To my knowledge, no Client or Academic Institution offers a training program for Product Directors to learn how to effectively and objectively evaluate creative concepts. Yet everyday, Clients and their agencies wrestle over the appraisal of creative executions and promotional ideas. The stakes only escalate for consumer creative when the perceived risks become higher, particularly when a multi-million dollar media budget is a consideration. The ‘subjectivity swirl’ as I call it results in wasted time, money, and effort.
For Clients, let me propose a few mandatories to consider:
- Is the concept distinct and ownable given the competitive set and noise level?
- Does the concept align with target market insights garnered prior to concept development?
- Does the concept ‘speak’ to the target? Caveat: This of course requires you to know who the target is.
- Is the concept expandable to a multi-channel execution or does the power of the concept rest in the execution itself?
- Is the concept sustainable? Can it work as you expand indications?
- Does the concept lead to the desired action and articulation? In other words, is it likely to make your target audience do and say what you want about your brand?
At a minimum, I’ve encouraged Clients to press their Agencies to provide a draft set of criteria that the Client can comment upon. Developing evaluation criteria that both Agency and Client have input on is a step in the right direction!