Creative Concepting for Campaigns

The thrilling part about being in an internal or external agency environment is the blank slate. While uncreatives find this part of our jobs intimidating, creatives find this part of the job invigorating and liberating because at this stage in the process, anything goes. We aren’t bogged down by the hierarchy of approval processes. Instead, we can explore the freedom to produce compelling work without restrictions during the exploratory phase.

creativity is contagious

To make creative concepting work effectively, creative teams should not be working in silos. Instead, they should be working in collaboration with one another and in open dialogue. Rather than competing with one another (which seems to be the case with a lot of creatives, we should embrace each others creativity and build off one another.) It’s imperative that to have the most fruitful concepts manifest for a campaign, everyone should be sharing their thoughts and adding to each other’s work. One of the most powerful kinds of working relationships is a great designer who also knows how to write and work with a writer, and in turn, a great writer, who also knows how to work with a designer and visualize art with copy.

One of the dangers of concepting work is not having a well thought-out strategy before diving into conceptual work. That’s why you need copywriters on board in the very beginning of a campaign to steer the project into a specific direction, or in multiple, strategic directions. Remember: Design without copy doesn’t speak for itself and vice versa: copy without design falls flat.

That means while design is taking shape, so is the messaging. The copywriter, designer, and art director should be best friends, working in tandem to make the concepts come to life through storyboards, brainstorming sessions, market research and other avenues. They should be able to speak to every last detail of the ad: the color palette, the type treatment, the headline, the subhead, the image, the product placement, the logo, and the call to action ⎯ all of these elements should be working synergistically to create a masterpiece ad concept. Both the designer and the writer should be able to speak to why the concept works for the campaign and present it with confidence to their creative director, and in turn, the creative director should be able to present a flawless concept to the client who will be impressed by a unique, well-thought out concept for their brand.

How does your agency or internal creative department work together to achieve success?

Why Every Brand Should Have A Blog


Not sure if your company needs a blog? It does. Unsure what kind of content you should be writing for your prospective audience? Here’s a great example I just came across from one of my favorite brands, Free People. There’s no exact science to blogging, but that’s what makes it beautiful, because it’s creative. Free People writes about the creative process behind their spring campaign, how their designers came to create all the colorful spring fashions you see out at Nordstroms now.

Free People Blog: Growing Wild

The best thing about blogging is that content can be as creative as you want it to be. Reading the Free People blog post feels poetic, like I’m reading a Robert Frost poem, not an indirect advertisement for Free People’s Spring Collection.

Need help with your own blogging initiatives? Contact me today!

Improve the Conversation About Your Brand Online

web 2.0

With the proliferation of Web 2.0, brands no longer have complete control over their message anymore. Scary? A little. But also exciting. Why? Because it’s not just the corporation speaking for its products and services; it’s also the consumer. Now, “everyone can create and shape the message,” says Darlene Ficther, author of this this insightful article, “Seven Strategies for Marketing in a Web 2.0 World.”

Seven Strategies for Marketing in a Web 2.0 World

Web is more fluid than print. We don’t live in a black and white world anymore. So what can we do to color our brand in a more positive light given the subjectivity online and all the factors that influence the way the World Wide Web views us? Simply listen and observe. Hear what your customers are saying about your products and customer service on your social media pages. You will be surprised what you find out. You are building tools for them to interact, but in turn, you are receiving some valuable insider consumer marketing behavior.

More People Own a Cellphone than a Toothbrush

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 3.55.14 PM

Erik Qualman, author of “Socialnomics” has released a new clip filled with fascinating social media stats and how marketers are using this to reach out to consumers. Check it out:

How do you incorporate social media and more importantly, mobile media into your marketing? With more than 50 percent of the population being under 30, its important to understand the technological sophistication of your consumers today.

Puppy Love: Why Dogs Always Win in SuperBowl Ads

Pair Passenger’s sappy song with a yellow lab puppy who falls in love with Budweiser’s strapping Clydesdale horse and you get yourself the highest rated commercial spot in the Superbowl.

Yes, this spot was more memorable than the actual game this year. The beauty of this piece is that the visuals do all of the speaking. There is no noisy voice-over distracting us from the unusual love affair between a perfect puppy and handsome horse. This doting dog is so in love that he breaks free of his farm, scurries under a fence, and busts into a barn, for his irresistible equine. Would a man ever do that for you ladies? People go nuts for puppies in general, but unusual pet couples are even more endearing. PBS, ABC, and BBC dedicate entire episodes to animal odd couples. We are fascinated by the inter-species bond, and how friendships form under the most unlikely circumstances.

As the Passenger lyrics play “Only you know you love her when you let her go” and the poor little puppy is whisked into the backseat of the car with the door shut in its wrinkly face, we can’t help but feel the pang of love unrequited. Did you ever have to leave someone too soon? Before it felt really over? After all, Budweiser is trying to tell us, it’s those “almost relationships” that hurt the most. So why not grab another beer to forget about it? #bestbuds.

So when will Carl’s Junior learn that scantily clad tanned blonde bombshells pounding burgers on top of shiny new cars won’t make us rush off our lazy boys and race through the drive-thru? We know deep down we aren’t going to run into the front cover girl of Maxim at the pick up window, but instead, a middle-aged woman will hand us our saturated-fat-laden charbroiled burger with her eye twitching and a missing yellow tooth. Put a puppy in the spot, however, and I would get there a lot quicker.

According to Time Magazine, Anheuser-Busch’s “Puppy Love” ad, developed by the agency Anomaly, was voted the top commercial during the game by viewers on Hulu. It also earned the top spot on USA Today’s Ad Meter, which is calculated through online surveys of Super Bowl viewers each year. The spot is also dominating the other ads on YouTube, where it has racked up more than 37 million views since Wednesday, and it’s easily lapping the other ads in terms of social activity, according to media metrics firm.

Now that’s nothing to “let go” about. 

Lulu Lemon: Know No Bounds

Lulu Lemon creatives know yoga. They also know no bounds.

I stumbled upon this eblast today: “know no bounds.” If you aren’t a yogi, this model is attempting to do scorpion pose, an advanced posture in yoga. The camera has captured her right before she will bring her left leg up to join her right. It’s a beautiful balancing posture.
know no bounds
As a yoga enthusiast, I look forward to receiving eblasts from Lulu every couple days. While many retailers use pretty models with zero muscle definition, Lulu scouts strong and powerful yogis, women I see myself next to in Vinyasa class everyday. Women with fortitude and focus and discipline, who aren’t afraid to sweat and get their hair messed up and do crazy inversion and fall on their faces after attempting handstand after frustrating handstand.

Othertime, Lulu tells me about the newest fashions they are offering for each upcoming season. I love the pops of hunter green seeping into their clothing for the fall:
Ebb To Street Bra

While other times, they send me instructional videos on how to improve upon one of my favorite yoga poses, the wheel:

The creatives behind Lulu are geniuses: they keep their consumers engaged and coming back for more. I crave their clothing AND their advertising.