Creative effectiveness

Dominic Twose and Polly Wyn Jones
Millward Brown

A study of IPA Effectiveness, Effie and Cannes Lions Awards winners reveals that ads don't need to persuade to be effective but they do usually engage emotionally.

A recent report concluded that there is a very strong link between creativity and effectiveness: 'The Link Between Creativity and Effectiveness' (IPA, 2011, Peter Field). Field's analysis sheds an interesting light on an old debate about creativity and sales effectiveness. We've long felt there was a connection: when we look at the best ads we have ever tested, it is clear they all have the power to involve and be enjoyed, and it is clear even subjectively that they all harness creativity, albeit in different ways, to great effect.

To explore this issue further, we've recently conducted our own analysis. We undertook a painstaking trawl through the winners of IPA Effectiveness Awards from 1996 to 2010, Effies from 2007 to 2010, and Cannes Lions from 2002 to 2011 to identify campaigns for which we had conducted Link, our global pretest. The IPA and Effie awards are given for effectiveness, while Cannes Lions are given for creativity.