Message Design-The Creative Concept Development

A creative concept is an overarching “Big Idea” that captures audience interest, influences their emotional response and inspires them to take action. It is a unifying theme that can be used across all campaign messages, calls to action, communication channels and audiences. Typically, the creative concept is embodied in a headline, tagline and a key visual. Successful creative concepts are distinctive, memorable, unifying and relevant.

Creative concepts are based on the communication strategy and creative brief. This ensures that concepts are informed by a strong understanding of the situation, the audience, the channels that will be used, the objectives the campaign seeks to reach and the benefits the audience will respond to. The creative team develops multiple creative concepts based on this information and then concept tests them to determine which one resonates best with the audience.


Message is the idea or other information that the marketer wishes to convey to the consumer, emphasising the importance of message design.

Ogilvy said, “my original magic lantern started with the assertion that positioning and promise were more than half the battle.” True, but spotting the uniqueness or association of the product that will help the advertiser and win a place in the consumer’s mind isn’t easy. An excellent example of brand positioning is Maggi instant noodles. In his book Brand Positioning, Subrato Sengupta describes this success:

“Through consumer research, the company (Food Specialities Limited) felt that the most profitable position (for Maggi) would be as a tasty, instant snack, made at home and initially aimed at children. The target market was the in-home segment of the very substantial snack category. This positioning decision automatically determined the competition which included all snack products in general. These would range from ready to eat snacks – biscuits, wafers and peanuts – to ready prepared snacks such as samosas. All were bought out items.”

“Traditional pasta products (Chinese noodles and macroni) were considered to be near. Competitors forming a rapidly growing product group. But they were invariably used for meals, requiring a fair amount of cooking time and garnishing was essential.”

“Maggi Noodles was launched in Delhi in January 1983 and it became an overnight success.” The reasons? Maggi Noodles, as market results show, found a vacant strong position and sat on it as “the good to eat, fast to cook anytime snack.”


A message is the thought, ideas, attitude, image or other information that the sender wishes to convey to the intended audience. The marketer’s objectives tend to vary with audience. Objectives in communicating with consumers, for example, may be one or all of the following:

  1. Informing them what is for sale
  2. Creating brand awareness,
  3. Getting them to buy the product
  4. Reducing their uneasiness after the purchase is made.

The marketer’s objective with intermediary customers is to get them to stock the product; with other manufacturers, to get them to buy the product and use it to make their own. In tourism, the message may have more objectives like promoting a destination, building an image for the whole country, conveying the distinctive features of the product or service, etc.

Senders must also know their audiences’ characteristics in terms of education, interests needs, and realms of experience. They must then, endeavour to encode or phrase their message in such away that they will fall within the consumers’ zones of understanding and familiarity.

For example, AB group of Hotels has mainly targeted the business class in the advertisements which features that all the requirements of the guests are met unobtrusively. The message conveyed is that AB hotels understand the needs of business traveller better than any other hotel.

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