by Anangie Martinez
What is an ad?
I thought I knew but after two weeks at db&r I have been enlightened…
According to Merriam Webster Online Dictionary advertising is “ the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements.” That’s exactly what advertising is but it’s so much more than that.
I thought that an ad was just an idea that got picked and was mass marketed. I was right but that just makes it sound easy when it’s not. It’s a long process that involves a multitude of people, hours, hard work, and especially an abundance of originality.
Let’s say Apple wants a new TV ad to market its new iPhone 4s. Apple starts with an array of advertising firms to pick from. Each firm comes up with a proposal and “sells” itself to the client. Making a proposal sounds easy but it’s just the reverse.
The ad firm has to do a lot of research and create lots of ideas to market the product. This could take weeks or maybe even months depending how much time they have. Each firm presents their proposal in what is typically called the “ dog and pony show.” According to the contemporary online Urban Dictionary used by those such as myself i.e. a teen or an otherwise confused adult attempting to decipher the inner workings of teen slang, a dog and pony show is “A demonstration or proof of concept (often done for a client) to prove the product works as sold or to show how a design on paper looks once actually built. May or may not be a waste of time. Used in the special effects industry among many others. Ha ha “ May or may not be a waste of time.” Whether or not your idea is picked depends on the head honchos of the company or maybe what mood they may be in. Yeah that’s advertising for you.
Hooray, they liked your proposal, now what? A creative brief is made which includes what the company’s message is and what they want the consumer to take away from the ad. The creative team fuses together and their creative juices are unleashed and they run wild! No that’s not what happens…sadly. It is often at this time that the creative team butts head against the client. The client does not understand the creative ingenuity the team has created, they want serious, concise, and boring- sometimes, not always. Redemption will come…maybe…eventually…never-let’s be hopeful!
Finally both sides compromise until they are both satisfied with the work. The creative team always says, “ don’t present something you don’t like.” Now that several concepts have been created, they are made into animatics. Basically moving pictures of the concepts. Then again the favorites are picked and sent into research.
Focus groups are formed and they proclaim what they like or don’t like. These random people decide the future of each concept. Frustrating, I know.
Then the creative team once again makes revisions. Revise! Revise! Revise! While all of this is happening the account manager is the mediator between the client and the firm. They create estimates based on the work and make the process a little easier. They introduce the concept and let the team “sell” their work while at the same time providing support and advising the client. The team either gets good or bad remarks-hopefully good. For our purposes let’s just say the random people liked it so it’s ready to go. This all becomes an endless cycle.
Then the next step is to find a director to direct the commercial. Then lighting, casting, stylist…etc, it becomes a whole production. This takes several weeks and finally the final product. All the sweat and hard work has finally paid off. Hopes and dreams come to fruition. The delight and pleasure that comes from seeing your ad on TV is in so little words AMAZING! ASTOUNDING! ASTONISHING! High fives all around.
It’s a long process making an ad and it takes a lot of people to get it done. All of these minds work in conjunction to get the job done. Yeah you might get 30 minutes of advertising and 30 minutes of show time but next time you see an ad on TV think about the work that went behind making that ad. It’s remarkable how many hours went into making a 30 second spot.
And that’s the art of making an ad-in a nutshell.