I spent a lot of time working on beer.
And we had complete creative freedom.
We had the best advertising brief in America.
It read simply:
create the most popular advertising in America.
The problem with this though was it tested your imagination in ways regular advertising just doesn’t.
The entire universe becomes open to you.
And you find out initially, with no place to hide, you can get a bit panicked.
Because you have to completely make it up. No product to lean on.
Budweiser needed no introduction. We had 100% awareness and trial. The brand was literally everywhere. Number one selling beer in the world.
So I always tried to take advantage of this and do advertising only Budweiser could do. And not act like beer was just invented last week and,shock,guys like it.
Our clients understood this better than anyone.
Budweiser was in the business of making friends. And we wrote their introductory one liners for them.
I’ve seen the other ad creative extreme too. Particularly in the retail category.
Sometimes seasonality can dictate content, for example.
Back to school campaigns invariably invoke kids going back to school. And you know you’ll be talking about what a great idea it is to shop at X for all your back to school needs.
There’s much less room for maneuver here content-wise. And so executional look and feel are really all you have to play with.
I’m not sure which extreme is harder to create and execute successfully.
Being in the middle is probably optimal.
Enough creative breathing room to relax and have fun.
People are attracted to brands that are confident and fun.