Advertisers know their customers and prospects spend over four hours a day looking at one medium. What percentage of their budget should they spend on making their brands look absolutely gorgeous on it?

Knowing the screen these customers and prospects are adoring has the highest resolution – the best picture quality – of any screen they own – isn’t that where brands should focus the majority of their attention, too? On making brand images stunning right there?

Especially since this screen is the one people never leave home without, and always have within reach, even taking it to bed with them?

The screen is usually viewed in portrait, not landscape orientation. And the image is maybe 10 by 7 cm, or smaller. Therefore, if I were a brand owner, wouldn’t I commit the majority of my budget to finding art directors who can brief photographers to shoot images that worked brilliantly within those constraints?

And direct films likewise?

Why then do those of us who work in agencies that create content for brands that everyone will see on a phone so often get told, ‘The assets you need were created by the ad agency, and there’s no budget for you to create more.’?

This is insane. Assets created for viewing from a distance, landscape, printed on paper at 12 dpi, glued to a billboard and displayed at 48 sheet size are not going to work well on a phone. Same for anything shot for TV, or press – though at least a press ad might be shot in portrait.

I expect there are some art directors in ad agencies who get it – I mean, it’s not exactly a secret that we are all glued to our phones now. But please tell me how many clients have redirected enough* budget to reflect this change.

I can’t think of a time when one medium was so dominant as the phone is now. But here we are. We know strategy needs to be ‘mobile first’. The same has to be true for creativity, and that includes the way clients divvy up the budgets – not that creative ideas need more budget, but creative executions certainly do.

Small and vertical needs to be beautiful, people. I know there’s an innuendo to be teased out of that, but I’ll leave it to you to do it.

*How much is enough? Almost all of it.

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