Ad Creative’s Top Challenge? Better Understanding Consumers

August 25, 2015

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Agency Business | Creative & Formats | Staffing

CRNInternational-Biggest-Obstacle-Quality-Ad-Creative-Aug2015Most brand managers and ad agency personnel believe that the quality of creative work in today’s advertising is generally good, finds CRN International in a recent survey [pdf] of 124 respondents working in corporate/brand marketing (54% share) and agency/marketing services (46%). Yet respondents were less likely to rate the quality of the creative at their own brand as being good or excellent.

Some 63% of respondents rated the quality of their brands’ work as being excellent or good, behind the 76% who had such an assessment of creative in the industry at-large.

Interestingly, when asked the biggest challenge to developing quality creative, the largest share of respondents pointed to properly understanding what resonates with consumers (37%). This ranked ahead of corporate culture (31%) among respondents overall, although corporate culture stands as the top obstacle among the brand managers surveyed.

While respondents may have trouble understanding what resonates with consumers, there seems to be a solid consensus on the type of creative that is most effective in matching marketing objectives. Tasked with choosing between 4 types of creative – humorous, touching, informative or other – almost two-thirds cited informative ads as being the most effective, compared to just 10% citing humorous ads. (In fact, only 5% of brand managers felt that humorous ads are the most effective.)

That perception is backed by a 2012 Ace Metrix study of TV advertising. That research determined that humor and purchase intent were unrelated, and that funny ads work best when they enhance their informative side. Still, consumers themselves aren’t so sure: funny ads have been said by consumers to spur online video ad viewing behavior and improved product recall.

Notably, creatives are in demand, according to a report released in June by The Creative Group. In that survey of more than 400 marketing and advertising executives, 27% said they expected to hire in creative/art direction in the second half of this year, making this the joint leading area in terms of planned hiring. Still, 42% reported it challenging to find skilled creative professionals today, with this figure highest among large advertising agencies and large marketing departments.

About the Data: The CRN International survey was conducted in June 2015 among 124 respondents, 56% of whom are female.

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