluation process is usually more
subjective; the advertising or brand manager relies on qualitative considerations.
Basic criteria for evaluating creative approaches:
• Is the creative approach consistent with the brand’s marketing and advertising
One of the most important factors the client must consider is
whether the creative appeal and execution style recommended by the agency are
consistent with the marketing strategy for the brand and the role advertising and
promotion have been assigned in the overall marketing program. This means
the creative approach must be compatible with the image of the brand and the
way it is positioned in the marketplace and should contribute to the marketing
and advertising objectives.
• Is the creative approach consistent with the creative strategy and objectives?
Does it communicate what it is supposed to? The advertising appeal and
execution must meet the communications objectives laid out in the copy
platform, and the ad must say what the advertising strategy calls for it to say.
Creative specialists can lose sight of what the advertising message is supposed
to be and come up with an approach that fails to execute the advertising strategy.
Individuals responsible for approving the ad should ask the creative specialists
to explain how the appeal or execution style adheres to the creative strategy
and helps meet communications objectives.
• Is the creative approach appropriate for the target audience?
time has been spent defining, locating, and attempting to understand the target
audience for the advertiser’s product or service. Careful consideration should
be given to whether the ad appeal or execution recommended will appeal
to, be understood by, and communicate effectively with the target audience.
This involves studying all elements of the ad and how the audience will respond
to them. Advertisers do not want to approve advertising that they believe will
receive a negative reaction from the target audience.
• Does the creative approach communicate a clear and convincing message to the
Most ads are supposed to communicate a message that will help sell
the brand. Many ads fail to communicate a clear and convincing message that
motivates consumers to use a brand. While creativity is important in advertising, it
is also important that the advertising communicate information attributes, features
and benefits, and/or images that give consumers a reason to buy the brand.
• Does the creative execution keep from overwhelming the message?
criticism of advertising, and TV commercials in particular, is that so much
emphasis is placed on creative execution that the advertiser’s message gets
overshadowed. Many creative, entertaining commercials have failed to register
the brand name and/or selling points effectively.
• Is the creative approach appropriate for the media environment in which it is
likely to be seen?
Each media vehicle has its own specific climate that results
from the nature of its editorial content, the type of reader or viewer it attracts,
and the nature of the ads it contains. Consideration should be given to how well
the ad fits into the media environment in which it will be shown.
• Is the ad truthful and tasteful?
Marketers also have
to consider whether an ad is truthful, as well as
whether it might offend consumers. The ultimate responsibility for determining whether
an ad deceives or offends the target audience lies with
the client. It is the job of the advertising or brand manager to evaluate the approach
suggested by the creative specialists against company standards. The firm’s legal
department may be asked to review the ad to determine whether the creative appeal,
message content, or execution could cause any problems for the company. It is much
better to catch any potential legal problems before the ad is shown to the public.
The chief marketing officer, brand manager, advertising manager, and/or other
personnel on the client side can use these basic guidelines in reviewing, evaluating,
and approving the ideas offered by the creative specialists. There may be other factors
specific to the firm’s advertising and marketing situation. Also, there may be situations
where it is acceptable to deviate from the standards the firm usually uses in judging
George E. Belch (Author), Michael A. Belch (Author)