Creatively Awarded Brands Are More Commercially Successful

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Creatively Awarded Brands

Researches have shown that creative advertising has a positive impact on commercial success and increases sales. We have outlined the details of our findings below.


  • "A study of 437 TV ad campaigns for 90 fast-moving consumer goods brands, found that overall, more-creative campaigns were more effective."
  • Also, it found that certain dimensions of creativity are more effective than others in influencing purchasing behavior.
  • The initial impact of creativity was relatively small but typically gathered momentum as the campaign rolled out.


  • In the early 2000s Indiana University communications researcher, Robert Smith and his colleagues adjusted the definition of creativity in advertising.
  • The researchers came up with five dimensions of advertising creativity, which formed the basis for future researchers and surveys.
  • The new five elements were originality, flexibility, elaboration, synthesis, and artistic value.
  • The dimensions vary in their level of influence on sales, which was quantified in the research by the impact of each dimension on sales. It was found that some had significantly more impact, although all of them have a positive impact.
  • The study showed that ad agencies employ originality and artistic value more than they use elaboration. Possibly, when trying to be creative, companies think primarily of originality.


  • From the five dimensions of creativity, elaboration had the highest impact with 1.32 rating, followed by artistic value with 1.19. Originality, flexibility, and synthesis had an impact rating of 1.06, 1.03, an 0.45, respectively.
  • The researchers also looked at campaigns that scored above the median on at least two dimensions and saw that the variation in sales impact among the combinations was even greater than the variation between individual dimensions. Out of 10 possible pairs, it was found that the most-used combination (flexibility and elaboration, accounting for nearly 12% of all combinations), was one of the lowest-performing.
  • The impact value was 0.41, which was less than the average of all pairs of 1.0.
  • "In sharp contrast, combining elaboration with originality (this accounted for nearly 10% of all combos identified), almost has double the average impact on sales (1.96), this is followed by the combination of artistic value and originality.
  • These findings showed that being original is not enough, but needs additional creative dimension to boosts sales.
  • Another research indicated that among creativity elements, sales contributed about 47%, almost half as compared to other elements.
  • In his book, "The Case for Creativity: Three Decades Evidence of the Link Between Imaginative Marketing and Commercial Success, James Hurman explains that creatively-awarded campaigns deliver 11 times the return on investment of non-creatively awarded campaigns."


  • There is a significant variation in creativity across product categories.
  • For example, for products like cola and coffee, advertisers and customers prefer higher levels of creativity, while, for products like shampoo, body care, and facial care, the focus is on showing the actual use of the product.
  • In contrast, for products that are easily understood, similar, and tied to personal preferences, an out-of-the-ordinary approach can be more effective in facilitating sales.
  • Studies also looked at whether investing in additional creativity pays off and found that it depends entirely on the product category. They also found that in traditionally low-creativity categories, adding creativity can pay off.
  • Studies that compared the impact of the use of TV and digital channels for advertising showed that creative element on the digital platforms has a better (56%) as compared to a TV channel (37%).