At a glance

Television advertising is relying on literal, goal-oriented creative rather than tapping the power of empathy, relationships and human connectivity.

Why it matters

While television advertising remains a vital part of the mix for many brands, there has been a clear move away from the creative elements that deliver sustainable growth. A focus on short-termism may be the main culprit for this situation.


  • Current TV ads strategies may need to be reconsidered, as many spots skew towards “left-brain” features that are consistent with short-term, "disposable" creative.
  • Marketers could benefit from incorporating more “right-brain” features – such as tangible characters, wordplay, questioning the world and humor – in TV spots, as these are associated with long-term growth.
  • Video ads are showing a similar worrying trend to their TV counterparts, meaning that brand custodians should also reassess their output on platforms such as YouTube.