How to know when you’ve done a good ad.

I love this…

It’s not an easy thing to know. A good ad isn’t like a ball everyone sees sail over the fence for a homerun. Or a kiss, that when it’s over your eyes open on someone else’s heat. A good ad is a tricky, slippery, evasice beast that doesn’t like to be caught, won’t stand still, won’t come out when called. A good ad is a greased pig when it comes time to put your hands on one. Masters of disguise, good ads sneak out of you in bars, the shower, dreams, even in advertising meetings, and run away to lost pages in your workbook or torn up sheets in office wastebaskets. There are even good ads that hide inside other ads and remain unrecognized even when shown on television. (Heck, there’s likely a good ad hiding inside this one.) Some people think you can only tell a good ad when it appears in an advertising award show. Some people would say theonly good ad is one that “sells product.” Whether or not these are helpful identifiers of what makes a good ad good is not the point here. (I would say emphatically they are not.) What we’re interested in is how do you know – the moment you’ve done it – when you’ve done a good ad. How do you decide to stop writing, talking ot thinking and grab the little bastard before he makes a getaway, pin him down on the floor and call for the creative director? One word. There’s one word that, if it fairly describes your ad, tells you you’re done. It’s not honesty though that’s an excellent virtue good ads often contain. It’s not funny or provocative or wow or … The word is art. In my gentle opinion, the word is art. An indefinable monster of a word that means something slightly different to each person is the secret to good advertising. When you’ve made art, stop. Until you have, don’t. I believe it’s that simple.

(stolen from Mark Fenske)

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