A great idea can still go a long way in the advertising world. Last month, the British Arrows Awards – ad land’s celebration of the British advertising industry – celebrated 40 years proving that creativity is alive and kicking.

The ‘Spare the Act’ campaign for instance by advertising agency AMVBBDO for Currys PC World make humorous use of Hollywood star Jeff Goldblum’s acting talents.

He persuades ordinary British people that Christmas doesn’t always have to live up to their ‘idealised expectations’. It was showered with awards on the night including best TV/ Online Retailer award sponsored by us.

British Arrows Retail advertising award sponsored by Hiscox

The AMVBBDO team accepting their award from Will Abbott, Hiscox UK Marketing Director

Of course TV advertising is beyond the marketing budget of most small businesses. But you can still use other cost-effective and relevant mediums such as online media channels, relevant trade magazines or local papers to build your company’s brand and hopefully generate sales.

We asked the creative brains behind the Spare the Act campaign, Antony Nelson and Mike Sutherland from AMVBBDO, to tell us why advertising campaigns are still relevant for small businesses without a big budget.

What tips and advice would you give to small businesses looking to develop some advertising (whichever medium they choose whether for local radio or web related for example)?
Always go for something with a good, simple, powerful idea. The best way to get people to remember you is to do something that stands out, that entertains people, or makes people laugh.

How do you come up with your creative ideas? What’s the process?
That’s a tough question because there is no magic formula for coming up with ideas. We normally just lock ourselves in a room, talk a lot of nonsense and then hopefully stumble across something we find interesting or funny.

What’s your favourite ad of all time?
It would have to be Guinness, ‘Surfer’.

What’s the one common characteristic behind the best adverts?
A great idea, well executed.

How important/relevant/feasible do you think advertising is for smaller businesses without big budgets?
It is very important and smaller business shouldn’t feel restricted by budget. But a big budget doesn’t necessarily mean a good ad. Great ideas can come in all shapes and sizes.

Read more on the art of advertising your business.

We’d like to know your favourite advert and why. Share your comments below.