Is success simply luck?

4 Nov

In advertising, a campaign is deemed successful if, from the agency’s prospective, it conveys theright message to the right audience, and to the client, if it increases their bottom line. An easy concept. So what makes a campaign successful? Is it purely luck that a talking baby or an ex-NFL football player playing a self-absorbed ‘man of your dreams’ have become social phenomenons?No.

Yesterday, two recent University of Oregon grads spoke to my creative strategist advertising class. They are now at Wieden and Kennedy Portland living a recent college grad’s (or anyone in advertising) dream. The most important thing (in my opinion) they said was it is that it is a skill to be able to identify good work, but what matters, is to understand why.

An ad must transcend simply naming product characteristics. It must reach the target market using something that appeals to them. The smell and feeling of buying a nearly $4 coffee is more effective at reaching a Starbucks consumer than simply stating that the ingredients are coffee, milk, and vanilla syrup in a white and green cardboard cup.

I am currently reading New Brand World by Scott Bedbury (who is coming to speak tomorrow!), and he talks about a successful campaign creating lasting emotional ties with consumers that will add value to a product. Also, to be authentic. A brand should not be something that it is not.

I am a very visual person and often look at a campaign from an simply aesthetic perspective. If an ad is only visually appealing, and does not reach or connect to the right people, it is not a successful ad. This was my epiphany and a concept I will address from now on. It is important to understand why.


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