Creativity in advertisingI’ve been around in this business for close to three decades and many years ago did a masters degree dissertation on the subject of advertising effectiveness in electronics trade media – I’ve never been able to completely shake off the nerd behind the marketer! Since that time, one trend has been very apparent. Creativity has all but died in the advertising that appears in our sector.

Before going any further, perhaps I should define “creative”. The advertising giant, David Ogilvy of Ogilvy and Mather fame (now part of WPP Group) once said, “if it doesn’t sell, it’s not creative”. He was commenting on the tendency of so-called creative types to come up with all sorts of clever ideas to grab viewer attention, many of which completely failed to deliver any kind of meaningful message.

There were some great ads in our trade press that were both stunningly memorable and crystal clear in the message they delivered. Then the semiconductor companies started putting data sheets onto the page, a trend led by Linear Technology an Maxim. A lot of other electronics firms followed this approach and creativity slowly died away. Perhaps it was costing too much to have professional copywriters working on the material. Perhaps the format and size limitations of boom boxes and banners restricted the opportunities to be really creative, and perhaps companies just got lazy. After all, data sheets contain the information that engineers want, don’t they.

However, the growth of video now offers tremendous opportunities to bring back creativity, even in the electronics sector. And if an advertisement is exceptional, it will go viral through the myriad of social media channels and deliver your message in an incredibly cost-effective way. Of course, it’s always possible to make high-impact, memorable advertising when the subject is an emotionally charged one. But it doesn’t always have to be so.

Although not related to electronics, the product being advertised below is not one that’s likely to get anyone’s adrenalin pumping but the advertisement from 2011 now has had over 24 million views on Vimeo. If you haven’t seen it before, see if you can guess the product before the end of the ad.

Isn’t it time we brought back this level of creativity to B2B electronics advertising? If you’ve produced or seen a great video ad for our sector, let us know and we’ll feature it in the next issue of Publitek News.