Creativity or Science: Which Really Matters?

David MacKenzie Ogilvy
Image via Wikipedia

I just read a discussion on LinkedIn bemoaning the “death of creative.” Nobody remembers DDB (Bill Bernbach)! Everyone quotes David Ogilvy.  David Ogilvy was “mechanistic.” All his layouts looked the same.  It’s not creative.  It’s not sexy.

Maybe not.  However, Ogilvy’s ads looked the same because he measured response to find out what worked better.  He measured because he started with The Gallup Organization (pollsters). He probably read Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins.

Sure, I love creative stuff too.  But the truth is, you sell not by being creative (that makes you memorable and may win you awards).  You sell by measuring – seeing what works, tweaking, testing.  Rinse, lather, repeat.  Which do you really want? Awards?  Or cash?

(I’ll take the cash please).

Oh, and if you’d like a free copy of Scientific Advertising, you can download it here.