Advertising and creativity in recession

Advertising has the power of providing information, persuading the reader and eventually selling. It is almost considered a mandatory to drive consumption. It is the only medium which can make us question ourselves – what we are looking at is a want or a need? , and that’s the theory which defines what advertising is meant to do. This literature review will discuss how advertising and creativity work hand-in-hand in the current downturn. It can be seen that due to the recession all marketers have tightened their advertising budgets and the agencies are being forced to be more creative with small budgets.

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The discussion will throw light on the fact that the slump is giving way to newer and innovative ways of creative advertising. The challenge is to not only advertise but also be able to answer the consumers question about what the product is all about and carry the business through the downturn. Creativity and Advertising According to Beale C. (2002), advertising is the hub of energy and that energy defines the personality of the profession, the unique buzz of the creative procedure, the different types of people and the problems faced in the whole course of action.

Every agency works in a different manner in terms of dealing with clients and the creative processes to come up with excellent campaigns. It is a fact as of today that the downturn has put the focus on how to come up with effective advertising strategies on a much smaller budget but also run the business more efficiently on tighter budgets. They may come across as effects of recession, if seen in the brighter light can be called the benefits of recession.

Advertising is eye-catching, innovative or invigorating and makes people thing what thoughts led to the idea and how did they go about executing the idea to make it look like an exceptional piece of work. Creativity in advertising reflects the nature of vibrancy and of course creativity. Couger (1995) suggests that creative thinking leads to innovation which ultimately translates into advertisements or products and services. Zane Radcliffe (Martin Croft article from Unit Handbook) says that creativity is affected by the internal hierarchies of an agency and often leads to a slowdown in the processes.

A personalised interaction with the client on a one-on-one basis gives the agency a better understanding of the product or service being advertised and create a sense of trust between the client and the agency. Michell P. C. (1984) emphasises that a level of freedom and control plays a vital role in creative development and the environment can act as a stimuli to creative ideas. In the early stages of the thought process, the thoughts should be allowed to crop up in an open mind leading to idea generation and then certainty in the execution stage for the desired output.

Kover A. J. , Goldberg S. M. and James W. L. (1995) hold a viewpoint which puts highlight on the fact that creativity is a necessity for effective advertising. They believe that it is the creativity which engraves the message in the minds of the consumer. In an advertisement it is important that for the message to be conveyed correctly it should be placed in a meaningful and logical manner in the advert. Only if the message is conveyed correctly, we can expect the consumer to respond unless the effectiveness of the advertising is difficult to measure.

According to research in effectiveness of advertising it was noticed that there is a particular way in which the consumers respond to advertising. The alternative thought to it realised that the advertisements can be created in such a way to get the desired response which will meet the marketing and communication objectives (Vaughn 1980; Olney et al. 1991; Rossiter et al. 1991). Successful advertising has the power to influence consumer behaviour and holds the ability to make the consumer undergo a series of message reception stages – cognitive, affective and conative (MacInnis and Jaworski 1989; Barry and Howard 1990). Egan J.

(2007) supports the same theory that, a consumer witnesses multiple advertisements in a single day but there are some which tend to catch the attention. For the advertising to be effective, it has to stand-out of the clutter by being relevant and catch the attention of the target audience. Creativity has the power of differentiating the regular advertising from the unusual ones. According to him, creativity is an art with a little bit of science to make things work in the manner the marketers want but there are factors which can either create the affect or break it. Firstly, the product that is being advertised should be worth it.

Advertising may lead the consumer to have a look at the product but if the product is of bad quality then it would restrict sales. In some cases, advertising may be able to stimuli trial but the experience can only foretell will the consumer come back for the product again. For example: Audi decided to increase their advertising budget by 15% and make most of the situation. Audi is already a known brand in the market and the objective became to increase the brands awareness and bring it into purchase consideration and marketing aggressively wherein other auto producers were cutting costs (http://www. physorg. com/news157649978. html).

In a brand extension scenario, there are chances that advertising may have a negative effect on the existing consumers. For example: Coca Cola had reformulated a drink but that caused a negative impact for traditional drinkers of the brand. Before getting to advertising, the brand has to know why they are advertising or what is the problem being solved? To make that simpler, advertising objectives are laid down. Usually advertising is based on one big idea or creative concept upon which the whole campaign is executed.

An important aspect that Egan has pointed out is that for advertising to be effective it does not mean being creative for the sake of being creative, it has to be meaningful. This is considered important because the creative idea reflects the brand positioning and highlights the uniqueness of the brand with a mix of emotional and functional characteristics. In the end, effective advertising and good creativity must create the Waterloo effect – uniqueness, repetition and relevance.

Young C. E.(2000) indicates that an advertising researcher plays a very important role in connecting the perception of the consumer to the creative team who were the creator of an advertisement. Freistad and Wright (1995) also are in the same opinion to have found a high level of similarity between researchers and consumers in their beliefs of advertising. However, Kover (1995) claimed that even though in reality lot of research is done to evaluate the advertising, from a creative perspective he says, that this effort is rather counterproductive to the creative process.

Understanding how creativity works and its perception, there have been a number of researchers who define creativity in their own manner. De Bono E. (1971) tried to link lateral thinking with creativity by implying that lateral thinking is a practice of creating whereas creativity can be leading to various forms. Adding to that Hinton (1968) said that creativity may be found at various stages at different points of time of the creative process like new products, creative brief, decision making and as discussed before, even in research evaluation.

The reader-response theory gives us a better understanding of this communication process. The theory denotes two things – first that the reader is at the centre instead of a receiver at the end of the communication process and second, the interactive nature which underlines that meaning exists in an advertisement irrespective of a viewer or reader (Scott 1994; Elliot 1996; McQuarrie ; Hackley 1998, 2001; Mick 1999; McGuire 2000).