Market Research Boosts Consumer Response to Creative Ads

Consumers Reward Brands that Entertain and Evoke Emotions Through Ads
suedhang/Getty Images

Definitions of creativity are subjective. Members of creative advertising and marketing teams may not define creativity the same way that market researchers do. There is some general agreement on the main categories of creativity into which creative advertisements can be located. Research at the University of Jerusalem (Goldenberg, Mazrsky, & Solomon, 1999) has identified 16 different templates for creativity that can be classified into six distinct categories.

An analysis of award-winning creative ads indicates that these categories are well represented in advertising that goes viral or attracts industry recognition. 

Six Categories of Creativity Found in Advertising

A company or brand that is interested in increasing the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns can make progress in this area by examining their advertising in light of the six categories of creativity. One reason that these categories are useful is that they are familiar at a very fundamental level.  Most people have experienced sufficient exposure to advertising in the form of broadcast commercials to relate to the ads without being fully aware of why the familiar structures feel "right."   

  • Pictorial Analogy - The value of the brand, product, or service is established and/or emphasized in this creative technique through the use of metaphors and symbols, which may be presented in an exaggerated manner.
  • Extreme Situations - This creative technique presents unrealistic situations or fantastical scenarios to underscore the strengths of the brand, product, or service. 
  • Consequence - The necessity of purchasing the product or service are exaggerated or presented in an unexpected way that illustrates the dire consequences that could occur if the consumer does not have or use the product or service. 
  • Competition - Often set up as a formal competition, a brand, product, or service is compared to another from the same category as a means of establishing superiority and encouraging consumer differentiation.
  • Interactive Experiment - To strengthen consumer awareness and preference for a particular brand, product, or service, an opportunity to participate in an interactive experiment is established and implemented with members of the public who wish to participate. 
  • Dimensionality Alteration - This creative technique enables playful expression of the dimensions of a product in relation to space, time, or other aspects of the environment.  

The Value of Creative Advertising  

The value that a creative advertising campaign is evidenced in the volume of market share gained and the value of the brand, product, or service (Van Dyck, 2014). Several evidence-based reasons exist for using resources to develop truly creative advertising.

  1. Consumers remember creative advertising, but forget other ads in the congested sea of unimpressive and poorly conceived or executed ads.
  2. Creative award-winning ads generate roughly 50% more market share growth than ads that do not win industry awards. 
  3. Creative advertising campaigns are a good investment for a company since they exhibit higher levels of effectiveness than less creative ad campaigns. 
  1. As an advertising campaign progresses, creative ads become more effective over time with respect to the effectiveness, as measured by brand market share. 
  2. Creative advertising is associated with comparatively more earned media coverage, a larger amount of buzz, and consumer word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising.

Now That You Know

Now that you know the value of creative advertising to your business, you can appreciate the need for putting in the extra effort and using the necessary resources to accomplish campaigns that will reflect well on your brand, product, or service. This will engage consumers in lasting ways. 


Golden, J., Mazursky, D., & Solomon, S. (1999). The fundamental templates of quality ads.  Marketing Science, 18(3), 333-351.

Van Dyke, F. (2014).  Advertising transformed: The new rules for the digital age.

 London: Kogan Page Limited.

Yang, X. & Smith, R.E. (2009).  Beyond attention effects: modeling the persuasive emotional effects of advertising creativity.  Marketing Science, 28(5), 935-949.