Who is to say if a piece of graphic art is good or not. It’s difficult to evaluate on so many levels.
Consider a scenario where an ad agency comes up with a magazine ad that promotes Smith Cola all season long in baseball games program booklets. The result is an increase of 18% in the sale of Smith Cola during the season. Of the 18% increase, only 1% was necessary to produce and place the ads. The net gain in sales is 17%. And Smith Cola company is very pleased with the results.
It would seem to prove that the ad did its job and was very good. However, Smith Cola’s competitor, Fresh Cola, had a similar marketing campaign in baseball programs and their ads delivered a 29% increase in sales!
So in retrospect, maybe Smith’s Cola’s ad wasn’t so great after all. But wait a minute. What if the overall increase in sales for both companies was the result of the weather. The baseball season may have been the driest and hottest in over 100 years. It’s possible that the ads weren’t really all that effective. It was the heat that made the fans really thirsty.
There are so many variables to be considered before you are able to definitely state how "good" an ad is.
Another criteria for trying to evaluate the quality of an ad might be the client themselves. This source of evaluation, however, can also be ineffective. Let’s say that an employee at Smith Cola has to approve the ad. This person is not a baseball player or fan and even dislikes sports in general! Of course their opinion will be tainted. They are not part of the target market and may not get any conceptual subtleties of the ad. Because most ads have to go through multiple levels of approval it is more than likely there will be someone judging the ad that does not appreciate or recognize its concept or creativity. The ad is usually adjusted at this point to meet a perceived understanding and not an intended comprehension.
It’s possible that this "outside" adjustment may have helped the effectiveness of the ad. But there’s a greater chance that it diminished the end result.
We do know that advertising and marketing can be effective. And we work diligently to always try to improve effectiveness for both ourselves and our clients. And that is never easy.
But in closing, there just might be one sure way you can tell how good an ad is. If your sales staff is really excited about selling it, it must be great!