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8 Ways to work with, not against creativity with Tom Morgan

Truth Tips; where we share quick advice on how to create meaningful and commercially valuable truth for our clients.

When it comes to the development of great advertising, there’s a common misconception that consumer insights and creativity don’t mix. Consumer validation is seen as a ‘marking exercise’ instead of the creative spark that great insight work can deliver.


Tom Morgan, senior director at Truth, shares his experience from supporting the creation of some of our most loved ads and offers top tips for how to use strategic insights to elevate creativity rather than hinder it.

No, us and them – set up collaboration with your client and creative agency right from the start. Take part in initial strategy sessions to experience campaign ideas taking shape. Don’t be afraid to offer up contextual insights to elevate and build on ideas. 

Not and after thought – Creative validation often happens after the fact. Using cultural and consumer immersion to inspire the creative proposition, increases the chance of creating a more relevant concept to begin with.  

Immerse and inspire - Get out and about with consumers, take creative & strategy teams with you in the field or run immersion workshops to help build empathy and the sparks will come flying.

Minimum intervention – When it comes to validation of creative routes and executions, reduce or limit set-up of creative ideas, instead replicate how people will see the creative in real life.  

First impressions count in a focus group setting - use exercises to allow people to record their personal response first, to reduce ‘groupthink’, especially when capturing first impressions. 

Avoid post-rationalisation – focus on the immediate visceral emotional and behavioural response to advertising which is more likely to reflect the reality of how creative has impacted people.

Embrace iteration – if the creative is not right, don’t be afraid to iterate and optimise as you go along. Invite clients and creative teams to set up a creative lab in the backroom (virtually or in person) so stimulus and questioning can be optimised throughout the research. 

Become a champion for creative - All too often we are expected to be the impartial observer but it’s important that insight strategists live and breathe creativity and with this should come a view on what makes truly great ad campaigns. Rather than being the enemy, insight should be creativity’s no.1 fan!


Want to know more about creative development at Truth? Get in touch... 


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