The Power of Creative Data: Insights & Applications from 1 Trillion Ad Impressions

In this session, Anastasia Leng of CreativeX argued that marketing and creative have the power to change things. In the face of an increased ad pool, which has gone up 6x in the last 20 years, ads now have a smaller shelf-life and need to be created in a more customized manner. In large part, technology has created this challenging landscape in marketing and advertising, but technology can now also help to address these new challenges. She pointed to computer vision technology which can help by supplying data created from “micro-feedback,” by clustering this information and fusing this feedback to create more useful macro-data to base decisions on.

How Augmented Intelligence Unlocks Creative Effectiveness on YouTube

Ariane Le Port of Google explored the relationship between augmented intelligence and creative effectiveness on YouTube. She noted that in the past, measuring creative was a challenge that was “so nuanced and so complex” that people tended to shy away from measuring it. In this session, Ariane pointed to a six-year experiment on YouTube video ads to help brands understand what is most effective in mobile video. In the experiment, they conducted A/B testing and took into account a variety of areas, such as framing, pacing, audio and other areas to find patterns of creative effectiveness. These experiments led to a partnership between Google and Ipsos to create YouTube’s ABCDs (Guidelines) for creative effectiveness. YouTube and Ipsos studied 17,000 ads in an effort to identify the creative elements that have a measurable impact, using a human and machine learning (ML) approach. Leveraging machine learning (ML) enabled them to look at large and robust datasets to gain a deep understanding of what elements work best in creative. Ariane discussed their augmented intelligence methodology which included data scope and collection, human and machine creative coding, metrics and data modeling and insights and commercialization.

Copy-Testing Has an Image Problem

Pedr Howard of Ipsos addressed the negative connotations surrounding copy-testing and identified ways that copy-testing can provide great value to marketers. He noted that optimization should not be at the expense of validation. Ipsos validation research shows up to 44% difference in ROI between high and low performing ads. Looking at Super Bowl ads, Ipsos found a wide range in effectiveness with only a small fraction of brands correctly recalled. In addition, measuring just the efficiency of an ad by relying solely on behavorial metrics (e.g., in-view time) can be misleading on effectiveness, which could result in big waste in ad spend. Thus, measuring the creative quality of an ad can be a valuable tool to predict success and save money. However, instead of using it as a stick to just kill a low performing ad, it will be more productive to systematically track the creative output and see how to make it more effective.

AI and Creative Effectiveness

In this session, Mike Barrett of Supernatural discussed the world of artificial intelligence (AI) in creative effectiveness. Specifically, he demonstrated how AI can be used as a tool to leverage art, copy and strategy. He noted that AI has garnered a lot of attention in advertising and though it’s not used at the level it is in the STEM disciplines, it is gaining traction as a device to enhance productivity. Mike demonstrated the use of AI in advertising with an example from Heinz, which used AI to generate a design for its next ad campaign and an example from Xero which employed a combination of AI software to generate images and copy for an ad. He promoted the use of AI, particularly in the area of stock imagery, which can be used to generate very specific and creative images not available in stock photo banks, in a matter of seconds. Additionally, he touted AI as a tool to help prompt creatives to write great copy. He emphasized that AI is still growing and maturing, with an example of an AI-generated video, but he endorsed AI as an emerging means to create better and more creative ad campaigns. Mike indicated that as different AIs mature and begin to work together, it will yield better and more efficient results.

What is Creative Effectiveness and Why is it Important?

Carolyn Murphy of WARC began her session on stimulating and measuring creativity by diving into the relationship between creativity and effectiveness. While the link between creativity and effectiveness is backed by a strong body of research, the focus on the importance of creativity has waned recently, with the rise of digital commerce, performance marketing and retail media networks. Carolyn suggested that marketers and advertisers regain the focus on the value and benefits of creativity in newly emerging channels, which was backed by more recent research. Carolyn noted that creative is not a replacement for an ad budget, but a way to “supercharge” the effectiveness of that campaign. Success is likely when “when creative is married with your overall strategic planning, in a media plan that’s comprehensive.” To provide a framework for success, WARC, James Hurman and Peter Field created the Creative Effectiveness Ladder. This six-tiered model scales around how to measure your creative to see what effective outcome it will have.

A Peek Behind the Curtain – Preventing a Fumble: The Research POV on Super Bowl Advertising

The ARF Creative Council hosted its seventh Happy Hour event on Super Bowl advertising and what to watch for in the commercial breaks during this year’s big game. Council member Belle Frank of VMLY&R moderated a discussion with four creative experts – three of them from the Creative Council — to discuss Super Bowl ad insights and trends, giving marketers important ideas to consider and advertising fans something to look for on Sunday night.

Super Bowl Research Insights

While the various polls looking at the “Best Super Bowl Commercials” tend to vary widely in their results, advertising experts show a lot of agreement on what makes Super Bowl ads successful.

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