JWC Watches


(Startupguys.net, 2015)

Sugarfree Chupa Chups


(Viralnova, 2018)

Erdal Shoe Polish


(Shontell and Taube, 2014)

Burger King


(Smejkal, 2017)



(Can You Actually, 2016)

Heinz Ketchup


(Pinterest, 2018)

Frontline Flea Spray


(Pinterest, 2018)

Mr Clean


(Smejkal, 2017)

Mars Bar


(Shontell and Taube, 2014)



(Smejkal, 2017)



(Can You Actually, 2018)

Ways to Assess Creativity in Advertising

Creativity in advertising is notoriously difficult to quantify, and insufficient research has been done on the subject to get a full grasp of the concept.  Very few researchers have investigated creativity in advertising empirically (Boyd et al. 2003 cited in McStay, 2010).  In the rare cases that creativity in advertising is addressed, it is deemed the least scientific, least understood and least agreed upon concept within advertising.  (Koslow et al., 2003; Ogilvy, 1985; Reid, King, & DeLorme, 1998 cited in McStay, 2010). The research, however, remains limited and abstract and has only recently been acknowledged as deserving further attention. (Stone, Besser, and Lewis 2000 cited in Till and Baack, 2005)

On the occasions where advertising creativity has been studied, it has been described as a different kind of creativity. One which involves problem-solving and is guided by research (Bell, 1992 cited in White and Smith, 2001). It is thought of as a form of innovation - within limits (Kover, 2016). It is a process constrained by marketing objectives, competition, and the organisational approval hierarchy (Bell 1992, cited in White and Smith, 2001).  However, to develop a creative advertisement, one must possess relevant industry skills and knowledge. Creativity and motivation alone are insufficient (Sternberg, 20016 cited in Romeiro and Wood, 2015).  There are numerous views on the subject. For example, some experts feel that advertising creativity is validated when confirmed as creative by the appropriate observers, i.e., advertising professionals (Amabile, 1992 cited in White and Smith, 2001).  Conversely, it is argued that it is the consumers that have the final authority over whether an advert is deemed creative (Alstech, 1995 cited in White and Smith, 2001).  A later study compared advertising research over time and concluded that advertising professionals responded to adverts created to professional standards whereas consumers responded to adverts that lead to feelings of personal enhancement (Kover et al., 1997 cited in White and Smith, 2001).  

Creative advertising can be measured by the divergence of the advert along five dimensions; originality, flexibility, elaboration, synthesis, and artistic value. An advert which includes originality is defined as rare, unusual, unique, novel or surprising (Reinartz and Saffert, 2013). The element of originality is consistently cited as a trait of a creative advertisement (Ang and Low 2000; Haberland and Dacin 1992; Jewler and Drewniany 1998; Marra 1990; White and Smith 2001 cited in Till and Baack, 2005). This novelty is strongly shown to increase attention from the viewer (Bettman 1979; Johnston et al. 1990; Mitchell 1987; Pieters, Warlop, and Wedel 2002; Rossiter and Percy 1985 cited in Till and Baack, 2005). Nonetheless, this novelty must be appropriate. This is defined as solving a problem, fitting the need of the situation, and accomplishing a recognisable goal. This appropriateness is seen as a qualifier for creativity. Originality is useless if the advert does not fit the audience or product (MacKinnon, 1970 and Alstech, 1995 cited in White and Smith, 2001). Adverts containing elaborative elements include surprising details or may broaden basic ideas. Adverts which are creative along the synthesis dimension blend unrelated objects and ideas. Finally, advertisements which possess artistic value dimension contain verbal, visual or sound elements. The most successful combination of these elements is originality paired with either artistic value or elaboration (Reinartz and Saffert, 2013).

Ways to Aseess the Success of an Advertisement

There are different measures of advertising effectiveness: they tend to be; recall- or persuasion-focused, likability, attractiveness, and attitude toward the brand (Leather et al., 1994; Wells, 2000; And and Low, 2000; Higie and Sewall, 1991 cited in Till and Baack, 2005) Measuring television advertisements as a form of traditional media is tricky business. It is possible to gather a certain amount of data such as audience reach and some demographic information. This is incomparable to the wealth and richness of data easily gleaned from digital advertisements. Luckily, in the modern world, there are opportunities to gauge the success of traditional advertisements online.

Nowadays consumers will happily find and share online versions of advertisements if they are; memorable, meaningful, engaging and relevant to both consumer and brand (Greenwald, 2013). The key to success is to deliver a desirable perception of a brand to a specific target audience which prompts that audience to take action and the best way to do this is to make an emotional connection (Adweek, 2017). When customers take that conversation online to platforms such as Twitter and Youtube, brands can measure the success of the advertisements using a plethora of metrics which were never possible before the emergence of the online space. The number of times the video is shared, liked, and commented on is one of the most straightforward measurements of success. Conversations between consumers about the adverts and about the brand itself can be listened to and used to further improve the product and/or the advertising strategy. 

Furthermore, brands can measure the increases in website clicks, product sales, brand mentions and increases in brand awareness after the advertisement has been aired to further appraise the commercial success of the campaign.  Further inspiration on how to promote an advertisement's message and enjoy more success can be found in Seth Godin's TED Talk on how to get your ideas to spread.


How To Spread Your Ideas

AIDA Funnel


(Quigley, 2018)

Mountain Dew Super Bowl Ad - Puppy Monkey Baby

Assessing the Creativity of a Super Bowl Ad

I have chosen to examine the creativity and success of the Mountain Dew Kickstart Advertisement for Super Bowl 2016, PuppyMonkeyBaby. As discussed in section one of this assignment, one method of measuring the creativity of advertisements is to track their divergence from the norm. The depiction of a strange creature that is a hybrid of a puppy, a monkey and a baby is indeed a novelty and very unexpected so one can safely assume that Mountain Dew has created an advertisement which showcases originality. This novelty is shown to grab the attention of the viewer to ensure they are engaged with the advertisement. Consumers are consequently more likely to take notice of the brand message (Bettman 1979; Johnston et al. 1990; Mitchell 1987; Pieters, Warlop, and Wedel 2002; Rossiter and Percy 1985 cited in Till and Baack, 2005). As discussed, this oddity must be appropriate for both the brand and the audience (MacKinnon, 1970 and Alstech, 1995 cited in White and Smith, 2001). Both sides of this coin are true in the case of PuppyMonkeyBaby. The originality is appropriate as a soft drink is not a serious or stuffy brand so a jovial advertisement may be in keeping with the image. The overall concept of combining three great things is relevant to the product which is combining three ingredients which the company are claiming to be fantastic. However, one could also argue that a hybrid creature is a cheap attention-grabbing tool and unrelated to the product. The Mountain Dew advertisement also embodies the synthesis dimension as they blend animals and babies with soft-drinks which are seemingly unrelated items (Reinartz and Saffert, 2013).

The success of the advertisement can be viewed in numbers online. The video has been viewed forty-four million times on YouTube and talked about by millions more on both Facebook on Twitter. The bizarreness of the advert captured the imagination of the masses ensuring the campaign's reach was much farther than the viewers of the Super Bowl. Viral sharing online gained welcome free publicity for Mountain Dew (Thier, 2016). 


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