A range of concepts designed to sell Birmingham as a creative centre struggled to find a "big idea", an expert has said.
Media & Marketing last week highlighted suggestions from four city agencies for branding and images to prompt a debate on how best to boost the sector.
3form came up with a campaign involving the principle "we are our brand" while Clusta used the punchy word SAP to reflect the city's creative "juices".
Empty Creative used the C and B of City of Birmingham to create a figure of eight infinity symbol and highlighted the idea of Infinite Creativity.
And Z3 used the world flux - a substance used in industry and reflecting the city's heritage - to reflect the emerging creative industries which the city offers.
Creative copywriter Joe Ivory, who has been with Birmingham-based Golley Slater Advertising business for five years, praised aspects of each concept.
But he questioned whether they came up with an immediate, instantly undertstandable "eye-popping" campaign.
Mr Ivory said: "I thought Z3's work was visually truly stunning. Clusta's photography was intriguing and beautiful and I liked 3form's bold sloganeering. I really liked Empty Creative's logo. Very clever. "Where I think the work falls
down, perhaps with the exception of Empty Creative's, was at the 'big idea' stage. I don't think there's a strong, impactful, cohesive idea behind the undeniably fantastic-looking work. I don't see an immediate, eye-popping campaign that is both instantly understandable and visually stunning. I just see the latter."
He said there was a problem with trying to "creatively demonstrate creativity. You feel compelled to be as creative as possible, which can mean trying to be as cool as possible.
"And that's sometimes where form wins over content and the unifying concept is edged out in favour of stuff that looks great but lacks a clear strategic thought."
James Cook director of creativity with Harborne-based company Schmakk joined the debate.
He believed the "flux" concept held the most water.
Mr Cook said: "It has a bright optimism and prevailing design sophistication with a simple but effective delivery line "Birmingham Creates". If the end game is credibility for our industry, then this is a clear winner."