The Crisis in Creative Effectiveness

Award-winning creativity is losing effectiveness advantage

Peter Field's latest investigation into the IPA's databank of Effectiveness Award case studies reveals creatively awarded campaigns are now less effective than they have been in 24 years of data analysis and are now no more effective than non-awarded campaigns.

The report covers almost 600 case studies from 1996 to 2018 and is a follow-up to the IPA’s 2016 publication Selling Creativity Short that warned of the dangers to creative effectiveness posed by short-termism in marketing and highlighted a misunderstanding of how brands grow. It reveals the continuing decline in the efficiency of creatively awarded campaigns. This situation is something the report argues is entirely avoidable if the lessons of best practice in creativity are learned.

Key report findings:

  1. Short-termism drives collapse in creative effectiveness and efficiency.
  2. Lessons from creative best practice can reverse the damage.
  3. The industry urgently needs to change the way it identifies and rewards creativity.

Says Peter Field: “Despite our warnings, the misuse of creativity has continued to grow and the effectiveness advantage has continued to decline. This report is a final wake-up call for good sense, before it is too late. I urge everyone who values creativity as I do, to study this report and act on it, especially those with the power to change how creativity is commissioned, deployed and judged."