Communication: Dawn of creation for Asia

Tim Broadbent
Ogilvy & Mather

Effectiveness is becoming more important in Asia – and creativity is the biggest driver of effectiveness. Tim Broadbent analyses the reasons for the current dearth of creativity in Asian communications and describes neurological findings that dispel many myths.

The US and EU economies have grown by 4% over the past five years, while India's economy grew by 40% and China's by 50%. A western company without an Asian strategy risks falling behind permanently.

So how can marketers help their companies exploit the Asian opportunity? A suggestion is to analyse their counterparts: what are Asian marketers less good at? This shows a gap in marketing communications.

The evidence for a creativity gap comes from the Gunn Report, which records the 2 5 most creatively awarded countries in the world. Seven Asian countries make the list: China, India, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. The average creative score for these countries is 40 points. However, the average western country on Gunn's list scores 110 points. In other words, an average western marketer wins more than twice as many creative awards as an average Asian marketer. Why is there such a huge discrepancy?