Business leaders must see Cannes case for creativity
bach’s death in the early 1980s when academia and an emerging cohort of marketing scientists started taking an interest in advertising and the impact that it had on brands, the bottom line and, ultimately, the success or otherwise of companies.
As Bernbach contended at the time, the vast majority of advertising does go unnoticed simply because it lacks the creativity to make it stand out, resonate with consumers and, ultimately, be effective. And ineffective advertising is akin to throwing money into a fathomless black hole.
At Cannes, and other international awards programmes like the D&AD awards and the One Show, the cream of the world’s advertising and marketing strategies usually rises to the top. And thanks to the marketing scientists and academics, we now know that these advertising campaigns tend to deliver a meaningful return on investment and ultimately commercial success for the companies behind them.
Unfortunately, the link between creativity and commercial success has too often been overlooked by companies and for lots of reasons. Some of it has to do with marketing’s apparent inability (though not in all cases) to make the case for creativity in the boardroom. Some of the blame also lies with advertising agencies’ inability to deliver truly creative campaigns for their clients. And some of it has to do with creeping short-termism and the need for a quick-fix solution or an immediate desire to placate shareholders. You can add to this list fear, indifference and even stupidity.
Short-termism was one of the obstacles that was identified in Marketing Multiplied, the award-winning publication that was published by the Association of Advertisers in Ireland (AAI) and Core Media earlier this year.
“Short-term marketing is on the rise and it is damaging the profitability of marketing. This shift has been caused by recession-driven urgency, in businesses, to build immediate sales and a belief among senior management that this will be achieved through short-term tactics (rather than long-term brand-building strategies),” it noted.
“However, long-term campaigns (those that are evaluated over periods of longer than six months) are around three times more efficient than short-term campaigns,” according to the authors who also went on to highlight the importance of creativity in all of this.
But this is a message we have heard time and time again. And while it is a very important one, the case for creativity might have more of a chance of success if it was the CEOS and CFOS who were dispatched to Cannes rather than the CMOS. Because as we also know, more creative businesses are also more successful businesses.