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Advertising and IMC Creative Strategies

Key Point 1: A Creative Message Strategy
  1. What is a message strategy? How is a message strategy used in marketing communication?
  2. Why is relevance an important dimension of a creative message strategy?
  3. What is an appeal? Choose one of the ads in this chapter or in earlier chapters, and explain its appeal strategy.
  4. Why does a message strategy need to be creative?
Key Point 2: The Message Strategy Brief
  1. What are the three main steps in developing a message strategy brief?
  2. Study the seven agency briefs in Table 9-1. What elements appear most consistently in them? What elements appear infrequently? If you were asked to develop your own outline for a message strategy brief, what would you include?
  3. What is a key customer insight? Give an example of what customer insights contribute to the development of message strategy.
  4. Find an example in ads elsewhere in this book of a claim, a benefit statement, a reason why, and a USP. Explain the logic behind each one.
  5. Write the benefit statements for one of the ads that you like from this chapter. Use the following formula: If I use _______(product)_______, I will _____________(benefit)_____________ because _______(support)_______.
  6. How does the MasterCard story in the opening case exemplify a message strategy brief? Analyze the "Treehouse" ad (see Exhibit 9-11) in the MasterCard "Priceless" campaign, and construct a message strategy brief for it.
Key Point 3: The Creative Process
  1. Define creativity. What are the key characteristics of creativity?
  2. What are the four steps of the creative process? Describe an experience you have had in coming up with a creative idea. How was your experience similar to or different from the process described in this chapter?
  3. Set up a brainstorming session with some of your friends. Ask them to come up with a new idea for an Absolut ad. Experiment with the brainstorming techniques. Which approach generated the most ideas?
  4. Find a marketing communication execution that you believe is highly creative and a similar one for a related product that you feel isn't creative. Critique both pieces, and give reasons for your evaluation. Are both on strategy as best you can figure out from the message you see expressed in the materials?

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