Rants on all the ads that suck. Updated whenever it tickles my fancy to do so. Now moved to http://adsthatsuck.ca

THIS SITE HAS MOVED TO http://www.adsthatsuck.ca

4/24/2005

How To

I figure since I'm going to be spending a good part of my time thinking about and finding ads that suck, we should probably lay down some ground rules. So, we must ask ourselves a simple question:

What makes an ad suck?

Ads suck for a number of reasons and in a number of ways. Most ads suck due to a simple case of not paying enough attention to linking the production of the ad with the key messages. But, even the most highly produced ads can suck if the underlying message sucks, or if it's not there at all.

I've asked for examples of ads that suck for this blog, and I've found that most of ones people have suggested actually don't suck. I haven't liked all of them, but for the most part, they get a complex message across easily and make me think what I am supposed to think about the product in question.

To be honest, I haven't liked some of the ads that I myself have created. Thing is - whether you do or not really doesn't matter. What matters is that the ad carries the right message to the right people at the right time. If it does that, then it might not make the top 100 of all time, but it will sell your product. And that's what ads are for.

Why do ads suck?

Ads that suck usually suck because of the client. Occasionally, the agency is to blame, but in my own experience, the more freedom the client gives their agency, the better the ads turn out. I've worked on ads that ended up sucking, despite the fact that I was very blunt to the client about this fact. Usually the answer is that someone above them made the decision, and it's all they can do.

Somebody once said "Advertising is the only business where you can give your client your best work, and have them argue with you until you give them your worst."

Anyone who's ever worked in advertising knows exactly what that means.

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