min read

The Rising Need For Creative Quality

Why some ads perform better than others

Michael Murray

Assistant Marketing Manager

Creative advertising is effective advertising. It’s more likely to stand out and be noticed, be remembered and recalled, generate fame and conversation, and make advertising more persuasive (James Hurman). Creative is the largest contributor to sales uplift at 47% (Nielsen) and the most important lever in ad profitability (Data2Decisions). And yet, it remains the least understood part of the marketing mix.

As marketers use more and different types of creative assets to meet their goals across different channels, so too does the need to understand why those creatives are driving impact. Since the advent of social platforms, media KPIs (like click-through rate), have been used to measure creative impact online.

These metrics, however, don’t always correlate with business impact. Deconstructing creative with effectiveness in mind (as measured by sales, profit, brand lift, market share, etc.) requires looking at the creative elements that help make ads work.

Raising the standards of Creative Quality

A great creative idea is fundamental for achieving creative effectiveness. The way that idea is executed, or, its basic creative quality is essential for ensuring it lands.

Raising the standards of creative quality is a huge opportunity for brands and their CMOs. Our review of millions of ads from the world’s leading advertisers showed just 20% of their creatives met their own standards of quality.

We combed through hundreds of studies by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Snap to isolate five near-universal creative best practices repeatedly proven to drive brand lift and ROI. Collectively, these platforms have analyzed billions of creatives and produced countless studies to help advertisers grow their businesses online. These five creative best practices are shown to deliver 30% higher unaided brand recall, 28% longer view time, and a 24% increase in positive interest.

Five best practices to increase ROI:

  1. Capture attention fast
  2. Keep it snappy
  3. Showcase people and products
  4. Amp up your audio game
  5. Create for mobile

Maintaining creative quality across the growing number of different platforms remains a challenge. The creative principles in these studies can contradict one another as people consume content differently depending on the channel: sound-off for Facebook, sound-on for YouTube.

As brands invest more heavily into digital channels (digital ad spend now makes up nearly 60% of total ad spend), ensuring creatives are optimized for the way people prefer to watch videos and look at images is critical not just for efficient media spend, but ad effectiveness too (create for mobile can double ad effectiveness, according to Ekimetrics).

This is a huge opportunity for CMOs. Last year, digital consumption increased more than 30%, as COVID-19 led to new and lasting consumer habits (Warc).

Increasing creative quality is an effective way to capitalize on these new consumer habits because these five creative best practices are rooted in the very ways that people use each platform. In short, they’re fundamental for ensuring creative ideas land. Closing the gap between the quantity of creatives and the quality of creative execution on these channels could help brands see some of their biggest gains in ROI.

Recognizing there are now countless options for creating and distributing creative content, some CMOs have already taken a number of steps to achieve creative quality. They’ve created new creative excellence departments and job roles, partnered with technology partners, and implemented new creative KPIs better suited to explaining the business impact of their creative. These CMOs are well placed to capitalize on the power of creative.

Otherwise, for CMOs to realize these opportunities, they first need to gain visibility into the quality of all of their creatives and the media spend they invest to promote them. Then they can begin to enforce the accountability needed to maintain and elevate their standards of creative excellence.

Learn more about the best practices proven to help your creatives deliver brand lift and ROI →