Freedom and control in creative activity

Author: Peter Tyler

Abstract:

In market research we are all aware of the growing demand for better procedures for creating and testing effective advertising. Manufacturers not unnaturally wish for evidence that their expenditure on advertising will achieve maximum results. Agencies know that they are under pressure to produce creative work that is demonstrably competent. There is also a general impression that greater sophistication in media selection has not been matched in improved skills in the uses to which the media are put. The creative man, too, is fully conscious of the challenge; and he realises that he is expected to take advantage of the tools of market research. After all, the brief for creative work nowadays more often than not stems from basic research data, or at least from some attempt at a scientific assessment of the market. It is unusual for any major campaign to be adopted on faith alone. Campaign testing is on the increase. Creative intuition and flair is now officially supplemented by more systematic criteria. The task of producing more effective advertising is one which creative and research specialists jointly face. Collaboration between them, although already standard practice, has been uneasy and not altogether fruitful. This paper suggests a number of ways in which research specialists can help to overcome existing difficulties , in order to make the alliance between themselves and the creative team more productive.

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