doxa.comunicación | 30, pp. 283-307 | 285

January-June of 2020

Elena González Leonardo, Marta Pacheco Rueda and Belinda de Frutos Torres

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

scenario that was just beginning at that time in which the choice of media decisively affected the message, and creativity in using the media was part of the creative solution.

In this context, evaluating the creativity of an integrated communication campaign is not an easy task. Although creativity is considered to be fundamental in the advertising industry (Baños and Ramírez, 2004; Fallon and Senn, 2007; Navarro 2007), what is considered creative and not creative will always be decided subjectively (Stuhlfaut and Yun, 2011). In the professional environment, ratings include expressions such as, “it works”, “the art is well-rounded”, or in a corrective tone, “it’s missing a little something”, or “it needs to be stretched a bit more”, and even comments such as, “I’d put a little more effort at the end of the copy, but without cutting into the claim” (Gil, 2012:155). When it comes to assessing the creative quality of a piece of advertising, the complexity inherent in evaluation is increased by the uncertainty and subjectivity that distinguishes assessments in the professional sector.

The number of times that one hears the expression, “it doesn’t quite grab the concept”, in which the person who made the affirmation and the person who accepted it both agreed whole-heartedly that the concept had failed, yet neither of them was capable of being more specific, either because it was not necessary or there simply was not enough time. The assessment was considered valid, and a search for solutions to the unspecified problem began immediately. After a few days, when they met again, it was discovered that the agreement was only illusive, and that each person had understood what needed to be done in a different way (Gil, 2012:155)

In the advertising sector, creative people (imaginative directors, art directors and writers) make their evaluations based on their experience, which acts as an informal theoretical framework (Kover, 1995), or systematic knowledge structure (Ross, 1989), which varies depending on the person and the philosophy of the agency. This implicit knowledge is self-taught through professional activity and is difficult to transfer from one individual to another, so it should be expected that the dimensions implicit in assessment will vary depending on who is performing the assessment and the context in which it is being carried out. During the creative process, different proposals that appear in an agency follow a series of filters that determine, on the one hand, which alternative will be launched to the public, and on the other hand, which path will be followed in developing the idea.

In advertising, the first filter used to judge creative alternatives is carried out by the creative duplas, or art and copy teams, during the ideation process (Stuhlfaut, 2011). The proposals generated are then evaluated by the creative direction and other agency professionals in order to select which proposal will be submitted for approval by the advertiser, and ultimately, by the public. It is not until the analysis of the latter’s response has been carried out, after the campaign has been launched, that the agency and advertiser check to see whether the campaign has met their forecasted expectations. In the teaching environment, and specifically in subjects related to creativity in advertising and public relations (PR) within the framework of Spanish degrees in Advertising and PR, the aim is generally to reproduce the activity of advertising agencies in the classroom. In the educational context, it is common for the first evaluation to take place in student work teams, in which the professor assumes the role of director who offers feedback to the students on the proposals made. Generally, assessment of the students’ skills is performed through their creative production (integrated communication campaigns or creative works of a different nature), which in most cases are not launched to the public, and consequently the evaluation of creative quality ends up being an appraisal of creative potential beneath a fictitious forecast of results.