A Spotlight on Effective Creative

A recap of ‘The Art of Effective Digital Advertising’ submitted by IAB Canada contributor: Polina Moliboga-Fuchs

This afternoon’s focus was on a creative unit. How to place it, where to place it and how to measure its effectiveness. IAB Canada’s Western Council gathered for an hour and half worth of discussions around the creative’s current state and what might the future hold in the post-cookie reality.

The event started with Anas Uddin, Creative Director from Native Touch taking the group through the current state of creative advertising and the reality that when marketers think of campaigning, most begin with strategy and medium while leaving the messaging behind that campaign to the very end of its planning. For a campaign to be successful and effective, the message that is being conveyed to the audience should be the star and addressed at the beginning of the campaign’s plan. He then shared key highlights from The Creative Effectiveness Ladder by Cannes Lions and how each element relates to successful creative effectiveness. Campaigns that outperform others are those with clearly demonstrated ‘Creative Commitment’ – this study uncovered direct correlation between commitment and effectiveness.

When pushing consumers towards multiple CTA’s, or when merely trying to achieve multiple KPI’s with a single ad creative unit, the effectiveness of that creative (or the campaign overall) is not as esteemed versus a “simple” creative with one specific objective and one clear CTA.

The keynote was followed by an interesting panel discussion about ‘The Future of Creative in a Data Minded Ecosystem’. Participants included Lorena Ledezma, Head of Production – Candy BannersTyler Power, VP, Performance Marketing, Arcane, and Michael Brown, CEO, Adacado. The conversation was moderated by Lynda Gray, Manager, Client Insights, Local Tempo BC, Corus Entertainment

Here are some highlights from their lively discussion:

  • When looking at a balance between art and science, it is important to pay close attention to data and reports to improve performance. Here, ‘balance’ is the key word between art and science. When it comes to creative it is important to incorporate both iteration and testing into the process; implement the idea of ‘test, learn, optimize’.
  • Avoid the temptation to overwhelm the creative to hit multiple KPI’s rather focus on how to tell a story and use animation boost and to do that (keeping it to 15 seconds). 
  • Ethnic diversity within the creative must be approached with sensitivity. It is not just about the language, slang, and translation, but also about tone, colors, and background, all of which should be relative to other ethnicities and audiences. 
  • Advertisers seem to put more emphasis on clicks, conversions, and sign ups instead of outlining a clear strategy of the campaign; define the audience and make sure the media (creative and medium) have the same attributes and demographics. If those are not aligned, the campaign fails.
  • Successful creative is about making a connection with the audience based on empathy and lifestyle. Connecting with audiences on a level that is most important to them is fundamental in resonating with them on an emotional and nostalgic level – it must be bigger than just clicking on the ad.
  • While giants like Amazon and Spotify have already set the bar for personalization, it is crucial for us to understand our audiences from usage and habits standpoint to achieve a similarly personalized experience. This can be a challenge from privacy stand – we must be ethical with private and sensitive information while serving users with ads that are within that parameter.

The panel finished off pondering about how the retirement of the cookie may impact personalized advertising and user experience. It certainly forces us to look at a different mix of mediums of our plans that should be inclusive of all channels – CTV, digital OOT, audio, etc. It is Important to remember that marketing and advertising is not just digital. In the post-cookie reality, we are sure to turn back the clock to double down on contextual placements.

By the end of the event, it was clear that creative is the star. Consumers are interested in stories that resonate with them – particularly from an emotional standpoint. Marketers will always have to maintain an element of control – consistency and messaging across all channels is key to a strong campaign. 

If you’re interested in participating in discussions like these, reach out to committees@iabcanada.com