Don't be afraid of creativity
Creativity is an emotional force the great marketers have always known how to use. This month’s Cannes Advertising Festival is a showcase of that. But it’s a subjective area, not understood by many senior leaders and board members, who want more science and more certainty.
Yet every day, those same senior leaders and board members, as consumers, react emotionally to the creativity they see. Creative work, as a means of marketing, persuades them to buy one product or service over another. And that’s because 95 per cent of purchasing decisions are made not rationally but from our unconscious minds and our intuition. Daniel Kahneman, the psychologist who won a Nobel Prize for his work in behavioural economics, says that your intuitive system “is more influential than your experience tells you, and is the secret author of many of the choices and judgments you make”.
The upcoming annual Advertising Effectiveness Awards, known as the “Effies”, are the other awards most coveted by marketers, the ultimate proof that a campaign has worked. The list of Australian winners has you nodding knowingly: the NAB “Break Up” campaign, Tourism Victoria’s long-running “You’ll love every piece of Victoria”, “Share a Coke”, AAMI’s “Rhonda and Ketut”, the Australia Day lamb campaigns with Sam Kekovich, Tourism Queensland’s “Best Job in the World”, and Bond’s “Boobs”.
These famous Australian creative campaigns worked, delivering big sales and ROIs. In a study by the UK advertising industry body the IPA, fame campaigns and emotional campaigns were the two types that drove the most effective results. Some 72 per cent of campaigns deemed famous and 68 per cent of emotional campaigns were effective, against 59 per cent of rational campaigns.
Yet for the past decade, the short-term outlook of many senior leaders, has led to rational and conservative strategies that have resulted in incremental ROI at best, and not the long-term, sizeable growth that can be gained from famous and emotional campaigns. There is certainly an appetite in many companies to tap into the power of creativity to drive growth. The evidence of those who have already done so is there to see. For the others, the quicker they overcome their fears about creativity and their mindset of short-term incrementalism, the quicker they will unlock the rewards of creativity in their business.