It’s called the Creative Dept, but that doesn’t mean it’s always creative.

It also doesn’t mean other departments aren’t creative.

Creativity is the thinking that you bring to your job: innovative, unexpected, audacious.

A great example of this was Jaffa Cakes.

Jaffa Cakes are little sponge cakes, with a dollop of orange-jam, covered in chocolate, roughly the size of a biscuit.

And that’s the problem: are they a cake or a biscuit?

The answer to that question could have cost McVities an extra 20% on every Jaffa Cake sold.

Cakes were rated at zero VAT, but biscuits covered in chocolate were rated at standard VAT,which was 20%.

Because they were called cakes, Jaffa Cakes had always been rated at zero VAT.

But in 1991, Customs and Excise decided that they were displayed as biscuits, and they were covered in chocolate, therefore they should be rated as a biscuit, at 20% VAT.

McVities had to defend Jaffa Cakes’ zero-rating at a tribunal, which called for some seriouscreativity on their part.

In favour of them being a cake was their name, and their recipe: flour, eggs, milk.

But in favour of them being a biscuit was their size, the fact that they were displayed in the biscuit aisle, and that they were marketed as a biscuit.

McVities had to prove the Jaffa Cake was a cake not a biscuit, and this is the part where they got creative.

They didn’t go into a long technical argument, they had their kitchens make four different size Jaffa Cakes: 2 feet diameter, 1 foot diameter, 6” diameter, and 2” diameter (roughly biscuit size).

Then they cut a slice out of the largest and asked the tribunal what it was.

It was made of sponge and jam, covered in chocolate, it was obviously a slice of cake.

Then they cut a slice out of the next largest and again it was also a cake.

Then a slice out of the third largest, which was obviously also a cake.

And finally, a slice out of the biscuit size one which was just the same as the others.

And since they were all the same, they asked at which point does a cake become a biscuit?

It was clear that a Jaffa Cake couldn’t be a biscuit, it was just a small version of a cake.

Then they followed it up with another demonstration.

They brought in a biscuit and a slice of cake; they demonstrated that, when broken, the biscuit was hard but the cake was soft.

Then they brought in another cake and biscuit that had been left to go stale for weeks.

They showed that over time the biscuit went soft, while the cake went hard.

So a biscuit was hard, but when it was stale it would go soft, whereas a cake was soft but when it was stale it would go hard.

Rather than long detailed technical arguments, these simple demonstrations convinced the tribunal.

Jaffa Cakes were obviously a cake not a biscuit, which meant they kept their zero-rated VAT status, and McVities saved 20% on every pack of Jaffa Cakes sold.

That’s the power of a simple demonstration over a complicated argument.

It feels like common sense, so much so that it makes the opposing argument look silly.

That’s the power of a simple demo in advertising.

A simple demo is where the best advertising connects straight into the consumers emotions, bypassing the need for complicated logical arguments.

It’s very creative but you don’t have to be a creative to use it.