Stanley Ritz is a Junior Art Director and Designer for OMD Create Sydney, bringing fresh ideas and visual perspective to a range of client challenges.
Imagine this – you’ve received the creative brief of a lifetime, one that can make or break your career. You scan through the page, and the problem seems straightforward; the insight is truthful, and the proposition is clear. You gather the team in a room and to develop a plan.
The team spend weeks researching, brainstorming and building ideas around a key insight. You’re left with mountains of data and ideas in a pool that can form your standout campaign, and it can be hard pinpointing exactly what is going to perfectly convey your message.
“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead”
Many of us would’ve heard of this quintessential quote from Mark Twain, and although the context isn’t advertising, it can very well be applied to it. Often we have so many ideas, product propositions, mandatories and messages to get across, that the essence of what we’re really trying to say can become distorted or lost.
We’ve all seen a campaign or advertisement that has gone awry. It may have had all the insight, rigour and ideas that any other campaign would have had behind it, but the end product just doesn’t resonate. The message may have not been refined enough, or it was presented in a way that was confusing or cluttered.
Now back to the mountains of data and ideas you and your team have gathered. Realistically, you have the attention of your audience for less than 3 seconds. In that time, they need to absorb all the information in your ad, seeing it without the context of the problem, insight and proposition.
My favourite pieces of advertising are those that have kept it simple and have made me smile in the process. I get it within 3 seconds, and I’m left with a message that is clear and succinct.
By no means am I saying this is an easy feat. You can spend months getting to the essence of what you’re trying to say. But by putting in that extra time, the final execution can be all the more impactful.
I won’t write much more, otherwise that would defeat the purpose of writing about the importance of simplicity. I will, however, leave you with three of my favourite ads that speak for themselves, in the simplest way possible.
Print Ad, The Economist