Friday, February 4, 2011

An easy test for creative longevity

I was talking to a client, David, the other day about creative ideas. Actually we were congratulating ourselves on having captured his brands message in a few words and one picture.

Having agreed that the picture/headline summed up the brand message we found all the other channels were just falling into place.

Without realising it we had stumbled on an ancient technique (mid 80’s) for judging creative, called the poster test. The theory being, if you can express your TV idea or whatever as a poster it should more easily live in other media and channels and last a long time.

Proof that this technique is not used a lot is my mate Wayne. He makes a good living fixing ideas that have failed the poster test. Usually a large agency has created an exciting TVC but can’t carry the idea any further. Wayne beats them into shape (the ideas not the agencies) so they work in the cut-throat retail environment.

He drives a very nice car.

Maybe if we all applied the poster test to each new creative concept our advertising would be better and Wayne wouldn’t be so rich!

TIP: Ask your creatives to present the big idea (TV, radio, direct response, social media, whatever) as a poster. This will separate the long life campaigns from the one-off ideas.

If you have a creative advertising problem call Tony Richardson on (02) 9929 0588 or visit Tony Richardson Advertising or

You are welcome to reprint any AdNotes article on your website and in your e-newsletters for FREE. All I ask is that you attribute me, Tony Richardson and include a link to


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