Bayer is a world leading consumer healthcare provider on a mission to unleash creative excellence and modernize consumer health. Realizing this goal means being able to communicate their brands’ value clearly and effectively through consistently high quality creative.
Under the steer of Chief Marketing, Digital and Information Officer, Patricia Corsi, Bayer’s core focus has been to drive towards creative excellence, which Corsi defines as:
“A very clear path to best serve the consumers and customers…[it’s] holding ourselves to the highest standards on how we communicate our brands and what they can do to improve people's lives.”
Corsi has committed to creating ads that serve to educate consumers and break down barriers of access to healthcare, including established stigmas and taboos. Speaking at Cannes Lions, she discussed how Bayer’s approach to female sexual health in particular has helped to open up a dialogue and encourage people to seek treatment when they need it.
In order to achieve creative excellence, brands must be able to understand, measure, and improve their creative quality. With over 170 brands and operations in 83 countries, Bayer was looking for a global and scalable solution to maximize the impact of its spend on digital channels.
The creative is responsible for 49% of sales lift, higher than reach, targeting, brands or recency combined, but it is an often overlooked component of the marketing mix. Unlocking this 49% means being able to move away from creative decisions based on opinions to actions supported by objective data.
CreativeX analysis of almost 900,000 ads found that over 50% of ads failed to meet platform best practices, which are statistically tied to improved performance. For the pharmaceutical sector specifically, this low creative quality translates to $12.3 billion in wasted media spend on ads not set up for success. Looking to enhance its digital media efficiency and effectiveness, Bayer wanted to shift digital media investment towards ads that adhered to creative fundamentals.
“It's really important to keep the foundations properly done. Marketing is becoming more and more complex, and it's easy to forget about doing the foundations well.”
Before 2021, Bayer, like most brands, didn't have a consistent approach, definition, or KPI to measure their creative quality. Their challenge was to raise the bar of creative quality, ensure that their digital spend was driving maximum impact, and be at the forefront of data-driven marketing.
Using Creativex technology, Bayer was able to leverage previously untapped creative data sitting behind its global ads. This creative data was used to track at scale and in real time Bayer’s ad’s suitability for different media platforms with the Creative Quality Score (CQS).
→ Watch Patricia Corsi share How Bayer Drove Effectiveness through the Creative Quality Score
The Creative Quality Score is a global metric that tracks adherence to statistically-validated creative best practices across different digital platforms.
Since adopting the technology, Bayer’s creative teams have been able to analyze 22,000 pre-flight and 100,000 in-flight assets to determine their CQS, ensuring that only assets with a high creative quality are launched.
“We have more than 50 countries, and for a business that is over 6 billion, it's something that is really important that we have this ability first to have KPIs that are measurable equally and consistently across our geographies. But the other part is the one that really can cope with the amount and volume of assets that we are putting out there.”
Building on this, Bayer was able to develop a data-backed understanding of the key creative elements that consistently drove better ad performance and reach, and to educate and serve customers.
“This is the journey we've been on to not just have an ambition on how to drive creative excellence, but how do we start measuring up and showing that this really works? That is not just about optimization, optimization of and return on investment alone. More than half of the impact of anything that we put out with our brands is the creativity inside the content. So these are the things that really excite me about this journey.”
The Creative Quality Score has enabled Bayer’s teams around the world to work towards one common goal, facilitating a consistent conversation around what creative excellence looks like. Since the start of their partnership with CreativeX, Bayer has surpassed the industry’s benchmark for CQS by 22 percentage points.
Bayer’s teams have been empowered to make data-informed creative decisions, ensuring that digital ads are set up for success. Adhering to platform best practices has driven improvements in ad performance. Across both Google and Meta, Bayer has seen almost 2% cheaper CPM and CPC, and on YouTube Bayer saw a 107% increase in brand lift.
Ultimately, the Creative Quality Score gives Bayer’s teams the fundamentals to build their creative work on, helping to maximize the impact of all media spend.
So what’s next for Bayer? Corsi herself believes that the project towards creative excellence needs to go beyond the company’s ambitions, and touch the entire industry:
“At Bayer, for us, creative excellence means really an ambitious goal to transform not just how our brands connect with the consumers, we want to influence and inspire the whole industry. And it's one area that we feel extremely excited to drive this change.”
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