There is compelling evidence that creativity is key to deliver increased effectiveness. However, there is concern that short-termism and a decline in ‘right brain’ creativity is creating a crisis in creative effectiveness. Creativity is most effective when it is distinctive, emotional, novel, well-branded and has some longevity. It also needs the right financial and media support plan to succeed.


Effectiveness is proof that a campaign has met its objectives, particularly sales, market share or profits. It is publicly recognised via industry effectiveness awards. Creativity is a subjective term, but is judged and recognised by industry creative awards.

Key Insights

1. Short-termism is creating a crisis in creative effectiveness

A new study by consultant Peter Field and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) found that creatively awarded campaigns are now no more effective than non-awarded ones – a significant change from earlier research that showed a large effectiveness advantage for creatively awarded work. The change is largely due to the obsession with short-term sales activations over long-term brand building – what Field calls “disposable creativity”. However, there are still high-performing creatively awarded campaigns, which are eight times more effective than their low-performing peers in terms of the number of business effects they generate, and almost sixteen times more likely to bring major profitability growth. These campaigns all take a more balanced approach to short and long-term objectives, including longer campaign duration.