Evaluate creative using this tool

View the checklist for reviewing promo materials at the end of this post.
View the checklist for reviewing promo materials at the end of this post.

Avoid comments like, "Wow, that's really cool!" by using this product manager's checklist for reviewing promotional materials.

My mother used to say that when I was a young boy, I enjoyed watching the commercials more than I did the cartoons. Maybe I was just swept up in all those cool spots for Hot Wheels, where the cars seemed to be able to fly through the air by themselves, or maybe I wanted to be just like the kids in the cereal ads—they always seemed to be having so much fun. 

Regardless of the reasons for my interest, I must have been destined for a career in marketing and advertising from a very early age. 

Despite my zeal for flashy advertising, I quickly realized that my bachelor's degree in economics and my MBA concentration in information systems didn't really prepare me for a career evaluating creative pieces. 

In fact, I recall that my first words as an associate product manager, when providing feedback to my agency, were something like, “Wow, that's really cool!” No wonder why my creative team stared at me as if I had landed from another planet. 

For some, evaluating creative comes naturally. The rest of us, however, need a process that helps us stay on track and provides meaningful and useful feedback. 

As I progressed in my career, I found that I also needed to teach brand managers on my teams how to assess creative and review promotional materials. So, I created A Product Manager's Checklist for Reviewing Promotional Materials. Not only was this checklist useful as a teaching tool, but I find it to be an invaluable resource today. When the pace of business becomes overwhelming, it is easy to overlook the kinds of important details that can derail any project. That's where a checklist can come in handy. Having one can help ensure that your promotional materials are strategically sound and that they meet exacting standards for copy and graphics,—especially in such a highly regulated industry. 

The checklist is set up as a series of questions to guide you through the process. I hope you find as much use in the checklist as I have, and hope it keeps you from saying something silly to your ad agency like, “Wow, that's awesome! Can they really fly by themselves?”

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