Many of us in the Malaysian advertising industry always lament about the lack of creative license afforded to us by clients – including me, occasionally.
Compared to our regional counterparts in Thailand, Indonesia, India and even our ‘friends’ separated by just a waterway in Singapore; we Malaysians addies aren’t that creative to be honest.
I am not trying to blame anyone here. Whether clients give us the creative freedom or not should not be used as an excuse. It is how creatively we work within the constraints that matter.
But let’s look at it this way. Creativity is subjective; and is not the kind of waters you want to thread, especially when millions in media budget is at stake.
And the biggest question is this – even if audiences get an idea that is creative, do they remember the product?
I have friends who sometimes comment on ads they’ve seen. They will rave about how creative it was, and when asked about the product that the ad was supposed to sell, go totally blank.
So it is quite understandable when Malaysian clients take a more direct route in communicating to their target market. If a mind-blowing creative campaign doesn’t ring in the sales or even improve brand awareness; then what’s the point?
As a copywriter, I always believed creativity in advertising is a balancing act. A campaign must be equally memorable and be able to compel action at the same time.
Finding that equilibrium is where the magic of advertising happens.