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May 20th, 2016

How to review creative


Approving a new brand identity, TV storyboard, website design, or product name for your company is a lot like approving a name for your child (that someone else came up with). We will rarely love the name they came up with. The best we can do is agree upon the thinking behind the name. Because the natural next step is to ask our target what THEY think and/or feel. Remember, your consumers are the ones who need to fall in love with it, not you. So, what should you ask yourself when reviewing and approving creative content?

1.) Is the work on strategy? Review the brand brief, the net impression, and brand style and voice guidelines. Does the work live up to it? Is it on brand?

2.) Overall, what’s your impression of the work? Ask yourself: if this eNewsletter/tweet/ad/brand i.d. were a man or a woman hitting on you in a bar, how would the ad come across? Charming? Funny? Boastful? Dull? Cerebral? Nerdy? Scattered? Would you grant this brand a first date? What about tongue-wrestling? (Too soon?)

3.) What is the blah blah of this category? What is our competition saying/showing? What are the common themes, so we can make sure we don’t blend into a sea of sameness. If they’re zigging, maybe we should zag?

4.) Would you share this work? Is it surprising, relevant, and simple? An idea is strengthened by everything that is removed from its execution (not added to it). Is there anything else we could remove here? Will this content rise above not just other ads/blogs/tweets, but everything that’s competing for your attention right now: Friday Happy Hour, Donald Trump’s hair, Kylie and Tyga’s breakup, Cleveland’s quest for a championship, the new cat Snapchat filter, Chewbacca mom, Maroon 5’s protest, NHL playoffs, the Zika virus…#FishThatLiveUpBums? Good luck rising above, folks.

How not to review creative

Client Review

Client Review