Current Issue Summary
Sept 2020 (Vol. 60, Issue 3):
Quantifying the Advertising-Creativity Assessments of Consumers versus Advertising Professionals: Does It Matter Whom You Ask?
This article by Erik Modig and Micael Dahlen (both at Stockholm School of Economics) examines the perceptions of advertising professionals as well as of consumers regarding creativity encountered in ads. Such comparisons are useful, especially when differences are found in the different populations. The authors found that “both consumers and practitioners are capable of rating advertising creativity, but that they adopt significantly different perspectives as to exactly how to weigh the different dimensions of creativity.”
In this large-scale study, the authors presented the same ads to more than 4,000 consumers and 2,000 advertising professionals to “investigate how their assessments of advertising creativity differed.” The focus: “how the three best documented dimensions in the ad-creativity literature—originality, appropriateness and execution—contributed to the creativity ratings of the two groups.” Modig and Dahlen also compared “how consumers’ and ad professionals overall creativity ratings correlated with consumers’ attitudes toward the ad, attitudes toward the brand and purchase intentions. A replication study then assessed the extent to which consumers spontaneously assess creativity when evaluating ads.
Among the findings:
- Consumers place less emphasis on originality than do advertising professionals when assessing ad creativity.
- Appropriateness has more weight in consumers’ assessments than in those of advertising professionals.
- Consumers give more weight to execution than do those of ad professionals.
- When they consider design components of their messages, advertisers need to clearly understand how the advertisement may be meaningful from a consumer point of view.
- To drive that message home, the authors’ work in examining prior research identified a glaring gap. Most advertising agencies have yet to develop any formalized definition of advertising creativity.