The Functions of Advertising Departments: Creative Work is significant in order to get the widest reach as possible. Once the types of media have been determined, the agency’s creative department develops the presentation of the ads. The principal figures in the creative department are the copywriter and the art director. The copywriter is the person who writes the advertising message. The art director is the person who oversees the design of the ad. The copywriter and the art director work together to find creative ways to deliver the message that research found would have the greatest appeal to the target audience.
The creative team begins by familiarizing itself with the product and the research. Often the creative team will ‘kick around ideas’ or “brainstorm,” a process in which one idea is allowed to stimulate another without reaching a decision about whether any of the ideas are valid. Such free association often leads to unexpected approaches that might never have resulted from more logical thinking.
Once the brainstorming has produced a wide range of ideas, the team then evaluates the various proposals and selects the best to present to the client. For example, if the team selects an idea for a television commercial, they present the idea to the client as a storyboard. The storyboard consists of a sequence of drawings indicating how the TV commercial’s story or action will unfold. Or the team may design print ads for the client as layouts in which the various elements—the headline, photograph or illustration, and body copy—will appear as intended for publication in a magazine or newspaper.
Print ads and television commercials use a variety of techniques to deliver their messages. Testimonials and endorsements can lend both prestige and credibility to a product. Seeing an athletic superstar, for example, endorse a particular brand of athletic shoe makes the brand seem more prestigious and suggests that it must be good because a professional uses it. Superiority is also often demonstrated through product comparisons–for example, by showing that one brand of paper towels absorbs more spilled liquid than another or that in consumer taste tests one beverage is preferred over another. But because more and more competing products are virtually identical to one another, advertisers frequently use image advertising to distinguish their products. Image advertising surrounds the product with a ‘halo of positive associations’ by using the same character or theme year after year.
Most advertising appeals to people’s emotions, particularly the emotional needs for love and belonging, prestige and self-esteem. Manufacturers of luxury and fashion products, for example, frequently appeal to the desire for esteem and prestige. Advertising for a line of clothing, such as Ralph Lauren’s Polo clothes, may associate the product with the lifestyle of wealthy landowners. Those who buy the clothing purchase it, in part, because they want to be identified with that prestigious lifestyle. Makers of personal care products, on the other hand, often suggest that buying their products will enable consumers to experience love and acceptance. Advertising for perfume or cologne conveys the message that the product makes users more sexually attractive. Personal care products such as breath mints and dandruff shampoos, on the other hand, usually play upon consumers’ fears and dramatize the rejection that results from failing to use the product. The implication is that product usage brings love and acceptance. The Functions of Advertising Departments: Creative Work usually determines what the product is likely to look like when used by consumers.