It’s an interesting question, isn’t it?
Especially in these digital days, where audiences are fragmenting and it’s becoming more difficult to amortize the cost of producing creative over a large number of impressions.
Many advertisers think that with today’s technology, the cost of producing creative should be less. I mean, we can edit on Final Cut and shoot on digital cameras that are both smaller and less expensive to operate than film cameras.
All true. Which is probably why advertisers and their procurement officers seem to use it as the basis of their arguments.
But still, it misses the point, doesn’t it?
Original ideas are, and should be, expensive. And, original ideas still need to be birthed in the mind before they take shape in the lens of a camera.
Coming up with an original idea is damn hard. Always has been. Always will be.
What’s more, creative ideas that strike an emotional chord are more effective than creative ideas that don’t. A recent study shows that 75% of behavior, including engagement in a commercial, is driven by subconscious responses.
What’s interesting is that subconscious responses can be most directly influenced by elements we add to commercials that have little to do with the actual strategy. Elements like music, art direction, casting, cinematography, the art of the commercial if you will.
Elements that, if we are to get them right, cost more money rather than less money.
So to answer the question with which we started this piece – Should Advertisers Spend More On Creative To Get More Of An Impact? – the answer would seem to be “yes.”
The question that remains is, how does the agency, in these days of having to constantly justify ROI, credibly ask for more?
Here’s an argument that might work.
If the agency thinks they can, through the expenditure of an extra hundred thousand dollars or so on production, increase the impact, involvement and memorability of, let’s say, a five-million dollar advertising budget, by even as little as ten percent, then they can justifiably argue that they've added a half million dollars in value for a hundred thousand dollars in cost.
And, it seems to me, that those are the type of numbers that even a procurement officer can understand.