The formula for a good ad?

Just finished up a great morning session with kwp! Creative Director, James Rickard, presented by the Advertising Federation of Australia.

A personable and engaging speaker, James’ central theme was ‘Hold on Tight’, and how increasing marketing activity during a downturn actually works in a company’s favour.

Condensing such an interesting  presentation into a few hundred words is proving a challenge so here are James’ key lessons for marketers and advertisers during a recession:

Lesson #1 – It pays to advertise

Using examples from his own organisation, James explained that by increasing marketing activity during the financial crisis, kwp! won more project work from new clients and did not have to make a single redundancy. Convincing evidence, undoubtedly.

Lesson #2 – Control your brand’s behaviour

Companies must ensure they control the types of messages associated with their brand. By protecting your brand, you’re in control of its behaviour. In other words, the wrong kinds of messages can sink a brand as easily as the right messages can enhance it.

Lesson #3 – Confidence is irresistible

People are drawn to confidence. It’s magnetic and irresistible. During an economic downturn, be brave and, whatever you do, don’t panic.

Lesson #4 – You are not better than your customers

Respect your customer’s integrity. Ask yourself ‘How do I view my customers?’ By creating intelligent, meaningful ads that engage customers in a human way, your customers will respond. They will get it.

Lesson #5 – The formula for a good ad? Likeability + Relevance + Surprise

Compelling adverts accentuate the positives. They are simple and they capture the imagination in new ways. Advertise to the top line, not the base line.

Some great lessons for marketers and advertisers across all levels of experience. Should you get the chance to catch James presenting down the track, I highly recommend you check him out.

Don’t forget, casual reader, that you can follow Marketing Week 2009 on Twitter: #marketingweek


Rob Frost

P.S. In the interests of full disclosure, I am currently interning at Via Media, Adelaide’s Digital Marketing specialists. Via Media is a major sponsor of Marketing Week 2009. The views and opinions expressed in this post may not be fully represented by Via Media.


2 Responses to “The formula for a good ad?”

  1. Troy Forrest Says:


    Great stuff, summarising some fantastic wisdom from a successful advertiser. Particularly like the ‘confidence’ message. Be brave and inspire others when the world is scary!
    (Great writing too Rob!)


  2. Mal Says:

    Thanks for the post and keeping me updated with what’s happening at MW. Plenty of sessions I would have liked to attend including this one and rebranding Netball.

    Look forward to reading more!


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