See the strategy

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in , | No Comments

Kick-start creative
Find the thinking behind the thinking… Behind every great campaign or idea there is a strategy, and being able to dissect it and understand the workings leads to incredible insights.

Design communication is not subjective, it is engineered to elicit a response, a change in thinking, and action, a desire or an emotion — it has a purpose. Clever design communication works on many levels, over many platforms, to deliver a predetermined strategic goal against measurable data. Sometimes it is lead by behavioural science or consumer insight, and sometimes it is based on experience and intuition. In this instance what matters is if it worked, and if it did, why?

Although it might be hard to understand why winning campaigns work — contributing their success to something magical, intangible and ‘of the moment’ — it is rather easy to dissect the creative thinking behind their success. Timing is an important factor, but as soon as you can put a label on the strategic and creative decisions made, you can begin to fully realise your personal rolodex of techniques to employ.

In advertising, the process is often described as Strategy (who are you targeting and how) > Concept (creative idea) > Campaign (the execution).

See the strategy

There are various strategies that can be identified when dissecting advertising in particular:

  • The opposite tool
  • Amplification of an idea
  • Challenge the reader
  • Before and After
  • Before only
  • After only
  • Using the product
  • Advice
  • Brand Heritage
  • Demonstration
  • Knowledge
  • Empathy
  • Testimonial
  • Competitive comparison
  • Negative to positive
  • Price
  • Honesty


Client: Vespa
Strategy: Target Drivers instead of bikers looking for a better bike
Idea: A moped might be a better option than a car
Execution: Maybe your second car shouldn’t be a second car
Proposition: Vespa is better than a second car

Example Source )

We’ve all heard ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing’. Understanding how successful campaigns work kick-starts your creative thinking and provides confirmation that you’re on a worthwhile path. Likewise, there are hash lessons to be learned from campaigns that crashed and burned.

Continue reading the ‘Cultivating Creativity’ series

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