Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Taking The Subjectivity Out Of Creativity


Yesterday, I talked about how some Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) still believe that creative is subjective.  And, since they feel it’s subjective, it means their opinion is as good as the agency’s opinion when it comes to creative.

This is a fallacy still believed by many.  And apparently, difficult to dislodge from the mindsets of advertisers.  

So, what's an agency to do outside of giving in to an advertiser’s whims and changing the work in a way that makes it less effective on the grounds of they’re the client, they’re paying the bills?

May I suggest, putting their money where their mouth is?

What do I mean by this?

The only truly subjective evaluator of a commercial is the consumer.  The commercial runs.  The consumer watches all of it.  None of it.  A portion of it.

The time they spend watching a commercial takes the subjectivity out of whether that commercial was worthwhile to that viewer or not.

Viewer time spent is measurable in the digital space.

If both the advertiser and agency can agree that viewer time spent is an adequate, initial measurement of the worth of a commercial, then why not let be the agency be paid based on that commercial’s worth?

Under this model, the more time viewers choose to spend with the commercial, the more the agency makes.  The less time viewers choose to spend with the commercial, the less the agency makes.

Quite straightforward, isn't it?

Viewer time spent is the initial proxy for an advertiser in regards to getting their money’s worth for the cost of producing and airing the commercial.  My argument is that if it measures worth for the advertiser, why not also allow it to measure worth for the agency that created it?

In other words, let the viewer determine the worth of a commercial for both the advertiser and the agency.  And, then pay the agency accordingly.

Of course, if the agency is going to play this way—putting skin in the game, so to speak—then the advertiser needs to offer the agency something in return.

I believe that something should be total creative control.  

Once the advertiser buys the creative concept, then they need to back off. They can’t tell the agency how to produce the commercial, to use this take versus that take, this music, that music, etc.

And, that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it?

By taking the subjectivity out of commercials, we’d actually be making more room for creativity in commercials.

The advertiser gets accountability and the agency gets more creative freedom.

Seems to be a win/win.

Which means, I must be missing something.

Feel free to let me know what that is.

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