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The “Aha!” Moment Pt. 2: From Insights to Exceptional Creative
May 17, 2018
The "Aha!" Moment Pt. 2: From Insights to Exceptional Creative
Zhana Veleska

Now that you've pieced together how human insights fit into the bigger picture, we can begin to explore “aha!” moments — why creatives strive to evoke them in the hearts and minds of their audiences and why you should too.


The “aha!” moment can be best described as the first instance that the human insight of an ad impacts the target audience. After all, its name is derived from the pleasant, yet unexpected realization when someone has identified with the truth of your commercial message.

But how does this happen exactly? If your human insight was chosen wisely, it should not only be relevant to your target audience, but also to your product or service. Aside from reflecting reality, the reason that human insights lead to "aha!" moments is that they’re tell-tale signs of purposeful, effective product messaging.

The legendary Creative Director Bill Bernbach of DDB said it best when he stated:

“Merely to let your imagination run riot, to dream unrelated dreams, to indulge in graphic acrobatics is not being creative. The creative person has harnessed his [or her] imagination. He [or she] has disciplined it so that every thought, every idea, every word he [or she] puts down, every line he [or she] draws. . . makes more vivid, more believable, more persuasive the...product advantage.”

Though he doesn't mention it directly, the “aha!” moment is the culmination of what, I believe, Bernbach is communicating here.

And it is that human insight, in association with your brand, that ultimately leads your target audience to feel connected to your product or service, and drive them to engage in a meaningful way.

Cluttered media environments like Times Square, shown here, help explain why the "aha!" moment is a common goal for creatives.
Fueled by human insights, "aha!" moments help your creative break through advertising clutter.


Now that we’re clear on what “aha!” moments are and how you can start to hone your creative strategy to evoke them, you may think to yourself, "Our campaign has performed well enough without painstakingly digging through data or immersing ourselves in emotional insights." But be careful with this thinking. It's the difference between a somewhat effective campaign and becoming the brand that changes the conversation. The brand that customers want to be a part of forever.

Look at Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign. It didn’t just boost sales. It became a widespread cultural phenomenon that remains relevant to this day. And that didn’t happen by accident. All of the most exceptional creative earns its place at the top through the recall factor that is solidified by that initial “aha!” moment.

A man wearing Nike shoes runs across a road. The "aha!" moment tied Nike's "Just Do It" campaign to athletic motivation.
The "aha!" moment from Nike's "Just Do It" campaign permanently tied the brand to motivation.

So if you want your creative work to sell a product in an undeniable way, make sure it's being crafted to give your target audience a genuine reason to not only desire what you’re selling, but to recognize that your brand understands who they are, how they feel and what they need. They'll see that and appreciate it, and the ensuing connection will be invaluable to your business.

Want to learn more about "aha!" moments and how you can craft your creative around human insights? Tweet me @CBD_jvega.

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