Creativity Crucial to Ad Success

October 6, 2010

Creative quality drives more than half of the sales changes for TV and digital advertising campaigns, four times higher than the impact of the specific media plan involved, according to new comScore ARS data.

Creative Quality Single Biggest Factor
Looking at how much of a positive change in a brand’s sales stemming from a TV or digital advertising campaign results from different factors, comScore analysis indicates 52% of the change results from creative quality.


Other factors, such as price, promotion and distribution, combine to contribute another 35% of total positive sales change. The specific media plan only contributes the remaining 13%, meaning creative quality is four times more important than the characteristics of the media plan in generating sales.

Creative Quality Crucial to Above-average Performance
comScore research into the impact creative quality has on advertising campaign effectiveness also suggests it is a crucial component of campaigns that produce above-average performance.


Using proprietary data and research methodology, comScore ranked a variety of advertising campaigns in terms of the value they produced and quality of their creative content. Results indicate that 70% of advertising campaigns which had above-average creative quality produced above-average value, with 30% having average creative quality and none having below-average creative quality.

In contrast, 65% of advertising campaigns which had below-average value had below-average creative quality, with 35% having average creative quality and none having above-average creative quality. Sixty-seven percent of advertising campaigns which produced average value had average creative quality, 20% had below-average creative quality and only 13% had creative quality measured as above average.

“Getting the creative right is absolutely essential, and yet its importance so often gets minimized in the process of developing an ad campaign,” said Jeff Cox, EVP of comScore ARS. “Though often overlooked, getting the creative strategy right from the start is essential if an advertiser wants its creative execution to actually perform. Doing so will improve the likelihood of achieving a successful campaign that will generate increased sales. A sub-par upfront strategy is a virtual guarantee that the execution is destined for failure.”

Commercials Confuse Many Americans
In one sign of advertisers not paying enough attention to creative quality, many Americans at least occasionally get confused by TV commercials, according to recent data from Harris Interactive.

Harris data indicates 89% of Americans overall watch TV commercials, and 75% have found a TV commercial confusing at some point. In addition to 75% of Americans having ever found a TV commercial confusing, 21% often do so. However, while just 14% say they never find commercials on television confusing, 55% say they do not find commercials confusing very often, and 11% do not watch commercials on TV.

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