Busi­ness lead­ers must see Cannes case for cre­ativ­ity

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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