Babar Khan Javed
Apr 4, 2018

Test, break, learn, repeat...or pack your bags

Consistency of clarity and thought from the entire team allows creatives to develop evergreen messages that resonate over the long term, according to panellists at Campaign360.

Test, break, learn, repeat...or pack your bags

Creatives need clarity and simplicity with what their brand stands for, according to David Guerrero, chairman and chief creative officer of BBDO Guerrero.

Speaking on a panel regarding the age-old effectiveness debate between creativity and technology at Campaign360 last month, Guerrero said that the industry needs to think about that as an always-on brief.

"Some brands are fortunate enough to have agencies that have developed long-term consistent brand platforms," said Guerrero, adding that this makes it easier for creatives to apply a thinking with one unified voice.

While that is the optimistic approach, Anthony Baker of R/GA insisted that the prevalence of social and digital tools has exposed marketers to the complexity of people rather than offering a glimpse into a hidden unified insight.

"We are getting to a place where all of us can start testing," said Baker, adding that marketers can measure how an idea or message is received differently across channels, whilst understanding the casual or formal tone that a network implicitly represents for a user.

In practice, this means that the agency and client process must be just as fast, which it isn't, according to Valerie Madon, the chief creative officer at Havas Group.

"If we keep applying the same TV method to a six second, you're too slow," she said, adding that the world has moved on by the time an agency has caught up to the non-performance of the analogue format.

She refers to this as the key hurdle everyone has to cross, adding that the ability to test, break, grow, and repeat at scale is what will determine which organizations will survive the acceleration of the media landscape.

The panellists agreed that while programmatic has proven itself as a viable channel for campaign optimization, the commoditization of effective messages can result in ad fatigue, rendering the tactic as ineffective as target audiences become numb and conditioned to move on.

"Technology and data give us so much comfort and security that we end up being a little too safe, and forget the art of what we're doing," Madon said.

Baker lamented that the industry, both on the client and agency side, remains rife with decision makers that decide what will work based on gut instincts.

"The digital canvas is just growing exponentially," said Baker. "That should actually infuse better creative if machines start getting better at doing dynamic variations of your ideas."

Guerrero agreed while pointing out that the industry best not confuse the platform with the solution.

"If we only focus narrowly on platforms is insane," he said. "What can your brand do for the world? We need to think about what we can do in that wider picture."

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