What makes a great ad?
Was there ever something that affected you strongly? A book? A song? A speech?
In an early interview with Merv Griffin in 1979, Francis Ford Coppola talks about the creation of his film Apocalypse Now and what it takes to make a great movie.
"I believe that film making—as, probably, is everything—is a game you should play with all your cards, and all your dice,and whatever else you’ve got. So, each time I make a movie, I give it everything I have.I think everyone should, and I think everyone should do everything they do that way." - Francis Ford Coppola, film producer.
Coppola's devotion to quality and integrity was a reflection of himself, stopping at nothing to convey his vision and tell a story that pulled viewers in. He took it upon himself to ensure that should his craft influence the world, it should be polished and worthwhile. He changed the way filmmakers made movies.
In the same sense, let's take a look at what some people say makes a great book.
"Whether it is great in itself will depend on whether, as you turn the pages, the machine begins to hum; on whether it comes alive and speaks to you." - Andy Miller, writer and book author.
"Good book” is so entirely relative. But I think when it gets right down to it a good book must have meaning behind the action, and action behind the characters. The world must work with the characters and story, and vice versa, and the more intense the bond the better." - Holly Heisey, reader.
"A good book slowly grabs you by the soul without your knowledge. By the time you’re in tears and laughing at the top of your lungs at the same time it’s too late. You’re hooked." - Tom Williams, reader.
What makes a great piece of art?
"The moment and the memory. It has to be something that engages you, on one of a million levels, in person, and establishes a memory that remains positive." - Mat Gleason, Coagula Art Journal, Los Angeles.
"The best work will break your heart. As a collector, you will know it when you see it. It's personal. You will not have to be convinced by anyone to acquire it; it will be something you simply must have. It is like a good marriage that completes a feeling inside you." - Robert Shimshak, Collector, Berkeley, CA.
And finally, what makes a great song?
"If you spend a bit of time considering what you’re actually saying, and how people will interpret your “message”, you should be able give your work a better chance of connecting with your audience. Instead of spending three hours on the snare drum, spend three hours on making your central idea something people can relate to, as generally people don’t listen to songs because of how the drums sound!" - Fraser Smith, Make it in Music
"Songs written without heart do not speak to anyone. Write from your experience. Write from that pain, that love, that joy, that concern, that hopefulness, that excitement, whatever it is that makes you feel something. Because when you feel it, it translates into your songs." –Sarah Spencer, singer/songwriter.
So, here's my point. What does a great movie, book or piece of art have in common? They convey emotions that the viewer, reader and listener relate to. Just as the movie is an expression of the producer, the book an expression of the writer, or the painting an expression of the artist, advertising should be an expression of the company and what it stands for or against. Powerful ads communicate and connect through emotion, whether it’s happiness, sadness or any other emotion.
Emotional ads will ALWAYS win over factual, rational advertising because they are more memorable. We may not remember what the ad said exactly but we will remember how it made us feel.
Brands who reach us on an emotional level go from product status to friend status. Those brands that share your values will be the ones that you build life-long attachments with. They “get you,” and you get them.
Do you understand your customers needs on an emotional level?
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner