Wednesday, July 25, 2007

There Are Apparently Only 12 Types Of Adverts In The World

My friend Doc Rogers points me in the direction of a piece of research by Donald Gunn, he of the Gunn Report, who has determined that all ads fall into one of 12 categories - or "master formats," in his words.

This slide show presents some recent ads exemplifying each of Gunn's 12 basic categories.

Does Gunn have a point? Or are his categories meaningless? Well, even he admits they are pretty arbitrary, in as much as several of them blend into each other.

And if he does have a point, could his system be useful in any way? It feels more like a system for classifying ads after they've been written, rather than a technique that could help in coming up with them.

The very idea that there could be a "system" for creating adverts is laughable wishful thinking, isn't it?

And yet... maybe as a series of starters they could be useful, for when you're stuck for inspiration.

John Webster apparently used to pop down to WHSmiths and flick through the greetings card section, when he wanted to get his brain working. Nowadays, I suppose there's YouTube.

So I may just take one or two things from Gunn's list.

We all need 'starters' sometimes.


Charles Edward Frith said...

As Dave Weiner is fond of saying and is very much true. Everything is miscellaneous.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember any Webster ads saying "Congratulations on your new baby"

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry, the gunn report is just a con aimed at the ddbs and bbdos and burnetts of the world. and they buy it hook line and sinker.

how great were we this year? let's find out...for an exorbitant fee.

it's genius really.

Anonymous said...

This is no different to John Cleese's belief that there are only seven types of joke. Several major London ex-creative directors like Patrick Collister and
Andrew Cracknell have also lectured along similar lines. Even Shakespeare's works have been subjected to classification. As is music of course. There's neither anything new here, nor anything to be alarmed by.