Joel Kelly's Blog

Joel Kelly's updates about his latest writing, his process, and his life as a Halifax-based author and marketer.

Creativity is all or nothing.

Creative marketing is all or nothing.

You either go all in with the Big Idea, or you go home.

Have you seen a Red Bull ad in Canada? After the "Red Bull gives you wings" tag, it finishes with, "Red Bull doesn't actually give you wings..."

I'm serious.

Can you imagine that? They spend 25 seconds selling you on a product that will pick you up and make your day better and then rip it all away in the final five.

Of course, they added that line because of lawsuits, I'm sure. But if you can't go all in with your campaign because of a rule you can't break, change the campaign.

As marketers, you can often be in a room with a client pitching an idea and hear, "I like the direction, but I'm not sure we should say it like that." Or, "what if we added another line?" Or "Can we also tell people about our other products?"

The answer should usually be, "No."

Why? Because you have a second, a fraction of a second, even, to make people feel something. Any cruft you add or allow to build reduces the power of your ad from something to nothing.

Creative marketing isn't incremental, like direct marketing. With direct marketing, you might put a dollar in and get two dollars back. And it can scale that way pretty far. A thousand dollars in, two thousand back. Maybe even three.

But with a creative advertisement, it's "one big idea in, one success back." Whatever that might cost. If you make it "one big idea in, then changed, then compromised," you get nothing back.

Something is either good or it isn't.