In the world of audio, as well as many other worlds, one must dance the fine line between creativity and commerciality. If you are creating your own personal projects and profit is not a goal, that line may not exist and you can go nuts; however if you’re working for a client you will have to find that line. Sway too far to the commercial side and your art will suffer. Sway too far to the creative side and you may not meet the criteria the client wanted.
I read a cool post here saying that The Lego Movie dances that line wonderfully. It sells the message: “Lego is great, you should buy some.” but doesn’t feel like an hour and a half long advertisement.
As creatives, we’re always dancing that line. Whether it’s a song we’re creating or short sound effects, we will often have guidelines to follow. It’s up to us to meet them as well as to create something unique.