Awards and Events in association withCreative Circle

Rory Gallery on Why Creative Effectiveness Is Dictated by Positive Sentiment

Associations, Award Shows and Festivals
New York, USA
Using an astute Peppa Pig analogy, the chief strategy officer explains how media performance metrics make up one small chapter in the book of fundamental effectiveness

AME Awards, the effectiveness focused award show from New York Festivals, has partnered with Little Black Book to sponsor the Awards & Events channel. This channel is a place for general news about award wins and any events being held, but it's also a place to discuss the trends impacting and changing award shows, such a prevalent part of our industry.

As part of this partnership, we'll be interviewing some of the advertising industry's brightest minds and most revered leaders on the meaning of effectiveness in 2021 and beyond, the advertising awards landscape of the future, and just about anything and everything that might come up along the way. In this latest edition LBB’s April Summers chats to Rory Gallery, chief strategy officer at Special NZ. 

LBB> What does "effectiveness" mean? What is it made up of?

Rory> It means having a powerful impact on a brand’s business or organisation’s goals. In my humble opinion, it is usually made up of a consistent, single minded strategy and brilliant creative product. At Special, it is our core belief that the most creative work will lead to the most effective work.


LBB> How has the definition of effectiveness, and the way that we measure it, changed over the years?

Rory> The rise of digital and social media has had many benefits for brands, but one of the downfalls has been the negative impact it has had on what we as an industry consider effectiveness to mean. Lots of brands and their partners put too much emphasis on media and ad performance metrics but this doesn’t tell the whole story, which is best illustrated through my ridiculous analogy…

When I am at home with my kids, I am forced into watching a lot of shows like Peppa Pig, In the Night Garden and Cocomelon. If I was a statistic, it would show that I have watched a lot of Peppa Pig. However, this doesn’t necessarily make me feel positive about the brand ‘Peppa Pig’ nor do I want to spend my money subscribing to it or buying its merchandise (no disrespect to Peppa Pig). My daughter, however, loves it! She spends all my money on it.

The data will tell you both of us watch it, but only one of us has a positive perception and actively wants to part with their money on the brand. Brand advertising works in a similar way. Just because we have watched an ad - rather than skipped it - doesn’t mean it has an impact on the brand metrics or the commercial performance of the brand.

We need to be mindful of this when thinking about creative effectiveness. We need to get back to focusing on what effectiveness truly is: work that creates positive sentiment towards a brand and ultimately behaviour change and commercial impact. Media performance metrics are merely one small chapter in the story.

LBB> What have been some of the most effective ads to date?

Rory> I am really fortunate that my team successfully created three of the most effective campaigns in the world last year according to the WARC 100; Meddle in the New Zealand Election, for Every Kiwi Vote Counts; Good Morning World (international campaign) and Do Something New, New Zealand (domestic campaign) for Tourism New Zealand.

Elsewhere, McCann Manchester’s work for Aldi is outstanding; the Bodyform/Libresse/Libra work by AMV BBDO is the perfect example of the most creative work being the most effective work; and as a brand, I believe KFC have done some wonderful work with Mother London in recent years. In particular, how they responded to the crisis of running out of chicken, and then retiring their end line temporarily when Covid came along.

LBB> What are your thoughts on the future of awards?

Rory> I am a believer in awards. They are a useful yardstick to determine whether or not we are measuring up to the best in the industry. We continued to invest, and although we didn’t get to go to many award shows in the last couple of years, they have definitely kept our bar set high for the work we put out into the world.

I guess that’s why I think they will continue to be important: they set the standard and make our industry better. You don’t need to go to an award show for awards to be useful. Even some of the work I have mentioned, which has been well awarded, has inspired me to want to be better. If the industry continues to build the case that creative work is the most effective work (which I believe it will) the entire industry will be encouraged to be bolder in their creative decisions.

Work from New York Festivals