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Great concepts require ingenuity. However, the final litmus test of what makes a great concept work is how well it communicates its message. I'll admit that sounds a little clinical and in that spirit, let's take a look at some concept images and dissect them. We see the use of cliche or shock novelty constantly. These maybe the result of a designer having too little time or a lack of interest in the project.
The problem is cliches are boring and shock novelty has short lived appeal. this can cause the viewers to move on without remembering what the essential message was or what the ad was even for. With our society's 24/7 delude of media, cliches are hopelessly lost. The array of ads and editorial content often become pattern like one trying to outdo the other. And in the end, these simply blend into the surrounding landscape.
In contrast, here's an example of why a more thoughtful, innovative approach grabs our attention and holds our interest long enough to communicate its message. I'm fascinated by great concepts like this. Concepts which appear simple, but likely took quite a bit of effort to conceive. But just getting people to notice something doesn't necessarily make it a good or even a worthwhile concept. The novelty of bright colors or in your face graphics might briefly attract attention but these techniques also fade quickly simply due to overuse.
Concepts need to deliver the client's message, and if you're finding yourself struggling to get the viewer's attention, at any cost, it's probably worth developing different solutions. It's those original concepts, intrinsic to the client's product, service, or message that we as creatives need to strive for.
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