Selling Creativity Short: Creativity and effectiveness under threat

According to our sister organisation, the IPA in the UK, the dual impacts of short-termism in marketing and lower investment behind creativity have halved the success of creativity over a period of four years.

Peter Field's latest investigation (July 2016) into the IPA's databank of Effectiveness Award case studies and The Gunn Report creative awards dataset, reveals five key trends. These refer to UK advertising campaigns. IAPI will be updating our research, A Line in the Sand, following ADFX Awards 2016 and we will share the Irish data with agencies.

1. Budget investment behind creativity has fallen sharply.

The average real campaign budget has fallen, with creatively-awarded campaigns hardest hit, to the point where they are below market share maintenance levels.

2. Short-termism is undermining effectiveness.

There has been a dramatic increase in the evaluation of campaigns over six months or less - up by four times over a decade ago. This is bad for effectiveness and bad for brands. Creatively awarded campaigns are even more strongly affected: almost half of them are now short-term campaigns.

3. Cross-channel, digital creativity is not an answer to short-termism.

Creative campaigns designed to work across the analogue/digital divide improve short-term results, but need more time to achieve their full potential and do not offset reduced budgets. Greater effectiveness comes from being put to work over the longer term.

4. The achievement of fame is in decline.

Record low budgets and the shift to the short term have impacted the buzz around brands, meaning fame effects of creatively awarded campaigns have fallen for the first time in 20 years.

5. TV is still the primary driver of creative success.

An idea that can work creatively on TV is shown to be at the heart of the most effective campaigns.

Selling Creativity Short: Creativity and effectiveness under threat