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08 July 2019 : Pica #056

Efficiency has killed creative effectiveness.

Short-termism is killing advertising efficacy.

‘The Crisis in Creative Effectiveness’, a new report from IPA, is required reading for anyone who has brand responsibilities.

If you haven’t already seen the latest report from Peter Field do yourself a favour and follow this link. >>>
Field has called it, “the report I hoped I’d never have to write”.
I understand his sentiment but I’m very glad this report exists because today, Field is like the child who shouted, “But he isn't wearing anything at all!” in Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’. Field reminds us that creative efficacy lies in brand building, not sales activation. On page 36 of the report you can find these wise words, “The true value in creativity lies in its ability to create widely shared, popular perceptions of brands.”

The timeframe for the effectiveness apocalypse, as clearly illustrated in the report, shows the year 2008 as the inflexion point. It’s no coincidence that the timeframe is the same as the rise of programmatic advertising and an efficiency orientated mindset driven by the businesses that sell sales activation advertising. I’m a fan of efficiency but I despise false economy and short-term, activation-focused creativity is both the killer of advertising effectiveness and the new model championed by modern media offerings.

Sales and marketing are not interchangeable terms. Marketing is about shaping the market to create the most favourable conditions prior to a sale. Brand building is a fundamental part of marketing that requires time and continuity to be effective, which is why advertising must be understood to be an investment that provides returns over time and campaign measurement must reflect and respect that. Great advertising only dies when the last person who remembers it stops breathing.

As I wrote that last sentence I spontaneously thought of an example of great advertising. While I realise this a personal opinion the fact that I vividly remember, 25 years later, both the ad and the brand (which I continue to buy) is a testament to the lasting impact of a brand-building gem.

Next > "Malignant mediocrity."
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