Creativity and effectiveness must go hand-in-hand in order for marketers to see the best results from campaigns. That’s where the new white paper, "Cracking the Effectiveness Code," from Cannes Lions and WARC comes into play.
In 2019, marketing effectiveness experts James Hurman and Peter Field kicked off a global study aimed at highlighting short-termism in marketing and a misunderstanding of how brands grow as the key factors in the crisis.
"Creative effectiveness is in crisis," said Field in his 2019 Crisis in Creative Effectiveness report for the IPA. "We have killed the power of creativity – once the most valuable weapon in the effectiveness arsenal."
This led Cannes Lions and WARC, the global authority on marketing effectiveness, to team up with Hurman and Field to dig deeper.
By examining and comparing 5,000 effectiveness award entrants and winners from 2011 through 2019, sourced from the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions database (1,031 cases), WARC’s database (3,616) and the IPA databank (216), a new principle of effectiveness has been discovered. The research found that marketing effectiveness is heavily influenced by a campaign’s "creative commitment," which consists of its media budget, duration and media channel distribution plan.
In addition to the white paper findings, Hurman, Field, Cannes Lions and WARC have developed The Creative Effectiveness Ladder, a universal framework to evaluate the progress of effective marketing and enable consistent effective creative campaigns.
Hurman said that while the industry prizes effectiveness, it didn’t have "what could be called a ‘universal definition’ of what effectiveness actually is."
"On behalf of Cannes Lions and WARC we are urging clients and agencies to work to increase the creative commitment of their campaigns, to ensure they’re maximizing the results they’re generating for their brands," he added.
The Creative Effectiveness Ladder "is a huge step forward for the industry," said David Tiltman, VP of content at WARC.
Cannes Lions managing director Simon Cook said: "Cannes Lions is committed to addressing the global community’s challenges with short-termism and proving the value of creative marketing.
He added: "The Creative Effectiveness Ladder is a tool for change and the start of the mission. We’re currently working with the industry to identify how the Ladder can be used as a tool to judge the Creative Effectiveness Lion so that the global benchmark in creative and effective work is underpinned by this step forward in effectiveness."