Creative has the largest influence on sales uplift in a campaign but what drives effective creative is one of the least understood areas in marketing. With the volume of content marketing creative increasing dramatically year-on-year (with shorter content lifecycles), a lack of sufficient creative data is leading to reduced investment in creative best practice, resulting in content erosion and brand dilution.
Understanding what really drives creative effectiveness is now critical. Over the last few years, significant advances in computer vision and machine learning have enabled marketers to analyze their creatives like never before. This technology can identify, tag, and create structured data for elements present in a creative—e.g, human present, product present, brand mentioned in audio. But unless the learnings scale, the resulting data and campaign optimizations don’t leverage the full potential of creative technology.
Marketers at brands like Unilever, Renault, Heineken, Nestlé, and PepsiCo identified the creative elements that map to creative effectiveness. To scale these creative learnings, they built universal best practices for their creative production, containing platform best practice and guidelines unique to their brands. These guidelines help global marketing teams coordinate 1,000s of marketers across agencies, internal teams, and 100+ markets to produce content that delivers on its marketing goals – without restricting the creative process.
Introducing the Creative Quality Score (CQS)
These brands adopted a metric that scales the applications of these guidelines by quantifying the number present in an asset / total number of platform best practices being tracked – enter the Creative Quality Score:
Creative Quality Score [CQS %] = no. best practices applied / total no. of best practices tracked
In a study by CreativeX, a company whose technology helps the world’s leading brands to understand and enhance the impact of their creative through AI technology, creative data on approximately one million digital ads was collected from some of the best-known CPG, beauty, and alcohol brands, representing one trillion impressions and +$1 billion in ad spend across a 2+ year period. By marrying the creative data with performance data (i.e. impressions, ad recall, and cost per completed view) from ad platforms, they ran regression analysis to observe relationships between the datasets.
The goal was to determine whether creatives that met platform best practices (and therefore had a high Creative Quality Score) led to better ad performance – and the answer was a resounding yes. The analysis identified three statistically significant insights that could save advertisers millions of dollars in media spend.
Improved Media Efficiency – The higher the Creative Quality Score, the cheaper the CPM. Across all channels, a 10% increase in Creative Quality Score is associated with a 2% decrease in CPM (822k observations & 99% confidence level).
Improved Brand Awareness – Ads with higher Creative Quality Scores are more memorable. Across Facebook & Instagram, a 10% increase in Creative Quality Score is associated with a 2% increase in Ad Recall (177k observations & 99% confidence level).
More Engagement – The higher the Creative Quality Score, the cheaper the Cost per Completed View (CPCV). A 10% increase in Creative Quality Score is associated with a 4.8% decrease in CPCV (Facebook & Instagram. 367k observations & 99% confidence level) and a 5.7% decrease in CPCV (…….