Judging Creative Work. 7 Questions to Ask Yourself


It’s the Movie Awards Season and the media is full of speculation as to who’s going to win the various prizes at the Oscars. No doubt there will be discussions, criticism and outrage at some of the decisions that are made.

As marketers, judging creative work, be it advertising, packaging, point of sale material is a big responsibility and one of the most enjoyable tasks we have to undertake. Most people think they’re rather good at it but in reality, it’s hard to get right. We usually make intuitive decisions based on our own personal tastes and past experiences and the risk is that we develop work that is either dull or just plain wrong.

So how you make sure you’re making the right call? Here’s 7 questions to ask yourself.

1. Is there a big idea in there?

There needs to be a ‘big thought’ behind any creative execution. If you can’t spot it, then you may need to go back to square one. Often, we dive straight into the execution eg I don’t like the font, the colour is too dark, etc. Before you get into the detail, look for the big idea first.

2. Will your target audience love it?

In reality, it’s not your opinion that counts, it’s the opinion of the target audience that’s most important. Judging the idea entirely from your own perspective can be dangerous. So, look at the idea from their point of view. Imagine what your target audience would think of it and if you can’t imagine, then simply ask them yourself

3. Does it feel fresh and original?

Whilst it’s fair to say that nothing is truly original, it’s important to develop work that is distinctive and sets yourself apart from the  competition. Is there an element of surprise?  Does it feel new? If it looks too familiar or immediately reminds you of a competitor brand then try again

4. Is it aesthetically pleasing?

This is where you get into the detail. We’re all attracted by things of beauty and notice the little details. it’s important to ensure that a great idea is not let down by sloppy execution. Does it feel elegant / beautiful / amusing?

5. Does if evoke a visceral, emotional response?

Our reaction to creative work is primarily emotional.  This is where you need to trust your intuition and your senses. Is it insightful? Does it touch a nerve? Does it make you laugh or cry or make you happy? If it simply leaves you cold and flat then it’s not doing it’s job.

6. Is it memorable?

The next day, reflect on the idea. Does it stay with you? Does it have any memorable aspects? We’re bombarded with messages every day so it needs to linger in the memory. If it doesn’t then maybe it’s too safe or not distinctive enough

7. Does it deliver against the brief?

This is the acid test. Ultimately, you should judge a piece of creative work against the brief you set the creative team. Does it achieve it’s objective? Will it achieve the task that you’ve been set. It may be a beautiful piece of work, but if you’re not confident that it will achieve it’s goals, them you shouldn’t approve it.

Judging creative work is never easy, but asking yourself these questions will help you produce something truly outstanding


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s