Approving ad agency creative work

Approving copy, concept, or a video can be a heart-wrenching moment. What if they (my boss, my subordinates, my wife, my rabbi) don't like it? If you haven't experienced this anxiety, you're just not human. Fortunately, there are systematic ways to evaluate creative. This is how we do it at Biotica.

  1. We commence the meeting with a reading of the strategy. If you've done it right, it shouldn't take more than a minute. How does the work stack up?
  2. Do the main visuals and headlines communicate the message without additional support?
  3. Is the layout clean and free of superfluous elements, like your seal from the Chamber of Commerce?
  4. Will the idea itself separate your brand and product from the competition. For example, water splashed is a tired metaphor for contact lens solutions. The look of the communication should be ownable – the layout, colors, the message. “Me, too” work will not advance your cause.
  5. Ask yourself if the creative will provoke a strong response from your audience. Will they laugh, cry, rush to your website, and share it with others. If your gut says yes, that’s a good sign.
  6. Does the work “sound” like your brand, and does it build on previous work? Without standards and strategy, it’s difficult to make the impression necessary to stick in the memory of your audience.
  7. Can you afford to produce it? Does the idea require elaborate photo shoots, animation, costumes? But falling in love isn’t the same as paying for it. You should receive a rough budget when the work is presented to you.
  8. Don't be afraid to say no and send the crestfallen creatives back to work. It's okay to be a little scared. Good work should challenge the audience and you. And before you deep-six anything, consider the cost of not being heard.