I love to bits Richard's latest post over at adliterate, which is well worth a visit. What he says is simple but seems to be a belief lacking in many agencies: advertising should clearly and explicitly communicate the strategy. Great execution can be very powerful, but only if helps sell. He says:
"Creative work should engage people, provide an emotional connection, build memorability, invite people to join the conversation, absorb them in the moment, build emotional desire and all of those wonderful things that it does. But it should also dramatise the strategy."
Yes, yes, yes.
I know, its blindingly obvious. But an average evening watching the TV or flicking through a magazine and I can only say for at best half the ads what the hell the message was. The Sony PS3 ad is a classic example.
The only tweak I would suggest to Richard's post if that the brand idea should be crystal clear, rather than the strategy, which might be more dry and dull, but this is nit-picking and down to definitions.