Is there a key to creativity?

You’re woke, you’re unabashed, you’re vocal, and of course, you’re innovative. But is that enough to carry out a successful campaign?

With years of conditioning, the ad industry has proven that advertising impacts sales, and for that, creativity alone isn’t enough.

While in the older years creativity was enough to get the validation that a campaign needed, Gen Z is extremely sensitive and offended at almost anything, and so it is imperative that creativity be integrated with strategy- the right strategy. 

To put it out there boldly- creativity alone does not guarantee marketplace success.

So how does one discover and take the right approach to ensure that creativity is effective and market failure proof? Here’s how-

Ensure a tight link to your brand

While one can’t stress enough the importance of the right strategy for any brand to advertise, there are many factors that monumentally influence the success of the brand. One of these important factors is the link to your brand. It is when strategy and relevance sit in a boat and row- that success is imminent. The goal should always be to make the brand the center of, and the reason for the creative idea. 

Work with, not against the brain

Neuroscience has taught us that we should- Deploy system 1 thinking, I.e. Domesticating the brand Into people’s mental repertoire. This is done by using familiar distinctive assets (logos, colors, jingles)

Investing in consistent brand assets-

As old as the saying is, ‘consistency is key’ It’s pretty much the solution to all advertising related problems, consistency is what leads to long-term success

Use Emotion

The understatement here would be that our audiences appreciate emotion. Young advertisers today are so busy trying to sit in the trend boat and row that they take the foundations for granted. 

According to an analysis conducted by P&G, work healing and emotional responses are nine times more likely to be successful than work eliciting indifference. 

Surprisingly, even the messaging that receives a negative response enjoy twice as more the impact as compare to messaging with indifference- and hence it should be avoided at all costs. But what do we mean when we say positive emotion? It does not only refer to making people laugh or smile but something that is impactful and real. 

Appeal to the right side of the brain

Studies have found that the ‘right brain’ creative elements are proven to elicit an emotional response and drive long-term effectiveness but are used less today in advertising as compared to the past.

In fact, characteristics of the right brain, based on empathy, relationships, and human connection, that include dialogue, implicit glances, scenes unfolding, accents, and a clear sense of time and place, have largely disappeared over the last 15 years.

These are replaced by ‘left brain’ features that are literal, factual, explicit, and more importantly- less effective.

Think about context, not just content-

While creativity might be subjective, there are certain factors that without a doubt contribute to how effective creativity is- the timing, programming, venue, screen, partner, the brand  and the news- these either make or break the effectiveness of creativity. If considered judiciously and played at their strengths, these factors can massively drive engagement and attention.

Invest behind it, and stick with it

Creativity gives multifold returns on one’s investment, but for that to happen, one needs to ensure there is an investment in the first place. Lower budgets can suffocate the impact of creative campaigns.

Peter Field has shown how the advantage of efficiency that creative advertising has been enjoying has declined significantly in the last decade, courtesy of the shift from long-term brand building to short-term activation focused on ‘disposable creativity’.

Despite this, investing in long-term brand-building campaigns has still been proven to work.  High-performing creatively awarded campaigns are eight times more effective than the low-performing ones, in terms of the number of business effects they generate, and almost sixteen times more likely to bring major profitability growth.

 

To conclude, the relationship between creativity and effectiveness has taken its own sweet time to prove to us that this collusion is pretty much the formula to a successful creative output. While the new trends are certainly a driving force, millennial advertisers need to remind themselves of the importance and power held by the evergreen, fact-backed strategies to produce a successful campaign in the end.

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