CX + Loyalty Data + Insights

Creativity: The Last Unfair Advantage

Want more eyes on your brand? More clicks on “buy now”? The answer won’t be found in a spreadsheet.

To quote the famous UK creative director, copywriter and author, Dave Trott, “Creativity may well be the last legal unfair competitive advantage we can take to run over the competition.” 

All other things being equal, it’s only what you say and how you say it that can differentiate your brand from your competition, make an authentic emotional connection, build real brand awareness, generate buzz and drive conversions.  

Great creative—the result of strategic research, divergent thinking, and practiced concept development [i.e., the big idea]—is the discipline that brings the customers—and the cash. 

Creative Differentiates

If you want to separate the boys from the men (or the underdogs brands for the top dogs), you need creativity. 

A differentiated creative approach has the power to catapult a lesser-known brand beyond a much bigger competitive brand regardless of budget. Take the story of Apple’s “Think Different” campaign and the iconic, inspirational television commercial “to the crazy ones” which debuted in 1997. Thanks to the smart minds at Los Angeles ad agency Chiat/Day, the advertising positioned Apple as the computer for those who “dare to think different.”  

Today, Apple’s market value is reportedly $698.40 billion larger than Microsoft’s.  

Creative connects.

We’re human. Facts, figures, comparisons and guarantees only go so far. To attract customers who are more likely to buy from you, you first need to make a genuine emotional connection. 

How? Through smart, targeted, provocative creative.  

It starts by knowing your audience intimately. Knowing what triggers them. Is it fear of missing out? Telling them the hard truth? Addressing a hidden pain point? Conveying happiness, anger or even sadness? [Cue Sarah McLachlan for SPCA]. 

According to neuromarketing research, emotional content performs twice as well as fact-based content.  

For instance, Always, a company that sells feminine products, flipped the script in 2014 with their much talked about campaign #LikeaGirl.  Here, they challenged the age-old idea that doing something “like a girl” is an insult. [Hint: It’s not anymore]. 

Creative Gets You Noticed

“If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic,” said Bill Bernbach, one of the most important names in advertising and some say, “the original Don Draper” [Mad Men]. 

Creative is what gives you a distinct brand identity. A unique brand voice, look and feel gives you a leg up on the competition [see above paragraph re: Apple]. And that coveted spot you occupy in your consumers’ minds—the one you earned through smart creative—will increase the likelihood of future purchases. 

In short, your audience is more likely to buy from you if they’ve formed a positive opinion of your brand first.  

Creative Gets People Talking

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Super Bowl television spots get more people talking than just about any other form of advertising. 

They create buzz, or the “word-of-mouth” effect. Buzz has the power to amplify your message and drive brand awareness beyond the original target audience. It’s what drives conversations around the water cooler and heated debates on social media. 

Your best chance to get people talking and create buzz? Get creative. 

Case in point, Old Spice, an established brand of men’s grooming products, was struggling to connect with a younger audience. Then, in 2010, came “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”. The campaign went viral and became a genuine cultural phenomenon. It successfully boosted brand awareness and sales for Old Spice, which was ultimately acquired by Proctor & Gamble.  

Creative Sells

No matter how optimistic you are about your optimization strategy or how many data points you point to, your audience makes decisions based primarily on one thing: emotion. 

Your creative approach can make the difference between a brand that’s status quo and one that’s standout.   

Lee Clow, chairman and global director of TBWA/Worldwide and former chief creative officer [and one of the brilliant minds behind the Apple campaign previously mentioned], said,  

“Your ad begins as an interruption. Make paying attention to it feel like a reward.” 

Looking for a [legal] competitive advantage for your brand? Ready to reward your target audience?  The creative minds at Ansira are ready to make it happen for you. 

By Julie Gardner

Julie Gardner is Creative Director/Copy for Ansira, bringing to the role more than 30 years’ experience in advertising, branding and marketing. To this day, she still has trouble believing she gets paid to do this.