- Only a quarter of this year's Cannes Lions award-winning campaigns provided brand impact over the short or the long-term, according to Kantar research made available to Marketing Dive. This year's winners were found to be only half as effective at long-term brand building than award-winning ads from five years ago.
- Only about 25% of the 2019 Cannes award winners were easily identified by brand. Additionally, the research firm found a decline in ads using humor.
- The research looked at 25 of this year's winners across five markets using Kantar's Link Now creative pre-testing solution on the Kantar Marketplace, an on-demand research platform that was launched in March. Link Now measures the ability of an ad to deliver short- or long-term brand goals, benchmarked against a database of about 200,000 ads.
Poor branding in award-winning ads was identified by Kantar as a key reason for the decline in effectiveness for ads, as only about 25% of the 2019 Cannes award-winners were easily identified by brand.
The decline in humor identified by the research suggests ads have grown less enjoyable over time. In addition to few ads effectively integrating the brand, Kantar also said that relatively few of the award-winners drove brand affinity or a strong positive emotional response, sometimes because of an over-reliance on "shock" factors.
As an example of an award-winning ad that effectively links to the brand, Kantar pointed to Busch's Bronze Lion-winning "What beer is that?," a humorous spoof of taste-off contests. The ad scored in the top 10% for effectiveness, per Kantar's research. Another effective winner named by Kantar is Chaindrite’s Bronze Award-winning "Termite-ator."
Kantar pointed to Bodyform's Gold Lion-winning "Viva la Vulva" and the New York Times' Grand Prix-wining "The truth is worth it" as examples of ads for which there is a high level of engagement, but enjoyment levels are very low, indicating the ads do not evoke the right kind of emotion response.
A June report from consultant Peter Field cited by Kantar said the ad industry has reached a "crisis in creative effectiveness." Looking at the award-winning campaigns in the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) databank, Field found that they were now not any more effective than non-award winning ones.
In particular, Field said that creative award-winning campaigns had been about 12 times as efficient as non-awarded campaigns in the 12-year period ending 2008, but that the difference has dropped to 4 times more recently. Based only on the last few years, the difference is nearly zero. The culprit, according to Field: an emphasis on short-term sales versus long-term brand building.