In recent years, media buying has been optimised like never before. But we are progressively hearing less about Big Data, and more about Big Brand—fueled by the magic of creativity. 

Brands everywhere have been relying on their existing brand equity, preferring to focus on converting consumers into buyers, without creatively investing in their stories and taking risks. The outcome? Brand equity has plummeted across the board—and so are conversion rates. 

Brands complain that consumer loyalty is scarce—but can they really be surprised when they’ve been screaming “buy now!” and “sale!” for the past 10 years, without equally investing time and money into building relationships with consumers and building a genuine, creative brand story?

Henric Larsson/Founder and CEO, Nordics


The Rise of Big Data

The world’s brand equity is down 20 percent from 2007 for two reasons. The 2008 recession—and Facebook’s introduction of ads, which cast a tremendous spotlight on data and programmatic. Over the following few tough years, brands become almost obsessively tactical, targeted—and, of course, data-driven.

Data is of course both important and imperative, but it has a significant limitation: it only tells us what consumers need, based on what consumers already know

Data could never have given us the smartphone. In the 20s, it would not have given us cars, but faster horses. 

Indeed, the Big Data approach is increasingly revealing that it ultimately has less to be gained from compared to the limitless potential of high impact creativity.

Reaching a $1 billion brand value using data and targeted media buying only costs about $0.9 billion—and that simply isn’t enough.

Clients are increasingly beginning to understand this. Volvo, for instance, recently built huge brand equity by spending a fortune on what we can only define as epic TVCs—not via smart data-driven media buying. 

But not all brands are on trend—yet. How to get clients who are strictly determined to hit quarterly targets to take bets on risky, creative ideas?


Back to Basics

Brands already produce copious amounts of content, but the aim should be to raise the creative bar, as well as focus on video. The first step forward is to experiment with tactical volume content as a test base for bold, new creative ideas.

Target groups will reveal what’s working and what’s not—and help brands draw out the season’s next big hero campaign.

Let’s remember, some of the biggest brand values have been created through creativity—just consider Old Spice, or the Dollar Shave Club. Creativity is timeless and can immortalize your brand.

As marketers, we need to respond to the broad spectrum of consumer needs and appeal to their inner desires: data alone simply can’t.  

We refer to Content as King—but perhaps Creativity is the real capital C.