Creativity in Advertising: How to Test for Highly Creative Individuals, How to Generate Alternative Creative Ideas, and How to Pretest Them

Publication Name

Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising


This article addresses the three biggest issues surrounding creativity in advertising: the need for a new test to identify highly creative individuals, the need to provide a better creative idea generation procedure, and the need to pretest ideas for effectiveness. I critically review what has already been done and then draw upon my own extensive work in the field of creativity ability testing and my work with Larry Percy on creative idea generation and pretesting to show how these procedures can be carried out more effectively. Creative ability is shown to be best measured with a multiple-item measure of divergent thinking that uses familiar cue objects, with responses scored only for originality. Creative ideas for use in advertising can be most efficiently generated by recruiting high creative ability individuals and using the I-G-I method of brainstorming. The most promising creative ideas can then be pretested in rough ad form by using the Remote Conveyor Test, which requires that the creative idea be attention-getting, novel for the product category, correctly understood with the key benefit quickly evident, and executed to be free of conflicting associations.

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