Okay, here’s the challenge…
You have just received artwork from your Creative Agency. You want the design to be outstanding and blow your competition right out of the water. The only problem is you’re not sure if people will “get it” or if they’ll think it’s an epic flop. The good news? There is a way you can tell if your work is going to blow everybody’s mind away. Introducing the 8Cs of evaluating creative work:
First, you need to emerge out of all the advertising noise and clutter. Specifically, you need to find a way to capture the attention of your target audience. One of the most common ways that advertisers capture the attention of their audience is to spark curiosity.
Consider a headline that goes like, “You won’t believe what happened when this girl picked up the knife!” When you see such a headline, wouldn’t you want to know what the girl did with the knife? A few of our Kenyan gossip blogs have adopted this tactic and we’ll bet it works for them.
So your focus here would be to assess and see if your artwork provokes your target audience to want to know more. With that said, does your creative work have that intriguing element that will capture your audience’s attention?
Grabbing your audience’s attention is one thing but holding it is something else. You can make them curious enough to want to see what your work is all about but that might not be enough to watch or read until the end.
This person will ask themselves a few questions:
- What is this?
- Is it worth my time?
- What’s in it for me?
Let’s go back to this headline, “You won’t believe what happened when this girl picked up the knife!” Now, imagine clicking on that headline only to find out that the girl picked up the knife to peel a potato. First, you will feel cheated because you probably expected to read that she did something extra ordinary with the knife. Second, you will hit the back button so fast because there is nothing there for you and you wasted your time.
The point here is that when you capture your audience’s attention, you have to hold it long enough for them to want to get to the end of your message. Can your message solve your customers’ problem or at the very least, fulfill a particular need they have? They have to relate to what you are trying to tell them and make them feel like it’s worth their time.
Have you ever watched an advertisement and you were left wondering what they were trying to say? The artwork may be creative enough to get the attention of your target market but don’t let your message get lost in it. Designers at times get lost in the beauty of the design and lose the functionality of it. The message should be clear as day.
Does the creative work make people want to buy the product? The benefit of your product or service must propose a value great enough to entice your customer to act on your information.
A great example of a Kenyan ad that uses creativity to convince their target audience to purchase a product is the Faiba advert series. They are witty, hilarious and the concept behind them is spot on. The main reason why the ad worked is because people could relate to it. It addressed the pain points that the consumer faces which is, a slow internet connection.
So, does your work address the challenges that the consumer faces and if it does, are you portraying the challenges in a way that the consumer can relate to?
Any creative work by a reputable branding agency should be unique and especially different from your competitors?
We understand that the current market is competitive and it might be a little difficult trying to come up with something that sets you apart from the rest. Take for example the alcohol industry in Kenya. Almost all the ads show guys having a great time drinking a certain brand of alcohol in the club, at a party, etc. If that’s not the case then they will feature a guy with a husky voice in a fancy suit talking about how great the alcohol brand is. In short, the ads all look the same.
The big question is, what can you do that your competitors haven’t yet thought of? Moreover, does it represent your brand standards and will it give you a competitive edge?
When a brand is consistent with the image it portrays, it gains the trust of its audience. Trust fast tracks loyalty and builds your brand value.
To paint a much clearer picture of what we mean by consistency, imagine a brand that has a different profile picture for all its social media pages. This not only confuses customers but it also makes them think the company cannot be trusted. With that in mind, does your work feel like it’s part of the way your brand communicates to its audience?
If, for example, your brand portrays itself as quirky, fun and entertaining, your work has to match this. Don’t create doubt in the minds of your audience by creating work that makes the company appear too serious, rigid or something that it’s not.
7. Call to Action
What action would you like your audience to take? Do you want them to call for inquiries, subscribe to your newsletter, make a purchase, take part in a contest, etc.? Motivate your audience to take action or persuade them to make a purchase.
Netflix has perfected their call to action very well. Instead of just simply placing a “sign up” button strategically, they have also taken the initiative of eliminating the fear that once you sign up you won’t get out by adding a “cancel anytime” copy just above the “Join Free for a Month” call to action. That reassurance alone has definitely increased sign ups.
Other elements you should also consider in your call to action are the background color, surrounding text and surrounding images. In other words, your call to action should pop.
The call to action also applies to all sorts of creative work meant for advertising. At the end of the day, what do you want your customer to do with the information you’ve just given them.
This is more about synergy of the creative work. Letting the previous 7Cs work together as a whole. Does everything look coordinated? Does your work feel right? If it doesn’t instinctively click with you look for what is missing. Come back after an hour and take a look at the work with fresh eyes. If you feel it’s right then it probably is.
Does your work meet all the 8Cs? If not, don’t be part of the visual pollution, be part of the solution, work with a branding agency that gets it :).