by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
button in toolbar for more information.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Please subscribe by clicking on the link to receive
Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2008
=EFFECTIVE “So if you’ll allow me,” I began. “By all means,” he replied. “The 2007 Gunn Report , the wor ld’s for emos t recor d of ad agency pe rformance at crea tiv e award shows, provides a tidy list of the twenty best performing UK and US agencies in terms of creativity; ten from each market. That glam- orous register involves such celebri- ty marques as AMV BBDO, DDB London, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Good by Silv erstein & Partners , Fallon and Weiden & Kennedy. The agency brands most tenacious in their prioritisation of creativity.” “A shimmer ing cluster !” he agreed. “I then built a source of compari- son by compiling the top te n agen- cies from each market that didn’t make it into the Gunn Report. The highest achievers in terms of billings and e ffectiveness awards. The best performing not-so-creative agencies from the UK and US. That equally auspicious list includes industry mai nstays l ike JW T, O gil vy & Mather , McCann-Erickson and M&C Saatchi.” “The great journeymen !” he declared. “And finally I built lists of the twenty most effective UK and US agencies according to Effectiveness Award performance tracked across the last four ceremonies. These lists reveal the a gencies that are most able to c onsistently, over a number MAY/JUN E 2008 of years, produce work for their clients that stimulates the kind of results worthy of an Effie. Which, by the way, are given out far less liberally than creative awards.” “Some of us require less encour- ag emen t t han ot her s!” he pr o- claimed. “In those lists appea r a gencies from both side s of the cre ativ e divide. The BBDO’s, DDB’s and Goodby’s rub shoulders with the McCann’s, Ogil vy’s and JWT’s. The creative agencies seem to dom- inate the higher ranks, but the not- so-cr eat ive ag enci es ar e mor e numerous.” My friend saw immediate vindica- tion. “See! The most effective agen- cies are not all the most creative ones! Many of your not-so-creative agencies are winning more effec- tiveness awards than their creatively fundamental ist siblings! By your own proof JWT is a better agency than Goodby Silverstein!” A celebratory sip of beer was taken. “You’re right,” I again conceded. “You could shine these findings in either light. It’s difficult to isolate the perf ormance of the creative agencies and compare their apples with those of the not-so-creative shops.” “Impossible!” he insisted. “And so to bring more meaning to the data, I separated the contingen- cies bac k out and compared the averages.” “Oh?” he asked. “You s ee, t he c reative a gencies have b een awarded an av erage of 11.2 Effies each across the past four ceremonies, wh ile th e not-so-cre- ative ones have managed an average of just 8.2. Does this n ot suggest that t he c reative s hops ar e mo re consistently effective?” He thought for a moment before happening upon yet another flaw in my l ogic. “No,” he s aid, “i t do es not . T hos e c reat ive ag encies are much big ger th an t he no t-so-cre- ative ones. You’v e stumbled into the same trap as before. Because of those ag encies’ size, they’ve a greater chance of winning both cre- ative and effect iveness awards, and so the cause of consistent effective- ness is down to size, not creativity.” Ag ain, a celebr ator y sip was enjoyed. However it was of rosé this time, for al as, his log ical ass ump- tion was i ncorrect. Imploring t o him to re ass es s h is vie wpoint, I showed him the billing f igures for the agencies in question. “While some of the creative agen- cies a re i ndeed e normous, th eir average billing, at US$259.6M is in fact 2 0% smaller tha n th e not-so- creative average of US$327.7M.” “The cr eative a gencies,” I p rof- fer ed, “ win mor e Effies ev en though they’re smaller and produce less advertising than the not-so-cre- ative shops.” “Astonishing!” he exclaimed. “And i f we d o a s imple b it o f maths, we can find our way to a fig- ure that shows exactly how effective each group is. By dividing the aver- age b ill ing s core b y t he a verage number of Effies won, we c an s ee crudely how much money an agency needs to bill in order to generate a r esult. This s hows a true measure of efficacy – how effi- cient a n a gency i s a t a chieving effectiveness.” “Quite,” he said, both of us smil- ing at the impropriety of performing maths on an afternoon like this. “In the case of the creative agen- cies, that figure is US$23M. In the case of the not-so-creative agencies, the figure is US$40M.” “You s ee,” I concluded, “ in r eal te rms t he cr eat ive ag enc ies ar e almost twice as effective as the not- so-creative ones.” “Another t rouncing,” h e admit- ted, this time less triumphantly. A f ew p ensive moments p assed, and with a nother s ip o f b eer h is position s oftened. “Well I’ m no t saying I ’m a gainst c reativity. I n fact, I a gree t hat c reativity i s a n essential part of effective communi- cation. I j ust d on’t s ee h ow y ou can argue against prioritising effec- tiveness f irst an d f oremost, a nd employing creativity when need be. Creativity should be a means, not an end.” “Certainly,” I replied. “It’s a logi- cal ideal. I can’t argue with you ? CAM PA IGN B R I E F 13
July August 2008
March April 2008