Monday, September 27, 2010

How To Hold Creative Accountable

The article in today’s Ad Age, “Why Marketers Shouldn’t Always Blame The Media,” is a nice follow-up from my post on Thursday – “Creative is Four Times As Important As Media Weight In Driving Ad Effectiveness.

The article mentions that the industry needs to find a way to separate media from creative, so that each can be held accountable for what they do or don’t contribute to selling the product.

One problem, according to the article, is that it’s difficult to quantify, analyze or predict the creative impact on sales.

So true.

But accountability, at least to me, isn’t about predicting. Accountability is about measuring what actually happens.

The advertiser created a commercial for people to watch. Did they? How many? And, for how long?

This can now all be measured on the digital platform.

And, as you know, it’s the last part, the how long part, that I think is the key to holding creative accountable. Once viewers start watching a commercial, media has more or less handed the baton of accountability over to the creative.

Creative is accountable for view duration, not the media. What media is accountable for is getting the right message in front of the right people.

To put it another way, media is accountable for what happens outside of the commercial. Creative is accountable for what happens inside the commercial. This includes how long viewers want to stay engaged with the commercial.

Perhaps persuasion will still take place even if nobody watches the commercial. Let’s hope so, because if it did, we wouldn’t have to suffer through any advertising whatsoever.

But logic seems to indicate that the more of the commercial that is consumed by a viewer, the greater the possibility that the message will be communicated.

The better the message is communicated, the greater the chances of having someone purchase the product.

We can now measure how long people are engaged with commercials online.

It’s not predictive. It’s an actual count. From that actual count, we can predict how many sales will take place.

How many want to bet that there’s a strong correlation?

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