It’s Time to Dream in “Creative That Scales”

An astute client recently told us that most creatives and agencies they’ve worked with can be categorized in two camps: those that dream in 30 second spots, and those that dream in full page print ads. 

It makes sense if you think about it. These were the primary exports of what is often referred to as the “Golden Age of Advertising” (between the 60s and 80s). Subsequently, most famous ad campaigns you learn about in portfolio school or quote around the water cooler tend to fall into one of these categories – so it’s only natural for it to be a common mindset.

However, with 73% of consumers using any number of channels on their journey to purchase, the marketing world of today looks quite different. Creatives are now asked to develop omnichannel ideas that can drive integrated campaigns across a much more varied lineup of touchpoints – web, social, search, OTT video, PPC, guerilla marketing, OOH, broadcast, print – just to name a few. 

So if you’re feeling a need to keep up, you’re not alone. 64% of marketers state that building a content strategy that can grow and scale is one of their biggest needs too. That’s why today, it’s important to dream in “creative that scales.”

Creative that Scales

What the heck does that mean? Good question. Unfortunately Google isn’t entirely helpful here, as a search for “creative that scales” pulls up a heavy dose of articles about whether or not artificial intelligence might just do the creative for us. Intriguing as it might be to imagine what wonders lay at the forefront of robo-creative, it’s not what we are talking about today.

When we say “creative that scales” we are talking about ideas and concepts that can successfully stretch across short-form and long-form activations – and across multiple channels.

During the campaign ideation process, we analyze this with something we call the “SRH 60/60 Standard.” In it, each proposed concept is rendered out both as a billboard and a 60 second spot to help answer the question, “Does it work quick enough when you drive by it at 60mph and long enough to captivate for a full 60 seconds on screen?”

As we’ve seen time and again – if it can effectively do both – chances are it can do every channel in between, and you have yourself some creative that will scale (yay!). Now you can sleep tight knowing that the campaign concept you’re pitching has the legs it needs to drive a truly integrated campaign, regardless of your media mix.

Now, it’s important to remember that while the concept is the foundation, it’s not necessarily a silver bullet. The campaign must still be built atop it. And, as you get into execution, understanding and delivering on the creative nuances that typically drive performance across each channel will still be critical to its success. We’ll save that lesson for another day (along with how to assemble your AI army of creative robots). But in the meantime, if you want to talk about scaleable, flexible campaign ideas, you know who to call.

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