Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why Good Creatives Are Important

We live in a highly competitive world.  It seems everywhere you turn someone or something is vying for your attention.  This rings double true for the internet.  In a matter of minutes a person could be exposed to dozens, maybe hundreds of images and messages, all competing for his or her attention.  In this instantaneous point and click world, advertising is given literally a fraction of a second to be effective, .  This is why good creatives are essential to a successful membership acquisition campaign.
  There are several questions we need to ask ourselves.  The first question being, what makes a creative good?  Well, can the reader understand the message in the blink of an eye?  Is the visual inviting and appealing enough to make the audience want to find out more?  These are the marks of a good creative.  The second question is: how do you achieve these goals and really put your creative to work for you?  Answer: a few simple design  principals can go a long way. 
  The most important design principal is visual hierarchy.  Like the hierarchy of a royal court, visual hierarchy gives every element of your creative a logical spot, in ranking order of importance.  Say you run a book club and you want to let people know about a deal you are giving to new members.  What are the most important pieces of information you want the customer to see?  That you are selling books, and they can potentially save money on them.  Any other information is not very relevant at this point in the sale and therefor lower on the visual hierarchy.  Some would say this goes without saying, but you will be surprised how often the wrong piece of information is accentuated visually.
  Visual hierarchy also gives your creative organization, and therefor appeal.    Appeal is what grabs you and makes you want to become a part of the message, and what wins the battle for the all-mighty click.    Good composition, a thoughtful use of color, imagery, and font can all add up to visual appeal.  Appeal is less easy to define than other visual principals, but extremely important in promoting your product.  Nothing will get you tuned-out faster or look less professional than an ugly, jumbled mess. 
     Lastly you must be bold with your creatives.  Boldness says confidence; both in your service and in your company.  As long as thought is given to clarity and visual hierarchy, bold moves only work in a creative's favor.  Contrast big fonts with small fonts and bright colors with dark colors,  Don't be afraid to intersect lines and shapes.  Putting something off to the side or at an angle can say a lot visually.  One example to consider.  An airline wants to encourage people to sign up for its "Golden Miles Program".  It chooses imagery of a plane, their logo and the information about the program to include in their creative. They place them one after the other in a row, giving no thought to hierarchy.  Boring!  Their chances of getting noticed have just gone down.  A unique, attention grabbing creative would do things differently.  Maybe it would have the info in top of  an opaque plane with the logo in the bottom corner.  Or, a plane with the logo on it flying into the information.  To use an apt pun, the sky's the limit!  They are called creatives for a reason, and creativity is fun.  In the end, it is this fun that invites peoples to click on your banner and give you their time and attention.  Remember, you have less than a second to do it!
   If you'd like to delve deeper into visual hierarchy and the world of design I recommend The Non-Designers Design Book, by Robin Williams. 

You can reach Elana with questions and feedback at peakadvertisinglosangeles@gmail.com