I am back on this blog after a gap set off by the arrival of Emma in our family, a calm baby entering this crazy world. Much has changed in our industries during the last weeks, yet the guiding principles are still in place. Is Creative the Medium or Medium is the Creative? I do not prefer one or the other, but I know the power of creativity is misunderstood in a world obsessed with measuring ROI.
Advertising is the number 1 driver of mental availability for your brand. We all agree that stopping media for a while leads to brand sales decline. We also know that investing in media has a quantifiable and measurable short-term impact, but also a long-term equity impact. Despite this knowledge, we too often give in to bottom-line pressures and agree to “cut.” Such a dangerous word. We do it and then cash in the saving, without even thinking about the long-term damage we create. Guess what: the two complementary roles of advertising are to drive short term sales and build distinctive memory structures that will stay with consumers for a long time. Is there a way to maximize both impacts? By focusing on creativity.
Media is the pipeline that guides our brands’ messages in their quest to reach consumers. Media is complex, but it sorts of works this way. On TV, by understanding watch behaviors and key moments when we sit back and indulge, on Digital, where data builds audiences based on the probabilities for a better response to our message, on Billboards where location, traffic, or time of day guides the asset planning decisions. In a complex world, simplistically speaking, media guides the message. But what if the message is not working? What is the difference between a bad digital ad and a good one? While delivered to the same target audience with a high propensity to buy, we see big shifts in response. That is why you need to focus on better creativity. Once you are clear which media plan you will activate, raise the bar, make a better ad. And when you measure success, do not just look at ROI, go into detail, look at the effectiveness. Imagine how good your ROI would look like when the creative would be 2x more effective at the same cost.
And please, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM3J9jDoaTA before briefing another campaign that looks exactly like the one consumers have seen before.