Where is the Creative Line?

The debate between edgy and inappropriate creative has been hotly disputed over the years. Is any PR good PR? Does awareness of any kind justify the means?

It’s well known that most of the corporate world has suppressed the edgy type of creative that agencies love. It’s pretty rare that a client says “more cowbell.” A ton of bold and brilliant concepts that have landed on the cutting room floor.

We suggest that the time has come to change the way companies (or weak agencies) think about creative for a number of compelling reasons.

Reason #1: Without awareness, you just wasted your media dollars.
While this is pretty obvious, it is not often embraced. Companies are often content with bigger media budgets and lousy or lukewarm creative. It’s like the old joke “The food is terrible here. Yes, and the portions are so small.” For some reason more bad stuff has been acceptable.

Reason #2: The fragmentation of the media mix
We all know that consumers are zapping TV spots, self-editing with DVR/TiVo technology, listening to commercial free Sirius/XM radio and spending more time in the digital space. Creative needs to be targeted and emotionally engaging enough for people to want to watch it.

Reason #3: Big budgets do not equal good work
We would argue that the reverse is true. Too much of a grandiose TV or print budget gets agencies thinking in a different way. Big locations, special effects, etc. All sizzle, no steak. In today’s economy, it’s actually irresponsible. Ask the Big 3 in Detroit.

Reason #4: The Einstein Theory
Albert said, “Problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them.” We call this creeping incrementalism. Try something or someone new.

Reason #5: Loosen up and have fun
What is the worst that could happen? Let’s take a page out of Branson’s book and re-think everything. Create something someone will love, not something no one will hate.