Thursday, March 04, 2010

Why Metrics Will Save Creativity In Advertising

This post is in reference to the viewpoint that ran in Ad Age – Why Metrics Are Killing Creativity in Advertising.

The viewpoint was that metrics are killing creativity because brand preference is built on emotional connections. And metrics can’t measure emotional connections.

I’m not so sure.

I’m assuming that the writer of the viewpoint believes that emotional connections can be created through someone watching a commercial. And, that the longer viewers stay engaged in the commercial, the stronger the connection will be.

Interestingly enough, metrics, in the form of second-by-second data, can measure whether a commercial was watched in its entirety. Or, if only ten percent of the spot was watched.

If viewers watch the whole spot, and the creative is properly crafted, then the chances are greater that an emotional connection has been made. In fact, it could be argued that the stronger the emotional connection, the more time viewers will want to spend with the commercial.

In other words, using metrics to measure the view duration of commercials can offer marketers a fairly good proxy as to whether their commercials are making an emotional connection or not.

So, how will metrics save creativity in advertising?

Simply by having creative agencies agree to base part of their fee on view duration metrics. The longer viewers are engaged in the commercial, the more the agency makes. After all, the longer viewers are engaged, the better the spot will have presumably worked for the advertiser. So, the more the agency should make.

Of course, the opposite will also need to hold true.

In return for working this way, marketers will have to agree to give their agencies more leeway in crafting the message. In other words, loosening the reins on the creative process. Letting good agencies do what they do well.

Be creative.

And then, paying them accordingly.

This form of performance-based compensation is now possible.

The reason why?

That's right. Metrics.

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