You have a great eye for what looks good.  If only the creative team would listen to you.  You can see it in your mind, hear it in your thoughts.  It’s perfect.  Yet they keep sending you stuff that just isn’t right.  

Sound familiar?

Too often, we feel like we have the answers (and you may be right.)  The problem is, we often subconsciously judge creative by our own personal taste.  The real question is whether the ad works for your customers.  Our bias sometimes gets in the way and we don’t even know it.  We are looking at things from our own internal lens of what we like.  You may be a huge fan of Reese’s and love their ads, but you work for a super-premium chocolatier.   Different customers, different channels, different value props. 

We can always learn from competitors and our own preferences, but we need to have the discipline to stay true to our brand.  That’s not always easy.   Instead of questioning the creative, go back to your written brand position and try to align the ad with what you stand for in the marketplace and what element of your story it is trying to tell.  If you want to make a case to your creative team, start with that logic.  

Listen, the best ideas sometimes come from different industries or categories.  That is absolutely true.  We also always want to find something unique and memorable.  That is also true.  Maybe the better question to ask is:

Does our creative make sense to your customers? 

You may not like it because you’re not a core customer.   That’s OK. 

Always go back to your brand position.  Read it again and again.  Once you get a warm-fuzzy that the ad reflects the element of your brand position you are trying to convey, you should strive for four “Cs”:  clear compelling creative consistently.  

Having the discipline to stay true to a brand position can be the hardest thing to do, but it’s the best thing to do.