Creative Advertising 2e Paperback – May 27 2008
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About the Author
Mario Pricken is a creative director and direct marketing consultant who trains creative teams from advertising agencies and marketing departments. He lives in Germany.
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It also contains a good How To guide to help eliminate 'art directors block', based on methods used by the creators of the ads featured throughout this book.
A very good buy with lots of pages of 'wow'.
It offers a really clear set of questions/conceptual directions you can use to get the juices flowing or "unstick" yourself on a project-- along with real-world examples of how each approach has been used in previous ads. I love it and use it constantly when starting a new project or to help me be sure I've really explored the full range of conceptual possibilities for a project that I'm working on.
Great book, worth every penny and 10X that of most of the advertising books I have.
Note that this focuses pretty exclusively on the visual communications in advertising, rather than long sales copy (although it does have a small section on this).
This is a must-have reference book for any small business owner, agency, or marketing/advertising professional.
So: this book showcases creative, high-quality, awards-friendly (i.e., the consumer might not understand half of them, but they're very clever and all that) print ads (with a minority of TV, design, etc) paired with brainstorming questions that are intended to help you come up with creative ideas. Some of the questions seem so specific that I have a feeling the author thought, "Ok, I wanna include this ad, so I'd better come up with some BS brainstorming question that corresponds to it" - i.e., that he pulled the question out of his rear end. However, a lot of the questions/challenges are genuinely helpful - for example, thinking of an imaginative, funny, alternative use for the product (selling pillows? obviously people usually rest their heads on them, but what if they put their feet on them? or ate the pillow? or used the pillow to prop up a house that's tipping over?).
I agree with the other reviewer who said you could find all these ads (and styles of ads) on the web. This just aggregates it and prints it out. Nothing special. In fact, I wish it had Internet comments - it would be useful to read other people's opinions of the ads; what was done right and what was done wrong. But overall, it's the brainstorming questions I found useful - for me, the ads just served as examples to help clarify the brainstorming questions and illuminate some directions your train of thought might go, not to mention giving me a better idea of what separates the decent ads I see everyday from the "great" ones.
It's going to take a lot of experimentation and practice for me to put these questions to work - I think I'm going to copy them into my email so I can give them a quick glance when I have to come up with a concept on the fly - but so far it's the best resource I've found when it comes to improving your idea skills.
Anyway, even though it's print advertising heavy, these ideas can be used for all kinds of campaigns, not just print. I do wish there'd be a companion book showing you how to grow an idea from a print campaign into a multi-channel campaign covering radio, ambient, social, web, TV, etc. That seems to be my next challenge; figuring out how to cleverly apply the same idea to different mediums.
Overall, I would definitely buy this book again - they could have condensed it into a 15-page workbook, but whatever, it does the job and doubles as an interesting coffee table book, I guess. It does exactly what I wanted it to do: helps me come up with genuinely cool ideas for ads.