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If It Doesn't Sell, Is It Creative?

According to David Ogilvy, his answer was always a flat out "no."

What do you think?

“If it doesn’t sell, is it creative?”

This question has been around for a long time, but its central point of creative development and focus on quantifiable results remains a contemporary and poignant issue for today…

// How creative an idea is it, if it doesn’t generate a positive impact on sales?

// Is advertising really creative if it doesn’t outperform sales figures from the year prior?

// Can the brand be considered creative if it doesn’t generate new business?

Now, we can debate the nuance of terminology, the definition of “creative” and the dynamic of technology between the 1960’s and now until the cows come home. But in this case, the bottom line remains, well…the bottom line.

In the above proof, creativity and salesmanship are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are meant to be one and the same. But, is this always the case and if so, should it be? Should there be a direct correlation between the two that universally defines “creativity” for the marketing/advertising industry?

With the understanding that there is no correct or incorrect answer feel free to respond and let us know what you think. We would love to understand your perspective.


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