Advertising Creative

Find the latest and most impactful research on advertising creative here. All the research listed comes from the ARF or one of its subsidiaries: The Journal of Advertising Research (JAR), the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) or the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM). Feel free to bookmark this page, as it will be updated periodically.

MSI: Country of Origin & Willingness to Pay

How do consumer’s latent sentiments about patriotism, nationalism, xenophobia and “economic patriotism” affect their willingness to pay for imports? This research shows that in cases of perceived economic, political or cultural conflict with the homeland, domestic products can shore up sales by emphasizing their connection a consumer’s country of origin. A “buy local” message helps defend against imports, even from allied nations.

Read the Working Paper.

MSI: Can Food Service Delivery Continue to Deliver?

Food delivery service grew substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to restaurant shutdowns. But new research shows that most of the growth actually came from pre-pandemic customers placing more frequent and larger orders. As restaurants reopen, consumers may revert back to pre-pandemic behaviors, challenging future growth in this category.

Read the Working Paper.

JAR: Shoppers Like Explicit Donation Links in Cause-Related Marketing Ads

Companies increasingly target nonprofit web and social media followers by using cause-related marketing display ads on the websites of charity or nonprofit organizations. Two key formats are used: either transactional (representing an explicit donation amount that a consumer can make to the nonprofit) or nontransactional (representing online cause sponsorship). Which one is more successful? A new study has some answers.  Read the article.

JAR: Which Noncelebrity Endorser Is Best: Staff or Customer?

One way for smaller brands to save money on advertising is to use their customers and employees as endorsers, rather than spend big bucks (and risk fame fallout) on a superstar. So, which type of noncelebrity endorser is most effective, and under what circumstances? Findings from European researchers offer practical solutions to these questions.  Read the article.

JAR: Going Live: How “Shoppable” Ads Measure Up

Live, “shoppable” advertising has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with big investments from influencers, brands and retailers. In response, researchers in London, Stockholm and the U.S. have collaborated on a typology for evaluating the value of this emerging platform. The work is essentially a launching pad for future investigation and measurement of liveness and shoppability in advertising.  Read the article.

JAR: What’s the Best Format for “Supers” in DTC TV Ads?

In a study on formatting characteristics in direct-to-consumer, prescription-drug advertising, the adage ”God is in the details” rings loud and true. TV and online video ads use superimposed text to convey additional information about a drug’s risks and benefits. But, researchers asked, how much can details like text size and contrast affect awareness and attitudes?

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JAR: Why Engagement Is Pivotal to Brand Heritage Advertising

Brand heritage advertising can boost attitudes about a historic brand’s authenticity, with legacy scenarios and logos positively affecting purchase intention and trust. But a new study has found that heritage advertising can also distance the consumer from the brand—specifically reducing its uniqueness and thus people’s willingness to pay more—unless it actively engages the consumer.

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Creative Glossary

The ARF Creative Council has authored the first, comprehensive resource for creative research terms. Known as the Creative Council Research Glossary, its purpose is to inform and help marketers better communicate. The glossary includes 880 terms, many of which have references to one or more related terms. It is available for free on the foundation’s website. You can even add a comment or suggest a term you would like to see added.

View the Creative Glossary

What Do we Know About AI Driven Creative?

There have been significant developments in artificial intelligence, such as recent advancements in natural language processing, that make it look appealing for advertising purposes. Indeed, many professionals are considering AI-driven creative tools. Yet, a recent ARF Knowledge Center investigation reveals that this technology simply is not there yet. For now, AI’s best use seems to be optimizing creative for email blasts, digital campaigns and social media advertising.

Access the Report

How to Get Better Creative from Better Insights

We have access to more data and research than ever before. But how well are they being used? It’s apparent to many in the advertising industry that there’s a gap between the research/data and creative/strategy communities, in terms of using data and insights effectively. To investigate this divide, the ARF Creative Council conducted a quantitative and qualitative research project, which has led to the publication of a new white paper titled: How to Get Better Creative from Better Insights.

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