At Mars, we aim for excellence in all of our brand communications. Thus, we’re taking creative excellence very seriously, and have been measuring our ads’ sales impact since more than a decade. Since then, we’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge on ‘the why’ of ad performance, further highlighting the importance of creative excellence. Overall, we see that especially our top quartile performing ads drive significantly more sales impact. Thus, by developing and airing great ads ad scale, we not only entertain and move consumers, but also achieve important return on advertising investments. It’s an exciting journey combining art and science, which we’ll continue to tackle together with our outstanding creative agencies and inspiring research partners.
No business in our day and age can succeed without backing up their case with data-driven arguments. Media guys have figured it out and always go in with a bunch of data to argue their case, and walk out with respectively fat business deals. Creatives instead push for reputation, which is very intangible and CFOs don’t understand that. Moreover, the negative resonance from bad or irrelevant creative can mean not just a waste of media budgets but real damage to brand equity. For us this means the old adage of “50% of my advertising is working - I just don’t know which half” can actually be be reframed as “50% of my advertising is making people hate me - I just don’t know which half”... The stakes of getting creative right are higher than ever and it is all the more important that we understand what works for audiences and what does not.
“Here is evidence about how our work builds much stronger relations with the brands we serve. The issue has been that creative folk have resisted the ‘old data’ of self-reported surveys. It’s been limiting, taking the oxygen out of the creative process. Now tech has evolved, and we have new methodologies that capture the actual human emotions of our target audiences. That is different. Emotions are data that speaks to creatives, and we’re excited to use that to do bold and successful work.”
“We’re experiencing a similar trend at Accenture. Ultimately, all any advertiser really cares about are business outcomes. The marketing industry needs some serious reorganisation to align itself to that. Creative always has and always will remain important within any communications. However, the use of data to drive more targeted messages is the future of the industry. Creativity is about looking at the world slightly differently; data is just another tool to help with that.”
“More money into creative may seem like an obvious answer to the problem, but where money directed is the key. I believe this money should be directed first and foremost to brilliant consumer understanding.
This is the “data” bit – though again, like all science, there is as much art and good judgement as there is analysis. This is the bedrock of good creative, and brilliant insight will inspire a string creative team to deliver work which is exciting and genuinely reflects your audience’s values. At this point, we rely on experience, judgement, and “gut feel”. Once you’re into final execution development again, data can help, with many of the newer neuroscience techniques putting numbers around “gut feel”.
“In my 20+ year experience working for big brands in consumer insights, emotion data seems to be the first one where the ad agency is not fighting back. It’s not that surprising, as surveys haven’t done justice to winning creative, and enabling powerful storytelling for brands. We’ve learned more about human decision-making, and we should rebalance our approach to data accordingly. We should think emotions first, and claimed data second: reverse to what it’s been so far.”
“Why is the marketing industry shooting itself in the foot? Last 50+ marketing conferences I’ve been at have only confused me further: people agree and share powerful stories about how Creative is the biggest driver of marketing performance, but then go and spend most of their time and money on something else. Why? It’s been well researched that 70% of campaign success is driven by Creative, 30% by Media plan. So why is an average brand then spending 90% of their budget on Media, and only 10% on the thing that matters the most?”
“The metrics we use today are too often the ones that are “available”, not the ones that actually matter for outcomes. We’re still working a lot with surveys, but these are really relics of the past, there are much more “real” datasets available now, and we should use those more”
“Traditional ad agencies are still not using enough numbers. This has enabled us at Wunderman to come in with our data heritage and win a lot of creative business. We’re now ramping that side up by buying up production studios, and this approach is working for everyone”
“We know that creative drives the most impact, and we intend to put that at the center of how we make marketing investments at eBay. Our vendor ecosystem has been very open to rethinking how they can all work together differently to the siloed approach that has so far been the case.”
There is a massive paradigm shift where data is working in the service of creative rather than as it's judge and jury. In this new golden age of what we call at Ipsos "Total Consumer Understanding" we can better protect creative that is operating on a nonconscious level and offer meaningful guidance on how to best optimize impact.
At MOFILM we believe in the power of the crowd - the more brains involved and the more diverse those brains are, the better the creative will be. We combine this philosophy with Realeyes technology to de-risk the creative process, allowing us to ensure we create the right content, for the right platform, to engage with the right audience.”
“The most important factor in whether communication is successful or not is the creative. It’s astonishing that so much analysis of media still goes on with little or no discussion around the creative itself.”
In marketing communications, creativity should be defined as something new and useful. If we are all about novelty only we will not deliver great marketing and if we are about utility only we will not breakthrough. So as we must do both, creativity is the ONLY way.
It was found that the media budget accounts for about 35% of the gap, but that it represents over 90% of the total advertising cost. Copy efficiency accounts for about 65% of the gap, and it typically accounts for less than 10% of total advertising cost.
Creative quality drives more than half of the sales changes for brands analyzed, four times higher than the impact of the specific media plan involved.
Emotions are central to advertising effectiveness. They influence our conscious decisions and drive our nonconscious decisions.
Highly creative ads have double the sales impact of those less creative, and advertising creative drives sales 5x as much as media spend.
In consumers’ purchasing choices, 95 percent of the decision-making process takes place below the conscious level.
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