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What Takes Place At A Creative Review Meeting
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By Nancy L. Salz

The creative review is an exciting, high-energy, high-tension meeting. For the creative people, it's their opportunity to show you all the work they've created in the past few weeks. They're proud of it. They're excited to share their ideas with you, and especially for you to become as excited about the work as they are. It's exciting for you, too, to see the advertising that you contributed to, advertising that could make your sales leap forward. A creative review is business and show business rolled into one. In a sense, every team member is on stage: the creative people when they present the copy, the account people when they explain the recommendations to you, and you, when you give your comments.

Most creative reviews have a similar format, which can be divided into
four parts:

1. The Agency Introduction or Setup.
2. Presentation of Creative Work.
3. Advertiser Comments.
4. Agency Recommendation and Discussion.

Here are some details about these four parts:

1. The Agency Setup (Usually Delivered by the Account Group)

Agency setups also often include relevant research, competitive advertising, and previous advertising for your own product or service. The purpose is to put the advertising you are about to see in the context of both the advertising problem and the larger marketing problem to give a rationale for each advertisement presented. The agency setup must also include a review of the creative strategy. It is the agreed-upon standard to which the advertising was written and by which it should be judged.

You should listen carefully to agency setups, but also take them with a few grains of salt. Most likely, the setup is created as carefully as the advertising itself. In fact, it is an ad for the ads.

2. Presentation of Creative Work

This part of the creative review is usually conducted by the agency copywriter and art director, who worked as a team. The creative people will introduce each commercial or print advertisement before they present. Their purpose is to have you understand how they analyzed the advertising problem to arrive at each solution. Of course, they want to convince you that the advertising is terrific, but they also want to draw you into the advertising, to involve you.


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