Are you an agency person who presents creative work to your clients? Or are you a marketer who buys it? In either case you want to feel confident that what you’re offering or buying is of the highest quality. The following questions will help you decide the merits, or otherwise, of your agency’s creative proposal. Answering “yes” to all these questions is no guarantee that the work will lead to a huge upturn in sales. But your success will be more likely.

1. Is the idea/work on brief? Does it fit your strategy? If you love it, but it’s off brief and you think your brief is right, don’t sell/buy the work.

2. Is it simple? The best ideas are the simplest.

3. Is the proposal affordable? Can it be produced within your budget? Brilliant ideas can be surprisingly inexpensive. On the other hand, maybe it will be more expensive to produce than you budgeted for, but you can see its brilliance having a big effect on sales. In which case you may want to find extra money to produce it.

4. Does the work surprise or even scare you? It should do one of the two. If it doesn’t it probably isn’t any good. The best advertising always surprises and delights. Or it’s outrageous and gets people talking.

5. Do you feel like you’ve seen it before? If it’s similar to other work or ideas in your market, you might feel comfortable with it. Resist that feeling. If it’s not different from everything else out there, it won’t do you any favours.

6. Can you imagine the idea/work running for a long time? Do you think you’ll still like it months from now? If you don’t think it’ll last as long as you need it to, don’t sell/buy it.

7. Is it well branded? The idea and brand should go together. A good test is to cover the logo and see if you can tell which brand it’s for. If you can’t tell, then the idea should be so unusual that it can’t be connected with any other brand than the one you’re advertising.

8. Is the work single-minded? It should convey one simple message above all others. If you’re advertising/promoting more than one message, it’s like throwing several balls at once for someone to catch. Your customers are likely to fumble and drop them all.

9. Will it cut through? It needs to stand out from the crowd, to get you noticed and make people remember your message.

Need some new creative concepts? Email me or call me on +44 (0)7754 537 428.

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