The Art In Marketing Strategy –Creativity VS. Memory


Many years ago, I worked at an ad agency whose creative director boasted of his ability to generate good advertising ideas. The problem was that his ideas weren’t very good. His ad campaigns usually fell short of objectives, or at least, generated no excitement , nor were they very competitive. They rarely were the right ideas for the campaigns involved. After awhile, I figured out what was wrong.

The problem was that he wasn’t creating, or even thinking. He was remembering. He had a prodigious memory of what other creative directors had done, but apparently no real ideas of his own. He was, as we used to say in the Air Force, a tail gunner. The tail gunner always knows where he’s been, but has no idea of where the plane is going. Looking forward was the navigator’s job, which, ultimately, was to forge new directions that were relevant to the mission.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Bruce W. Marcus | Attorney Advertising

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