Making Creativity Accountable: How Successful Advertisers Manage Their Television and Print / Edition 1

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A comprehensive handbook for advertising and marketing managers, this volume shows how advertisers can effectively control agency costs without sacrificing creativity. Ron Harding profiles companies that have effectively enforced accountability on their agencies and demonstrates proven internal systems for controlling the advertising process—and its associated costs—from the initial spending plan through the final examination of actual expenditures. He also offers a pragmatic discussion of the procedures, timetables, and contracts managers need to put in place to ensure that all sectors of the agency—account, creative, legal, production, and business affairs—act in the best interest of their client and at the highest levels of their capability. All major categories of spending receive thorough coverage: television, print, talent, and media.

After an introduction which highlights the problems of runaway costs and mismanagement that plague many advertisers today, Harding presents a step-by-step guide to controlling advertising expenditures. Among the topics addressed are: how to create realistic spending plans and make them strict buying guides for the agency; how to spot successful advertising; how to make creative groups accountable; how to run a successful copy meeting; how to stop cost overruns in television and print; and how to streamline and strengthen the brand management system. Harding fully reviews how to cut costs at each stage—from the project initiation form, through copy and storyboards, to editing and final production. Written in clear, conversational style, the book focuses throughout on a pragmatic approach to advertising management while recognizing the central importance of creativity. In fact, Harding argues, by understanding the creative-cost equation and how to manipulate its variables, advertisers will necessarily reap the benefits of better advertising.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780899303376
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/1991
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

RON HARDING is President of Harding & Company, a consulting firm specializing in advertising and communications.

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Table of Contents



Clarifying Advertising Purpose and Costs

Developing a Creativity-Cost Equation

Enlisting Agency Support

What Should a Commercial Cost?

Turning Knowledge into Action: The Spending Plan

Controlling Time: The Project Initiation Form

Copy and Cost Success

Cutting the Costs of Test Commercials

Cutting Costs at the Storyboard Stage

The Roles of the Writer, Art Director, and Producer

Moving into the Production Process

Setting the Pre-Production Agenda

Cutting Costs at the Specifications Stage

Buying Options: Firm Bid and Cost Plus Fixed Fee

Overscale Talent and Print Models

The AICP Form

Cutting Costs of the Individual Commercial

Ensuring a Successful Shooting: The Pre-Production Meeting

Managing a Cost-Effective Shooting

Editing Disciplines and Cost Control

Final Costs: Actual versus Estimated

Creative, Production and Cost Controls in Print

Some Final Thoughts

Appendix A: AICP Videotape Production Cost Summary

Appendix B: AICP Glossary

Appendix C: AICE Post-Production Cost Summary

Appendix D: Glossary

Appendix E: The Three-Legged Stool: An Advertiser Looks at Cost Control


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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2006

    A Realistic Guide to What Works

    This book is one of the few that really deals with how advertising gets created.Better than textbooks that talk about advertising in general, this really homes in on how creative and production teams interact with their clients and what makes for successful advertising.

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