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Creativity – the last unfair advantage

Christine Downton - Observatory International Christine Downton Managing Partner, London September 26, 2022

In ‘Clients and Creativity’ a report published by the WFA in partnership with The Observatory International and Contagious, nearly a third of brands felt their marketing communications creativity was ‘compelling and contagious’ (22%), or even ‘iconic and a cultural talking point’ (8%).  But at the other end of the scale a similar percentage viewed their marketing communications activity as only ‘practical and promotional’ (27%), or ‘wasteful and confused’ (1%).  Leaving around 40% in the middle.  Not an encouraging picture of how brands are using creativity to drive sustainable brand growth and competitive advantage.

The biggest factors identified in the survey as impacting creative effectiveness can be summarised as:

  • Having the right partners in place
  • Flawless execution of the ideas through great process and ways of working
  • And the perennial factor – a great briefing process

Seven considerations to drive creative effectiveness and differentiation:

  1. Better briefing – the first and most important consideration
  2. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable – providing the work delivers against the brief
  3. Strong culture, better capabilities – through training and mentoring
  4. Think brand value – long-term, not just short-term
  5. Alignment can be the death of creativity – reduce the number of stakeholders, empower the teams
  6. Don’t dismiss awards – highly awarded work delivers growth
  7. Better client, better work – collaboration and trust with your partners.

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