The Undeniable Correlation Between Ad Creativity & Sales

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August 9th, 2010

Much to the chagrin of ad agencies who spout the erroneous “awards don’t matter” line (generally because they’re not capable enough to win any, or too scared to try), new reports further confirm the unmistakable connection between the ringing of the cash register and award-winning advertising.

In a July 12, 2010, ADWEEK article about the internationally prestigious Cannes awards festival, writer Noreen O’Leary reported the following:

“Mark Tutssel, Leo Burnett’s global CCO and a Cannes judge, said that despite the occasional exception, Cannes winners tend to be solid business successes.  In previous years, Burnett has conducted surveys tracking award-winning ads with business performance.  In the most recent survey, Burnett found an 86 percent correlation between award-winning work and effectiveness, up from 78 percent in 1997, the first year of the study.

Now for a specific example.

The Old Spice campaign featuring the buff, bare-chested Old Spice guy in the shower has certainly garnered attention (and won every major ad award), but has it sold product?

Here’s what Eleftheria Parpis reported in the July 26, 2010 issue of ADWEEK.

According to Nielsen data provided by Old Spice, overall sales for Old Spice bodywash products are up 11 percent in the last 12 months; up 27 percent in the last six months; up 55 percent in the last three months; and in the last month, with two new TV spots and the online response videos, up a whopping 107 percent.

“Our business is on fire,” says James Moorhead, brand manager of Old Spice.  “We’ve seen strong results over all of our portfolio.   That is the reward for the great work. The “Smell like a man, man” campaign, which by mid-July had become a pop-culture sensation, with videos from the series accounting for eight of the top 11 most popular videos on YouTube, went on to win a Grand Prix at Cannes.

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