Highly creative ads have doubled the sales impact of those that are less creative, and advertising creative drives sales 5x as much as media spend. Two break-through studies show the truth of these claims with hard data.
Does advertising creative drive sales? Indeed it does, according to two recent studies that have electrified the industry. Findings include:
With so much focus on media buying today, these new studies challenge advertisers to rethink their approach. Were media buyers to place their funds on the most creatively effective ads, they’d save millions of dollars. See for yourself how advertising creative drives sales below.
Professor Werner Reinartz and Peter Saffert of the University of Cologne, Germany, published this study in the Harvard Business Review, June 2013. They measured advertising creativity by converting academic classifications from communication psychology into five creative elements and impacts.
Then, consumer panels rated the creativity of 400 German TV commercials along each element. In comparing the consumer ratings to the ads’ results, big variations in the impact of the different creative elements appeared.
According to Dr. Reinartz in Harvard Business Review, “Our findings confirm the conventional wisdom that creativity matters: overall, “more-creative” campaigns were more effective – considerably so.” He also wrote, “A euro invested in a highly creative ad campaign had, on average nearly double the sales impact of a euro spent on a non-creative campaign.” So, the Reinartz study is one example of how advertising creative drives sales. See more on this study here.
In March 2017, Michael Wolfe, CEO of Bottom-Line Analytics, sought to compare the effects of media buys against advertising effectiveness on sales revenues. One of the world’s largest Health & Beauty Aids brands joined in and supplied sales revenues. ABX provided creative scores from consumer panels for all brand ads across all media types over a period of 30 months. For more information on this study, and to see several others by Michael Wolfe, go to our resources page.
In the chart below, each blue dot is an ad. The media spend per ad is shown on the vertical axis. Sales lift for each ad is shown horizontally.
In the ideal world, media spend on an ad-by-ad basis would align perfectly with sales revenue lift, but this is not the case. As we see below, the correlation between the ad spend and sales lift was very low at R2=.1138.
This graph shows that high media spend does not drive sales.
The chart below shows how well each ad (blue dot) scored for its creative on the vertical axis, and how well it lifted sales on the horizontal axis.
The results show advertising creative drives sales 5x as much as media spend with a correlation of R2=.743! This client could have generated $21 million in incremental revenue by allocating media spend according to creative scores.
This graph shows that high creative scores correlate to sales lift.
While the Reinartz/Saffert and Wolfe studies are different, both focus on the importance of creative in driving success. Reinartz/Saffert shows ads that are creative are twice as effective as those that are not. Wolfe shows that ad creative is 5x as effective as media buys in driving sales. Clearly, a smart marketer will place media buys on ads with the highest creative scores!
Are you satisfied with how you are measuring advertising effectiveness? Is it resonating through Awareness and Message, and having an impact on Reputation and Action? ABX provides the largest normative database in the industry across all media types. On average you can improve your creative effectiveness by almost 20%.
If you have questions, or would like a quick, informal chat, contact us HERE.
Jeff has more than 25 years of market research experience including project management, client service, operations, production and sales.
Before joining the ABX Senior Management team, Jeff was a Senior Account Manager at Ipsos, working with Procter & Gamble and other client assignments. Prior to that, he was Senior Project Manager for Opinion One, where he was responsible for guiding the company’s online, mall and other initiatives for eight years.
Jeff began his market research career with Cooper Research while participating in the Professional Practice Program at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon graduating with his BS in Marketing and Management, Jeff led a team of data analysts as Group Manager at Matrixx Marketing Research (now Concentrix).
Jeff’s broad in-depth marketing research experiences enable him to bring a unique perspective to directing operations that creates effective and efficient environments to support a wide range of client activities. Having come up in the industry alongside the advent and progression of online interviewing, he has a unique perspective on the benefits and challenges of conducting quality research resulting in meaningful results.
Jeff considers himself an amateur music historian and sports enthusiast, as well as a family man, who takes advantage of the many outdoor activities in his community including biking, hiking, kayaking and swimming.
Dr. Peter Moomaw
Peter is the primary developer of operations technology and data analysis. As a chief visionary on the Research and Development team, Peter works to generate innovative ideas for the continued development of processes and protocols.
Peter brings 17+ years’ experience in software development in the market research industry. He was previously at Opinion One, where he was integral in the development of research software systems covering a number of areas.
Peter has a BA in Mathematics, a BS in Physics, and a PhD in Physics, all from the University Cincinnati.
Michael is one Founders of Ocucom, of which ABX is a division, and has over 12 years’ of software engineering experience in the market research industry. As a Lead Software Engineer with Ocucom, he brings a unique blend of a technological background along with hands-on market research experience. Michael specializes in providing custom software solutions utilizing Ocucom’s dynamic software platform to address unique client needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Prior to starting with Ocucom, Michael was a senior software engineer at Opinion One in Cincinnati, where he was one of the principal architects of the OASIS 2 Survey Software Package. He also played a key role in developing a licensable solution to bring to the market place as well as handling the logistics of on-site training and support of end-client users.
Michael obtained his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati.
Greg Tunstill, a founder of ABX, is the Chief Information Officer responsible for ABX’s technical infrastructure and maintenance. He also leads the design and development of ABX’s communications tools, a critical component of its technology services.
Prior to joining ABX, Greg was Director of Network Operations of Opinion One since its inception in 1992. He designed and developed the communications systems that were the core of its data collection networks and was responsible for continuing development and implementation of information technologies. Prior to his position at Opinion One, he designed inventory control and expert systems for BellSouth field offices and worked as a consultant and independent contractor. In 1991 he joined Americom Research as a systems engineer where he advanced to Director of Network Operations and met members of the team that formed Opinion One.
Greg is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.
Julian brings 20+ years of software engineering and market research experience to ABX. As one of the Founders and in his position as Chief Technology Officer, Julian is the chief visionary responsible for strategic planning and development.
His primary day to day roles include management of software development, oversight of survey production, and lead architect for custom software development projects. As the principal technology architect, Julian adapts emerging technologies for use in market research. He is responsible for maintaining the “continuous development” philosophy.
Before becoming one of the Founders, Julian was Vice President, Software Engineering at Opinion One. In this capacity, he was responsible for the design and development of Opinion One’s core technology and licensing products.
Prior to Opinion One, Julian worked for Americom Research, starting as a Software Engineer and progressing to Director, Software Development. While at Americom Research, Julian pioneered the design and creation of one of the market research industry’s first fully interactive computer-aided interviewing suites.
Julian received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Middle Tennessee State University.
Gary has an extensive background in product development, strategic planning, and sales/marketing. He is a frequent speaker to the advertising, marketing, and public relations communities.
Gary is a pioneer in efforts to measure and analyze the combined impact of news coverage, social media, and advertising communications on key business metrics, such as sales or product preferences, with ground-breaking work linking communications activity to business outcomes. He was also one of the first to apply artificial intelligence to better understand how communications impacts consumer behavior.
As part of these pioneering integrated measurements, the need to benchmark every ad and build a comprehensive database of advertising performance metrics for evaluating all advertising creative became clear. Gary has been part of the ABX management group that developed the methodology, technology, and criteria for measuring advertising performance globally, and at scale, in an affordable manner.
Now Gary and all ABX partners work with communications leaders across a diverse set of industries to expand that understanding by incorporating the first-ever Gender Equality Index™, creative measurement solutions for ESG, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethnicities (in and out-of-country), Product Placement/Integration, Brand Fit™, Gaming, Audio and more.
Gary holds a B.S., in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a Masters in Management Science from Stevens Institute of Technology.
J. J. Klein
JJ Klein has devoted his entire career to developing more valid and reliable information through syndicated and custom longitudinal research programs for Fortune 500 companies. This extensive knowledge base enabled him to create and develop ABX, which now offers the most accurate normative database for advertising effectiveness measurement in the marketplace.
JJ brings more than 35 years of marketing, research, consulting, and technology experience in designing and developing methodologies and programs for long-term growth. He has exceptional strength in domestic and international new business development, strategic planning, and identifying and tracking consumer, retail, and industry trends.
Leadership in Top Global Research Firms
Early in his career, after attending City University in New York as a math and science major, JJ joined Simmons Market Research Bureau as a Project Director. Over time, he rose to Associate Executive Vice President. Among his accomplishments, JJ created the first online interactive data analysis and delivery system for agencies, media, institutions, client, and service companies.
JJ and Bill Simmons then founded a new venture …Three Sigma Research Center. It was here that JJ, Chief Operating Officer, created the first major syndicated rating system for Newspapers in the U.S., which later became the Scarborough Report. Three Sigma Research was eventually sold back to Simmons; Simmons sold it to Scarborough; and then Scarborough was acquired by Nielsen.
Following the sale of Three Sigma, JJ joined Audits & Surveys Worldwide as a principal leading the sales tracking and market share audits for a broad range of retail and service establishments both domestically and internationally. Following the acquisition of Audits & Surveys by GfK, JJ joined Roper Starch as Executive Director, reporting directly to the Chairman.
Creation and Development of Ocucom™ and ABX™
In 2004, as he continued his industry visionary travels, all of JJ’s experience came together as he tackled new solutions for market research in the Internet age. He and four partners founded Ocucom™ and invented a research-proven, respondent-oriented Ocular™ approach to internet sampling and multi-modal interviewing methodology. For the first time, respondents could answer text-based questions within a visual communication world where the computer screen was the interviewer/communicator. Inventions continued such as Ocucom’s PreCast™, the first long-form video viewing solution in the industry.
Also, during this time, JJ’s early leadership in internet research methodology caught the eye of top-tier global research competitors. He ended up designing methodologies for their online survey capabilities.
Then, in early 2012, he formed ABX™ as an outgrowth of Ocucom. JJ had conceived the idea for ABX some 15 years prior but had to wait for internet maturation and online panel/sampling companies to evolve. ABX partners focused on JJ’s ABX concept and methodology by building an infrastructure and a 5-year formative database before opening to the market in 2018. The new company offered the first high-quality Ocular research system for all ads in all media types with detailed, never-before analytics; the first syndicated, all-media type ad effectiveness platform; results in 24-to-48 hours on dashboard, and significantly lower costs. At ABX, as at Ocucom, inventions have continued such as the expansion of the ABX syndicated program into the first-ever global solution, and the first Gender Equality Index™. Solutions have expanded to include creative measurement for ESG, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethnicities (in and out of country), Product Placement/Integration, Brand Fit, Gaming, Audio, and more.
A Career Devoted to Validity and Reliability in Market Research
JJ’s background brings together an extremely unique blend of extensive experience in designing and developing global and regional longitudinal research programs. His accomplishments include the design and initiation of programs and methods that produce more valid and reliable information. They also include contributions to the market research profession through association membership, speaking, writing, and presenting.
Like Nielsen for TV, Arbitron for Radio, and MRI for Magazine, JJ’s original design for the newspaper program continues as the Scarborough Report ratings standard for Newspaper. Today, JJ leads ABX as a syndicated and custom research service for ad effectiveness and gender equality, which have quickly become the gold standards of their own.
Angela Jeffrey, APR
Angela is an internationally known speaker and national award-winning veteran of public relations, advertising and marketing. She has been a teacher and leader in the use of metrics to measure communications impact for over 20 years, especially at the intersection of PR and Advertising.
Angela is primarily responsible for all ABX marketing efforts, and for projects that involve PR or social media measurement. She is the primary driver of our collaboration with the prestigious Institute for Public Relations as we develop methods to measure the impact of PR and social media on advertising effectiveness.
Prior to joining ABX, Angela was Strategy Director at Salience Insight, (now CARMA), a global provider of PR effectiveness measurement. Previously, she was a Vice President at Surveillance Data, Inc., an international analytics powerhouse that specializes in predictive modeling. Angela continued as a key leader upon the sale of her division to VMS and helped develop Vantage, with Gary Getto, the first platform to measure the combined impact of PR and Advertising.
Angela graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Journalism and BBA in Marketing.
Diane has 20+ years of experience helping Marketing, Advertising, and PR decision-makers at global brands, media companies, and agencies increase their ROI by connecting and authentically engaging their target customers through Sales, Business Development. MarTech, AdTech, Big Data, Market Research, SaaS, eCommerce, and Integrated Marketing.
She is passionate about her family, entertainment, health & wellness, empowering women, and environmental sustainability.