Creative Development Research Doesn’t Have To Kill Creativity.

Seriously. It doesn’t.

It happens all the time. The agency has a few early stage campaign ideas with lots of potential to deliver on the brief in a compelling way. But the team isn’t sure which direction to lean into so research is commissioned to get people’s reactions.

After a 2-day slog of groups sitting in dark, airless viewing rooms/virtual backrooms, suddenly none of the ideas seems viable because of how people reacted and what they said. Then, it’s back to the drawing board. The agency team is upset, the brand team is upset and well, it all feels like it’s been a waste of time and money.

But, guys! It doesn’t have to be this way! At The Sound, we believe there’s a right way to approach creative development research that actually feels productive, worthwhile and dare we say, sometimes even inspirational.

Photo by Stoica Ionela on Unsplash

Some key principles of our approach:

We understand the difference between the ideas within any piece of communication

The strategic idea, creative idea and executional idea. Understanding this difference allows us to pinpoint with great precision what’s working and not – giving us what we need to give you impactful and actionable Sound Advice.

We believe in a proper briefing (every. single. time.)

So we’re clear on how the ideas are intended to work. TBH, sometimes these conversations are tricky since it forces the agency to apply a bit of rigor to the ideas than perhaps they have before. But ultimately, it’s worth the discussion so we can provide the recommendations you need to move forward.

Understanding and focus

As a result of understanding the different elements of the work and having a proper briefing, we’re able to focus on the useful things participants say (i.e., things that relate to the strategy or creative idea) rather than spending too much time on the things that aren’t so useful (i.e., executional details). Plus, we’re awesome moderators and know how to get feedback from everyone…not just Sheila, the self-appointed voice of the group.

Optimize and nurture

We always work towards optimizing ideas and providing Sound Advice for how to develop not kill them. The fact is that we love ads. The art of telling a compelling story in such a short time is to us, amazing. And we recognize it can be hard and vulnerable work to create these ideas. So, we honor that effort and are builders, not destroyers.

Click here to read more about our approach (it’s a quick and fun read, promise!)


Written By:
Sandy Chouchani

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