We’ve long been on our soap box extolling the virtues of harnessing creativity in marketing.

Creativity drives our every idea, every campaign, every asset execution, and even how we run internally as a business. In fact, we think it’s what makes us a great agency.

We’re not the only ones, of course – this creative-first thinking is largely accepted within mainstream consumer advertising. However, it’s fair to say that resistance is still met when it comes to healthcare advertising in particular.

However, resistance is becoming increasingly futile. And we’ll tell you why.

Creativity sells. Really sells.

No longer just an anecdote, some pretty irrefutable evidence is building to demonstrate that creativity makes advertising more engaging, more successful, more memorable; just better.

Entrepreneur James Hurman passionately makes the case for creativity, in his aptly named book The Case for Creativity.

“Leading brands and agencies have known for many years that more creative work delivers better results than ‘safe’ and rational advertising. What has been exciting in more recent times is to see the emerging proof of this; the hard evidence that creative work is more memorable, more effective and more able to drive overall business performance.”

First he compiled data on creative vs less creative agencies in regards to their effectiveness and found that ‘the most creative shops were over twice as effective.’

Next, onto the ads themselves. He found that when advertising of various levels of originality was tested, the more original ad not only attracted more attention, but also reduced customers’ resistance to persuasion.

In fact, a 2009 study at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Indiana found that creatively-awarded ads triggered greater purchase intent, because they measurably increased open-mindedness and curiosity.

And what happens after the awards? Do the trophies just gather dust on the shelves? Well, in 2008 when Volkswagen won a huge number of big awards for their campaigns, their share price grew by 85%. The likes of Nike, Swatch, Coke, Adidas and Honda have experienced similar phenomenon.

James Hurman is not the only proponent of more creative advertising. Advertising Legend Dave Trott has written extensively on the subject and Will Gompertz states his case effectively in Think Like an Artist.

In One + One = Three, Dave argues that, contrary to popular opinion, the most risky thing you can do in advertising is playing it safe.

‘If you don’t have the confidence to be different, to stand out, you’ll want to be part of the herd. The reassurance of looking in the same places as everyone else. But then, of course, your work will end up looking like everyone else’s.’

We are proof

If you’d allow us just a minute – we’d love to humbly share some great news that shows how our creative approach walks the walk.

BD approached us in 2020 with an unusual request – to inform their customers and prospects of incoming legislation changes. IVDR2022 would mean significant changes, and potentially significant disruption to labs who weren’t prepared.

Unwilling to communicate the legislation in the safe, expected way, we instead created a six-part mini-series combining high drama with high production value and metaphor to warn labs and point them in BD’s direction.

It was one of our most audacious projects and most creative project yet. But the results were incredible. And back in October Lift the Fog mini-series was awarded the prestigious Gold Cannes Dolphin in the Branded Content category. It’s a huge honour and alongside a host of recent PM Society nominations, reassures us that we’re on the right track.

Oh, and we’ve just found out that we’ve made it onto the T40 Healthcare Agency list, making us officially one of the 40 best healthcare agencies in the whole of the UK!

Who knows what else 2022 has in store for us – but one thing we know for sure is it will involve using the power of creativity to persuade

As the famous advertising man Bill Bernbach once said, “Creativity is the last unfair advantage we’re legally allowed to take over our competitors”. Use it!

Books references

The Case for Creativity, James Hurman
Think Like an Artist, Will Gompertz
One + One = Three, Dave Trott