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Lions jury seeks better metrics

News, 23 June 2016

CANNES: This year's Creative Effectiveness Lions entries show an impressive variety of creative and media approaches, but many of the case studies fell short on proving hard business results and relied instead on irrelevant metrics, according to the judging panel.

Announced yesterday, the Lions category, which recognises great creative work that has led to measurable results, awarded the 2016 Grand Prix to 'Monty's Christmas', a seasonal integrated campaign from adam&eveDDB for John Lewis, a UK retailer. Warc subscribers can read all of the Lions entries here.

"This is a global category, so you see things coming from everywhere," said Adrian Farina, SVP for marketing at VISA Latin America. "It's great – because it shows creativity and effectiveness comes from everywhere. You can achieve great results from very different approaches."

To award the Lions – 13 of which were awarded in the Creative Effectiveness category for 2016 – the judges focused particularly on the effectiveness metrics used by the campaign case study entries. And many agreed that there was room for improvement in this section: the winners tended to use complex econometric modelling, while many others relied instead on earned media results.

"Out of the 109 entries, I would say that about 80 of them were efficient – but not effective," said Anthony Wong, global effectiveness director at Ogilvy & Mather. "We are judging for creative effectiveness, not for creative efficiency! Instead, they shared media metrics about press coverage and engagement – which saves media costs, but does not change brand perception that leads to higher sales and profits."

Colleen Leddy, head of communications strategy at Droga5, added: "It was interesting to see that there are some cases that have econometric modelling and follow through on ROI. Some others are the exact opposite – they don't cite business results, it's just diagnostic results that aren't related to business goals, like 'we broke the internet!'"

Matt Gladstone, planning partner at Grey, was surprised by how little real digitally-led analysis of effects there was. "I thought we'd be seeing quite a lot of it by now, but we are not," he said.

Other members of the jury pointed to marketers' own responsibility for improving effectiveness measures, and the reporting of these measures.

Naomi Troni, global chief growth officer at MullenLowe said: "The excellent entries told a beautiful story, and backed it up with data and econometric modelling. We had conversations about whether it's only big brands that had that kind of data. But we agreed that companies do generally have these results and – with a bit of maths – you can work it out. And it's incumbent on us to do that, so that we can show the effects of the work we produce."

"I'm not sure that all of the industry understands what effectiveness is," added Martin Weigel, head of planning at Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam. He said that some good cases submitted had "shot themselves in the foot" by not making their case properly. "It's not the judge's job to join up the mathematical dots for them," he said.

Looking to the future, Farina suggested that, more generally, marketers are going to get more comfortable with using data. "This is a category in which you generally see data trying to explain results," he said.

"But what we saw is what I believe is going to be the future – data informing the creative. There were cases where that was evident, and I think we are going to see more and more of those."

Data sourced from Warc