The Link Between Creativity and Effectiveness

Many of us believe that there’s a relationship between creativity and effectiveness.

But belief is not enough. Not in the face of skepticism. Or risk-avoidance. So it’s always good to have new evidence.

The IPA, partnering with Thinkbox (which represents the TV industry in the UK) analysed some 175 campaigns which had received major creative awards as collated by The Gunn Report. The featured case studies were also all drawn from entries to the IPA Effectiveness Awards between 2000 and 2008.

The analysis found that campaigns that had been rewarded with the greatest number of accolades for their creative work were 11 times more successful in delivering positive results.

The combination of Cannes and the World Cup has probably meant that this has not received as much attention as it deserves.

Laurence Green has written about this analysis in the online edition of The Telegraph.

His piece is absolutely essential reading for anyone who cares about our creativity and who wishes to defend it against those who’d rather dilute the excellent and the audacious. Or who regard it as an indulgence.

In fact I’d suggest that we all forward a copy to each and every one of our clients.

You’ll find it here:


  1. Jaclyn

    Hmm, but the study basically proves that creativity is in fact correlated with effectiveness. Not that creativity is the cause of effectiveness right? I don’t claim to know the answer for the actual relationship between creativity and effectiveness but I would hazard a guess that something else is sure to mediate that relationship…
    And until the day when we can conclusively prove that creativity does lead to effectiveness, we’re not likely to hear the end of it from clients 🙂

  2. Martin

    Hey Jaclyn,
    ‘Creativity’ is such a loaded word.
    But if we define it as work that is:
    Worthy of attention
    Makes a brand interesting
    Builds, maintains, and refreshes memories
    Then there is a healthy body of evidence suggesting that this is preferable to work that is:
    Easily ignored
    Is boring
    And does nothing to build and maintain memories
    That said, you’re right. The debate will rumble on until the end of time!
    I guess it comes down to whether one chooses to work with kindred spirits, or not…