In advertising, we have always known anecdotally that strong creativity leads to success, but there was little proof of the relationship until 2010, when the IPA, in association with Thinkbox, published 'The link between creativity & effectiveness' (updated in 2011).
This was an analysis by the distinguished marketing consultant Peter Field of 435 campaigns over a sixteen year period (1994–2010). It fused the Gunn Report database of creatively-awarded ad campaigns with the IPA Effectiveness Databank, home to campaigns which have proven their effectiveness, to examine any link between the two. It discovered that:
- Creative campaigns increase market share. 'Creative' campaigns (i.e. ones which appeared in the Gunn report database) are 12 times more efficient at increasing a brand's market share.
- TV is at the heart of creative effectiveness - the vast majority of Gunn Report Creative Award scores (77%) are for TV commercials.
- The more creatively awarded a campaign, the more efficient it becomes. Campaigns picking up five or more major creative awards were around three times as efficient as campaigns picking up one to four.
- If you have cracking creative, invest as much as you can in supporting it. In ‘Advertising Effectiveness: the long and short of it’, Binet and Field found that highly creative advertising is the most effective (although, crucially, even the best creative work will fail if it does not have sufficient scale and is not evaluated over the longer term).