Marketing Communication-Creative Strategy

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 Communications effectiveness depends on how a message is being expressed, as well as on its content. If a communication is ineffective, it may mean the wrong message was used, or the right one was poorly expressed. Creative strategies are the way marketers translate their messages into a specific communication. We can broadly classify them as either informational or transformational appeals.
o Informational Appeals – An informational appeal elaborates on product or service attributes or benefits. Examples in advertising are problem solution ads, product demonstration ads, product comparison ads, and testimonials from unknown or celebrity endorsers. Informational appeals assume strictly rational processing of the communication on the consumer’s part. Logic and reason rule.
o Transformational Appeals – A transformational appeal elaborates on a non-product-related benefit or image. It might depict what kind of person uses a brand or what kind of experience results from use. Transformational appeals often attempt to stir up emotions that will motivate purchase. (Rossiter & Bellman 2005)
 Communicators use negative appeals such as fear, guilt, and shame to get people to do things (brush their teeth, have an annual health check-up) or stop doing things (smoking, abusing alcohol, overeating). Fear appeals work best when they are not too strong, when source credibility is high, and when the communication promises, in a believable and efficient way, to relieve the fear it arouses. Messages are most persuasive when moderately discrepant with audience beliefs. Stating only what the audience already believes at best just reinforces beliefs, and if the messages are too discrepant, audiences will counter argue and disbelieve them.
 Communicators also use positive emotional appeals such as humour, love, pride, and joy. Motivational devices – such as the presence of cute babies, frisky puppies, popular music, or provocative sex appeals are often employed to attract attention and raise involvement with an ad. These techniques are thought necessary in the tough new media environment characterised by low-involvement consumer processing and competing ads and programming clutter. Attention-getting tactics are often too effective. They may also detract from comprehension, wear out their welcome fast, and overshadow the product. Thus, one challenge is figuring out how to “break through the clutter” and deliver the intended message.
 Even highly entertaining and creative means of expression must still keep the appropriate consumer perspective. The magic of advertising is to bring concepts on a piece of paper to life in the minds of the consumer target. In a print ad, the communicator must decide on headline, copy, illustration, and colour. For a radio message, the communicator must choose words, voice qualities, and vocalisations. The sound of an announcer promoting a used automobile should be different from one promoting a new one. If the message is to be carried on television or in person, all these elements plus body language must be planned. For the message to go online, layout, fonts, graphics, and other visual and verbal information must be laid out etc. (Smith & Zook 2011)
o Message Source – Messages delivered by attractive or popular sources can achieve higher attention and recall, which is why advertisers often use celebrities as spokespeople. Celebrities are likely to be effective when they are credible or personify a key product attribute. What is important is the spokesperson’s credibility. The three most often identified sources of credibility are expertise, trustworthiness, and likability.
o Expertise is the specialised knowledge the communicator possesses to back the claim.
o Trustworthiness describes how objective and honest the source is perceived to be. Friends are trusted more than strangers or salespeople, and people who are not paid to endorse a product are viewed as more trustworthy than people who are paid.
o Likability describes the source’s attractiveness. Qualities such as candour, humour, and naturalness make a source more likable. (Chitty et al. 2015)
 The plan needs to contain:
3.1 Development of Creative idea
 Creative Idea [needs to thoroughly described and developed around the key benefit claim/brand proposition] usually uses one of the creative strategies noted in the textbook and lecture series (unique
selling proposition (USB), emotional, brand image, resonance, generic and pre-emptive). The roles of humour, fear, guilt, sex and humour can be considered within the selected creative strategy.
o Parente (Donald E Parente 2015) notes that behind every award-winning, memorable campaign there has been a notion that has resonated with the consumer; the creative concept (or big unifying idea) is at the heart of every piece of communication that goes out the door at an agency. It stems from the Integrated Communication (creative) Brief and is a unique way of conveying the brand’s promise to the consumer.
o The promise is the “takeaway” from the campaign. It is the answer to the question “what’s in it for me?” During the brainstorming process, the art director/copywriter team must figure out how to show consumers a different but related way of thinking about the brand item. They can make the simple mystifying and the complex evident. They can delight and surprise. Shock or instil curiosity.
o You may have heard it said that we’re in the idea business. Well, this is where core creativity comes into play. The ability to turn things on their ear. The chance to make a splash in the sea of product parity and communication clutter. A concept / idea is the glue that holds together a campaign and the differentiator that makes the brand stand apart from its competition.
o The campaign concept / creative idea should be a vehicle that provides a common bond to unify all ads within a campaign. Remember, a concept / idea should be considered viable if it: clearly drives home the major proposition; is relevant, original and impactful; -is platformable (can be translated across multiple media / activities); is sustainable over time, with unique executions that all tier up to the same big idea, so as to avoid wearout; and is in line with the brand’s image/personality.
o A good concept / idea provides “an umbrella theme that overarches the campaign and carries over into every execution. It should make advertising easy. You should be able to look at the concept and think of at least the next five ads in the series. And the tactical mix should begin to write itself, with the message becoming the medium and vice versa” (Donald E Parente 2015).
o Brainstorm the creative idea from the key creative brief insight and direction. Consider using the Remote Conveyor Theory. It is an excellent method for generating and selecting creative ideas. It is easy to use and almost always works first time or can be made to work by repeat application.
 Make sure you take into consideration the components of Brand Awareness & Brand Image / Attitude. You also need to demonstrate an understanding of persuasion and the Elaboration Likelihood Model (Chitty et al. 2015) and the Rossiter & Bellman Grid tactics. (Rossiter & Bellman 2005) This knowledge / understanding needs to be incorporated into the execution of outdoor mock ups, TV storyboards, radio scripts, Social media, Blogs, Video etc. for traditional media and new media.
3.2 Detailed Explanation and Mock-ups (Tangible Executions) across all Media
 You need to include detailed explanation and mock ups (TV storyboards, radio scripts, Social media, Blogs, Video etc.) for all traditional media and new media selected for the IMC Campaign in this section.
o Traditional Advertising Media – includes television, radio, newspapers, magazines, outdoor, and cinema etc.
o New Media – includes social media, Internet display (banner / remarketing), Internet search (SEO & SEM), websites / campaign microsites, video, forums, crowdsourcing, mobile (geo-targeting & apps) etc.

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