Sometimes when somethings out of place, it’s very easy to spot. A rogue smartphone in a film set in the 1600s, or a coffee cup in Game of Thrones.
But in other instances, spotting the mistake becomes more challenging.
For multi-national brands producing millions of pieces of content every year across multiple channels, ensuring that all of their creatives adhere to platform-validated best practices is becoming increasingly challenging.
CreativeX analysis of almost 900,000 ads from 2020-2021 found that 55% of media spend was deployed on sub-optimal creatives. Meaning these ads did not adhere to key creative best practices and were therefore not fit-for-platform.
In the ad world, ultimately it’s audiences that determine what qualifies as high quality content. But getting your content in front of an audience in 2023 means first getting it past platform algorithms. The installment of these new gatekeepers for fame has made the imperative to create fit-for-platform creative stronger than ever. The fundamental goal of creating “fit for audience” content can’t be achieved without building fit-for-platform content first.
What is “fit” for each platform is determined by the way people engage with content on each platform. Platforms are constantly evolving to reflect changes in consumer behavior and business needs. Social media feeds have become increasingly ‘shoppable’, with ads now appearing in Instagram stories, on TikTok FYPs and Snapchat lenses.
These innovations are rooted in algorithms that aim to ensure what people see is determined by what they like. Platforms have codified this user behavior through years of research into how people engage with content and ads on each platform.
Creative quality, or media suitability, means optimizing creative executions for their media placement so each execution is more likely to be watched, remembered, and recalled by consumers. It’s not sufficient for a great ad, but it’s required for avoiding poor ads.
For example, on Facebook, ads are automatically played without sound. Meaning that if advertisers haven’t added subtitles to their creative, key messages and CTAs are effectively rendered useless. Or if an ad destined for TV ends up being played on an Instagram story, with wasted space because of an incorrect aspect ratio. Creative built natively for each channel can be 2.2x-3.6x more effective than TV creative that’s repurposed for digital channels.
Creative quality isn’t about restricting creativity. It’s about identifying the operational boundaries – within each media placement – for creativity to excel.
Working to optimize and stabilize the creative quality of ads is critical for delivering ROI in the challenging year ahead, particularly as technological advances in generative AI unlock greater capabilities in content production for brands.
Applying these creative basics will help brands launch content that is ‘fit-for-purpose’, and prevent wasted media spend on content that fails to capitalize on the impact high-quality creative provides.
As brands increasingly automate parts of the marketing mix, they increase the risk of automating wasted media spend. Without the required checks in place, brands risk scaling and compounding inefficiencies with each new piece of content they produce and media channel they add to their media mix.
CreativeX’s tool is employed by over half of the world’s largest advertisers to ensure that content being launched is a consistently high creative quality. CreativeX determines the Creative Quality Score (CQS) of each asset - tracking adherence to statistically validated creative best practices.
Working with CreativeX, Bayer increased its CQS 22 ppt, ensuring that their media budget was only going behind fit-for-platform creatives. This increase in creative quality not only helped to boost the efficiency of Bayer’s media spend, it was also tied to higher levels of creative effectiveness. For every 10 ppt increase in CQS, Bayer saw a 1.7% reduction in CPM, and enjoyed a 107% increase in brand uplift on YouTube.
Interested to learn more about fit-for-platform creative? Read our full report on the Billion Dollar Opportunity Cost of Low Quality Creative.