Determining The Value of Creative Ideation and Execution

I am not a wine guy.  I like it, I will rarely turn down a glass after 5 pm, but still, it’s not my thing; I don’t have nearly a sensitive enough palate to tell the difference between ‘oaky’ and ‘buttery.’

So I’m hard-pressed to blame clients for not recognizing a good ad from a bad one.  Or more commonly, a good ad from a slightly better one.Dennis Ryan, Element 79, Chicago Advertising

The difference comes down to taste and an appreciation for craft and aesthetics, neither of which is measurable.  And so creatives inevitably grumble about things like clients picking the wrong board or insisting on the lame cast or ruining the spot in edit.

But those who insist on using measurability as their guide may suddenly find themselves in an uncomfortable position.  According to an extensively-researched study released Monday from comScore ARS, “sound strategy and strong creative elements” have a measurable impact on ad effectiveness for TV and digital.  In fact, they conclude that “…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.

In other words, the power of the idea makes the biggest impact on advertising efficacy.

I’ve long believed bigger clients should hire a Chief Creative Officer in addition to a Chief Marketing Officer to both improve the quality of the work and drive better cross-discipline integration.  CMO’s have business backgrounds–they aren’t trained to discern the subtle creative differences that separate good from great ideas.  The work at our client ConAgra has noticeably improved over the few short years since they instituted a Center of Excellence and hired agency creatives to shepherd the creative development process.

And yet the challenge for selling great work remains, and probably always will; in the planning stage, an idea’s greatness lies in the eye of the beholder that will be paying for it.  And just as you’ll never meet a single person who doesn’t think they have a sense of humor no matter how painfully dry they might be, you won’t meet anyone who doesn’t have a personal opinion regarding advertising, no matter how unsophisticated that might be.

Another reason you should never be bored in this job…


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79


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