Get Your Ideas Ready! (Week 3 Blog)

“Advertising is a business of ideas.” – (Roman and Maas, 2013)

This quote above, taken from Roman and Maas’ How to Advertise, is something that I wholeheartedly concur. When I first entered the advertising industry three years ago, all I knew about advertising was about selling products. Later on, I learned that the products can only sell if you have an excellent big idea for every advertising or campaigns that work for the clients.




As David Ogilvy himself said above, “Big Idea” must be present in every form of your advertising. You can write the best copy or craft the best art direction, but you won’t gain attention if you don’t have the big idea behind your creation.

However, most creatives often struggle the most in this area. Finding the “Big Idea” often feels like finding a needle in a haystack. Roman and Mass (2013) suggests that ‘brainstorming’ as a solution to find the idea, where we throw ideas upon each other without judging to finally narrow it down to be the most implementable one.

I agree that ‘brainstorming’ works, but sometimes people forget the insight or the proposition of the brief. Of course, you can throw your ideas toward each other, but when you forget the original proposition, not only you won’t be able to find the “Big Idea”, you also won’t be able to go home on time because you will spend the night working overtime to find it (yes, it happened to me)



Roman, K. and Maas, J. (2013) How To Advertise: What Works, What Doesn’t – and Why, 3rd ed., London: Kogan Page


MDIA5021 – Week 2 Blog

In his article, Chessick (2005) mentions that there are two different types of creativity: Developmental creativity, which produces good art but lacks an “essential element”; and the other one is genius creativity, which is something exceptionally “rare and extraordinary” that it has become rather difficult to define (pp. 8-9)

One can consider that advertising itself is similar to art; there are creative ads, and then there are the ones that are exceptionally good and mindblowing. However, I don’t think it is that simple to categorize the creativity of commercial ads as being in those two binaries.

According to qualitative findings by Koslow et al, many agency practitioners consider three aspects critical for creativity: strategy, originality, and artistry (Nyilasy & Canniford, 2013, p.1694)

I agree with these aspects because they are the foundation of a good ad that solves both the client’s problems, giving the agency’s much-coveted recognition, and proliferated through the masses.

One fine example that I found is this ad campaign from Indonesia for the mineral water brand, Aqua. Not only does it tackle the client’s objective (exceeding target sales), it is also original and executed brilliantly with its own aesthetics.  You can check the case study below, and if you ever need to gather your focus to create a good creative ad, just remember #AdaAqua and drink one.



Chessick, R.D. (2005), ‘What Grounds Creativity?’ Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, 33(1), pp. 7-27

Nyilasy, G. and Canniford, R. (2013), ‘Ad Agency Professionals’ Mental Models of Advertising Creativity’ European Journal of Marketing, 47(10), pp. 1691 – 1710

MDIA5021 – Week 1 Blog

How do you define creative advertising? Is it the ones that effectively sell the products? Or the ones that captivate the audience? I think it’s a combination of both. And when I think about of creative advertising, I can’t seem to escape from the thoughts of advertising award shows. These award shows are supposed to showcase the best creative ideas and the creative minds that created them. However, do people, and by people I mean the general public, care about the ads in the award shows?

It has been said that advertising’s role is to grab consumers’ attention, make them interested and desire the product, and eventually take action, as has been stipulated by the AIDA method (Alstiel and Grow, 2013, pp. 14-15). Unfortunately, the ads in the award show in my home country Indonesia, which is Citra Pariwara, don’t seem to be interested in gaining consumers’ action to buy the products. As exemplified by this ad below, it uses a foreign language (English) that most Indonesians will struggle in understanding it.

I can relate to it, but can the consumers relate to it too?

image source:

Certainly, it’s good if your ad could win an award for its creative idea execution, but isn’t our task as advertisers should be getting our target market to eventually purchase the product? Like Barry said, “think hard, sell soft” (Barry, 2016, p.14) which is the most ideal form of advertising. For me, this layer of subtlety should also be imbued with local context, which in this case is language, for local consumers to understand. Because if they can’t understand the product you’re selling, who would buy them?



Alstiel, T and Grow, J., (2013) Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy, Design, Thousand Oaks: Sage

Barry, P (2016) The Advertising Concept Book: Think Now, Design Later, 3rd ed. London: Thames & Hudson