“Clearly creativity is, in a way, the biggest lever a marketer can use.” This according to Paul Dyson, co-founder of efficiency consulting firm Accelero Consulting.
It is often asserted that creativity has a strong impact on the success of advertising campaigns. With the new study, Dyson has put some numbers behind it.
Speaking at ‘Cracking Creativity’, an event hosted by television marketing agency Thinkbox this week, he talked about the findings of assessing the impact of 28,000 ad campaigns, including some 7,000 campaigns from the UK.
The study focused on the commercial impact of each campaign, relative to the size of the brand. The results show a strong relationship between the level of ‘creativity’ shown in the campaign and the return on investment (ROI) generated. While there is a clear link between brand size and ROI, even when this difference is taken into account, there is a clear link between creativity and effectiveness.
Dyson highlighted Aldi’s ‘Kevin the Carrot’ campaign and Guinness’s ‘Made of More’ ad as examples of creative campaigns with significant ROI compared to others.
Keep it short, musical and branded
Elsewhere at the event, clear guidelines were given to help build readiness. Speaking in a separate session, Rosie Pritchard, senior research executive director of Neuro-Insight, a neuro-analytics company that uses brain imaging technology to measure how the brain responds to associated information contact, shared new work findings on how consumers respond to advertising.
The study looked at consumer responses to 150 UK advertisements using steady-state terrain, which looks at electrical activity in the brain, to explain how consumers’ brains respond. respond best to ads with emotional appeal and impact.
Research by Neuro-Insight shows that ads around 30 seconds long have the greatest impact, with shorter ads having no lasting impact and longer clips reducing emotional responses. Pritchard explains that consumers’ emotional responses are better triggered by the speed and excitement generated by shorter, 30-second ads.
She added that the way music is used is also important. Pritchard explains: “It was possible to put music at the end of an ad without much thought. She says music works best when its sentiment is tied to the ad’s own story – with lyrics that reflect the action taking place, for example.
Research also shows that ad endings are important for lasting impact. Pritchard recommends brands close TV commercials with at least three seconds of branding on screen. This, she says, gives consumers a sense of ending and, especially if tied to a sense of end in the ad’s own story, can help preserve a memory of the brand.
Humans are over purpose
Meanwhile, the most effective ways to foster creativity in teams and the barriers to this – were also discussed. Laurence Green, an independent creative consultant who will join the IPA as the new director of effectiveness in July, presented the white paper’s findings on how to best harness creativity in advertisement. Green spoke with 34 representatives from the advertising sector, including agencies and clients, and found some common themes.
One hindering factor is the impact of industry awards, which he claims has resulted in marketers prioritizing brand intent over impact on sales. For example, he cites 32 Cannes Lions winners last year – of which 28 have a core purpose.
“It’s not binary,” Green explained. “But intent-based work tends to win out over perfectly good campaigns that deliver results.” One CMO told researchers that industry awards are now “more numerous than ever.”
Hybrid work models are also seen as potential barriers to creativity. One company’s CEO told researchers: “I feel like we’ve lost our excitement and luck – that’s the last 2%.”
Green said teams need to be mindful of the challenges of working remotely. “Often the great work we see comes from really powerful, high-trust conversations – they just get better done in the room,” he explains.