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What are the 6 types of Advertising Effectiveness?

The definition of Advertising Effectiveness is how well advertising meets its goal(s). It’s a concept that is studied heavily but poorly understood. After all, advertising goals may include ROAS, brand recall, sales lift, purchase intent, or many other things.

How to measure advertising effectiveness?

In 2019, a team of researchers concluded (correctly) that advertising lacked a ‘universal definition’ and ‘shared language’ of advertising effectiveness. To develop this, James Hurman and Peter Field conducted a global study (*1) of nearly 5,000 award-entrant case studies from 2011 through 2019.

The study showed that marketing effectiveness is heavily impacted by these key elements:

  • media budget
  • duration
  • the number of media channels applied, which is collectively referred to ‘creative commitment.’

James and Peter developed a cascading “Creative Effectiveness Ladder” for defining outcomes correlated to effective advertising. In essence, this research defined 6 types of advertising effectiveness – with 1 being “entry-level” advertising effectiveness, and 6 being the “holy grail” of effectiveness.

6 types of advertising effectiveness

  1. Influential Idea: Advertising which over-achieves on campaign metrics.
  2. Behavioural Breakthrough: Advertising which changes consumer behaviour.
  3. Sales Spike: Advertising which delivers short-term, temporary sales growth.
  4. Brand Builder: Advertising which improves brand health.
  5. Commercial Triumph: Advertising which creates sustained sales success.1
  6. Enduring Icon: Advertising which creates long-term brand and sales growth.

Note: the time-based definitions of “sustained” or “long-term” are unclear. What is clear is that shorter-term and sales-based metrics are on the lower end, and long-term and brand-based value is the highest goal. This parallels research that establishes that long-term brand equity correlates with stronger sales performance over time, yet takes longer to achieve. [Brand Growth Case Study]

Sources / Suggested References:

(*1) The study analyzed cases from the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions database (1,031 cases), WARC’s database (3,616) and the IPA databank (216).