Media vs Creative Strategy in Advertising

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“What is more important:
Media strategy or creative strategy?”

Cecilia Setiawan

Advertising is a partnership between creative and media strategies. Each play a very important role in creating an advertisement, that it is almost impossible to draw a line between the two. Alasdair Reid (1994) asserts that as early as in the 1990s creative and media strategies were still very much inseparable due to the fact that advertising “used to be a very simple business” (1994, p. 15) – producing an ad was more focused on creation of the content, rather than the placement. These days, however, with new media spawning, separating media and creative
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Each medium has its own specific attributes and so each influences people in different ways – print media, for example, has a tactical sense of touch, while eletronic media is more visually exciting. Deciding which to go for beforehand to reach a particular type of audience is vital to a campaign’s success – it is important to note, however, that choosing the wrong medium can bring a negative impact to the product. This speaks true for promotional materials that are considered “annoying”, such as junk mail or pop-up online ads. Most of the time, no matter how appealing the offer or advert content is, the reader will simply dismiss it, because they have developed such abhorrence of that vehicle.
Bronner and Neijens have found that when consumers are highly engaged with a media vehicle, they can be more responsive to advertising (2006). Coca Cola used this to their advantage when, in 2010, they felt that their regular medium of TV was not attracting the younger generation anymore and they decided to break outside their usual platform (Shayon, 2011). The Big Idea was recycled from prior campaigns – “Open Happiness” – but this time, knowing that young adults and teens have been spending more time on the Internet than on TV, they opted to create a form of online advertisement – a viral video, of a “magical” Coke machine placed in a student cafeteria that omitted unexpected gifts
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