Effectiveness culture is alive and well

The IPA Effectiveness Awards prove time and again not just that advertising works, but how.

Forty-four years on from their inception in 1980, the IPA Effectiveness Awards are back for the biennial festival of deliberation and debate, of disappointment (for some) and delight (for others). And they are back with a bang.

This year’s Awards postbag comprises no fewer than 79 submissions, a 32-year high. Proof that the Awards themselves seem to be in good health as the marketing effectiveness gold standard, and proof also perhaps that effectiveness culture is alive and well in both creative and media agencies, despite all the pressures on time and resource.

Our shortlist boasts everything from Irish stout, Scottish gin and Tennessee whisky through to all manner of good causes. It includes papers dedicated to the returns from creative use of search and even text messaging. Our entries come from far and wide; not just from the usual suspects, but also from more than a dozen new, and typically smaller, participants: a good marker for the IPA Awards’ ongoing relevance and future brand health.

Back in 1980, the Awards set out to prove ‘once and for all’ that advertising worked (i.e. paid back). And despite the persistence of the notion that “I know half my advertising spend is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half” (a barnacle on the advertising boat that somehow never seems to attach itself instead to IT spend or large infrastructure projects) the Awards have proven time and again not just that advertising works, but how.

Rolled up as they all are into the IPA Effectiveness Databank, every entry - shortlisted or not - is a contribution to our body of learning, and so every author an industry hero. Take a bow.

Laurence Green, IPA Director of Effectiveness

To close: take a bow also, IPA Effectiveness Awards. Just as we were closing for entries this year, Thinkbox, together with Ebiquity, EssenceMediacom, Gain Theory, Mindshare & Wavemaker UK, were launching Profit Ability 2, their latest contribution to the marketing science canon. A wonderfully designed study drawn from billions of pounds of econometrically-modelled advertising investment, it supports two of the most deeply-held IPA beliefs derived from investigation of our Databank:

  • First, the study affirmed that “Advertising works: all categories analysed in the study generated a positive payback from advertising when sustained effects are accounted for”. (Time to scrape that barnacle off the boat).
  • Second, it highlighted that most advertising payback (that is, 58% of it) occurs in the months and years after advertising has aired, not while it is on air. That’s an uncanny echo of Binet and Field’s 60/40 rule and subsequent guidance to advertisers established in our publication, ‘The Long and the Short of It’, more than ten years ago.

Our Awards case studies may come and go, but they leave footprints in the sand... and rules that endure.

Reserve your ticket for the IPA Effectiveness Awards Ceremony




Last updated 23 May 2024