The Best Ads are Inspirational, Not Informational

As marketers, perhaps the most important thing we do is put people in the buying mood. And nothing can kill that mood quicker than the cold, hard facts.

I’m not alone in my belief. The great ad man, Leo Burnett, put it plainly: “Good advertising does not just circulate information. It penetrates the public mind with desire and belief.”

Face it — the facts can be boring. “I am one who believes that one of the greatest dangers of advertising is not that of misleading people, but that of boring them to death,” said Burnett.

Like the thrill of romance, the urge to purchase is centered on impulse and irrationality. Emotion quells logic most every time. Retail “therapy” is real.

There may be a reason why some clients like to stick to the facts: it’s easy. Creativity is hard, and creative that inspires a purchase is even harder. Author Jack London said, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”

Our creative team can attest to that. They routinely take up their clubs and go hunting for inspiration that sells. It helps to have clients who share the belief, and actually foster a process that produces fearless, inspirational creative.

As Ogilvy’s Jock Elliott once explained, “Big ideas are so hard to recognize, so fragile, so easy to kill. Don’t forget that, all of you who don’t have them.”