In an Adage article by Patrick Sarkissian, he makes the claim that metrics are indeed killing creativity. His point is really about using metrics to make creative decisions exclusively. Metrics have always been in advertising and I suspect have driven the decisions of many clients that are too afraid to take risks in general. Metrics and measurement are always important, but so is the ability to take a chance with a creative campaign that may not have all the numbers and metrics to back it up. ROI and reduced risk for business is always an important thing to consider for campaigns, but so is taking a risk. Not taking risks will get you slow and steady returns with little ,to no loss there is no question. Risks can pay off huge when the creative resonates with the audience and in the end makes for a remarkable campaign that elevates your brand or product to new levels.
Measurement is essential but the human spirit quite often surprises. During the Olympics crowds of hundreds, and sometimes thousands, would spontaneously breakout into the national anthem when they were finished quite often the crowd would do it all over again. I noticed that the anthem was notably missing from most ad campaigns during the Olympics. I am not sure if it was metrics or not but if there had been an anthematic ad campaign it would have resonated without a doubt. My point is that humans are not always predictable and great creativity connects in ways that metrics cannot always predict.
Metrics are important sure, but should they drive all creative choices for your campaign? Sure if slow steady returns are what you are looking for. If you want the potential of a “knock it out of the park” campaign you are going to have to take some “calculated” risks to make that happen.