THE BLOG

Genuine Insight Delivers Quality Advertising

19/03/2013 15:07 GMT | Updated 18/05/2013 10:12 BST

Every week is Advertising Week for me, but this is for everyone. And it couldn't have arrived at a better time because, suddenly, something remarkable has happened to advertising: it is advertising itself. As an industry, advertising has woken up to the fact that it needs to evaluate itself better and explain to the world how incredible it is.

I'm not just talking about the jaw-dropping creativity which sits behind the best advertising. This is about being confident of its contribution to business. As in an eye-watering £100 billion. £1 invested in advertising is £6 for the UK economy. Thanks to the AA for that newfound confidence.

And just as advertising as a whole is beginning to assess itself better, so is TV - the part Thinkbox is particularly interested in. This is happening in two ways: firstly, we now understand more about what TV is and isn't; secondly, we are getting a deeper knowledge of what TV advertising delivers to brands.

TV isn't about distribution; it doesn't matter when you watch it, or how it gets to the screen, or indeed what screen it gets to - be it TV set, tablet or smartphone, live or on-demand. TV is about beautiful, compelling content, and we are in a gloriously golden era. Just like British TV advertising, British TV programmes and formats are in demand all over the world. In a world of infinite content and squillions of uploads, great quality is a jewel to be treasured.

This quality lies behind the mountain of evidence proving TV advertising's peerless effectiveness and the dramatic effect it has on other media, from search and social to direct mail. Ebiquity, in its five-year analysis of 3,000 campaigns, found that TV advertising delivers the highest incremental profit of any medium - £1.70 for every £1 invested - reinforcing the findings in two previous PwC Payback studies.

The latest study is the IPA's, authored by Binet and Field, "Advertising Effectiveness: the long and short of it." A couple important headlines as a head start: regularly reaching a mass audience is the most effective way to advertise, not chasing customer loyalty; brands that invest in advertising for the long term generate double the profit; and TV advertising creates the most business effects and is crucial to long-term profit.

The clear evidence that advertisers should be in it for the long haul may be at odds in such a fast-moving media world. But just because technology is constantly changing, that doesn't mean humans are. And advertising is about humans.

Like the Deloitte study for the AA, the IPA's ad effectiveness study was built on robust research. Research can seem a fusty word, but genuine insight is the most important weapon we have. Too often our industry is fed flimsy, self-interested research or superficial data which clouds or misleads. We would all be doing ourselves an enormous favour if we just ignored this dross and focussed our attention, again, on quality. It is what we can rely on and what we're best at.