Clear Defendable Territory
The crisis of creative effectiveness

The IPA (The UK's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) recently unveiled a new study on 'the crisis in creative effectiveness' stating that campaigns which win creative awards have become increasingly less effective at selling. The study concludes that an emotionally-led approach to brand building pays dividends in the long-term – which shouldn't be new news to anyone.

Over recent years, the lurch towards rationally-centric, action-orientated, online brands have encouraged short-term behaviour that is unhelpful to the long-term health of brands  – e.g. do this, get this, enjoy this… NOW!

But it's emotionally-centred brands that build valuably different, meaningful and enduring relationships with audiences – be that direct-to-consumer or business-to-business.

As a brand owner, it's critical you understand the problem you're solving for your customers – rationally as well as emotionally – today and in the future. It's why, at The Clearing, we deliver 'Clear Defendable Territory' for brands. The space a brand owns in the mind of its customers, that is uniquely theirs, and capable of unlocking the future value opportunity within the market.

It's vital for brands understand when to 'stand-in' and when to 'stand-out'. This is where the real mastery of strategy and creativity lies - understanding the difference between pushing emotional buttons and pulling the levers of value creation.

Agencies who understand this, of which there are only a few, will have many awards – from hard-to-win effectiveness awards (e.g. DBA's Design Effectiveness) to iconic creative awards (e.g. D&AD). Over the past eight years, we've won over 30 awards at The Clearing, but it's our D&AD and DBA Design Effectiveness awards we treasure most.

Why's that? It's because they represent genuine creativity that's truly effective – so, it turns out, if you pick the right consultancy you can have your cake and eat it.