Not sure where I first heard the phrase “creative that sells” but it stuck with me. Obviously, the first definition relates to selling marketer’s goods and services. It’s what marketers do: create words, pictures, sounds and motion that inspire feelings and actions to move product. But another definition of “creative that sells” exists — and it relates to agencies making a profit. An agency that puts 100 hours into developing a piece of TV, print or digital creative that doesn’t sell to the client is an agency that has to do it again. That inability to sell creative the first time out costs agencies money…and rep. Unfortunately, creative that does sell the first time out is often safe creative. Repackaged creative. Repurposed, even borrowed creative. It feels familiar because it is familiar.
Creative that sells (first definition) differs from creative that sells (second definition) in that the former is “wild yet fitting.” It moves product because it is untamed and unique but appropriate when offering up claim and proof. Conversely, off the shelf creative and/or wild creative that is not fitting sells to clients but not to consumers. Great creative people know this. Great creative people know when to throw a fish back into the ocean. It may be a great fish, just not for today. Sadly, there are a lot of seine net operators out there and it’s hurting both marketing and agencies. When an idea is right, for the right reasons, and sustains all parties, it will sell. By both definitions.