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How to Get Data-Driven Creative That Turns Heads

Updated: Jul. 16, 2021
Published: Jan. 09, 2020

Even with the most advanced targeting technology and strong brand recognition, a campaign can under-perform if it lacks eye-catching, buzzworthy creative. But don’t take my word for it. Hear it from our recent guest on Simulmedia Live, the CEO and Founder of Quirk Creative and one of Business Insider’s 36 Rising Stars of Madison Avenue, Meryl Draper. She has made a business out of helping brands capture the best versions of themselves through standout video creative.

While choosing highlights from Mery's appearance on Simulmedia Live was no simple task, here are some of the actionable insigths that brands - new or experienced with TV - can use.

1. Pick the most fiery creative.

Meryl’s biggest call-to-action is face your marketing fears and go with the “three flame emoji” creative. She says playing it safe hinders brands from reaching peak success and having a lasting impact on viewers. In 2020, viewers demand to be entertained by the whole program hour.

2. Your finished creative shouldn't be your final product.

Meryl says responding to audience trends quickly, by getting creative into the market swiftly, learning from it, then optimizing, is absolutely imperative. Most brands don’t realize the first creative is just that: the first of many potential versions to test audience reactions with. Brands need to initiate open communication between their creative agency and media planners to squeeze the most out of their creative’s performance by testing different versions of the creative.

3. If you can’t pitch your brand’s story in 30 seconds neither can the creative.

Meryl says the kick-off meeting between all brand-side stakeholders and the Quirk team is the most critical step in the creative process. It’s usually the first time all the people tasked with marketing a brand are forced to sit down and hash out their vision for the brand. Prioritizing creative alignment within a company is critical before an agency can seek out a concise message for your creative brief. Her motto for constructing a creative brief is “less is more,” but if you’re curious to learn more about how Quirk recommends brands approach them, check out [this article on their blog.

4. Don’t sacrifice ‘sexy’ for a KPI.

In this day and age, you shouldn't have to pick between pure performance and pure brand in creative. That being said, marketers can’t expect immediate conversions from an emotional, “big narrative” spot. Meryl says it’s possible to build brand awareness and provide a powerful call-to-action (CTA) without looking like a direct response infomercial. Clients turn to Quirk to weave in value propositions, instead of waving around a sales message.

Meryl pledges that a hybrid creative, one that incorporates analytical insights, and of course, quirkiness, will fire up your brand’s performance in 2020. At the end of the video she took questions from the live audience. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to answer these last two. Here are her answers:

Bonus Q&A:

Q. Have any of your client’s ever gone with a “three flame emoji” concept?**
A. Yes. They’re clients that are willing to take big creative risks in order to achieve big creative rewards.

Q. What is the difference between good creative and great creative to you?
A. It’s all about the 1%, and we actually wrote a blog post on it.