Creatives were always against any measuring of our work (except by awards juries).

We scoffed at brand tracking studies, despised research, and when told that our ad had failed to achieve certain metrics would protest, citing Albert Einstein, that "Not everything that counts can be counted."

But this attitude has now changed dramatically.

A new metric has arrived, which has become almost a new form of currency in advertising - YouTube views.

I've known Creatives to check their YouTube view-count up to three times daily, following the release of a new viral ad.

Okay, that was me.

But I bet you've done it too.

Interestingly, the interests of Creatives and Clients are now (perhaps for the first time) aligned. We both want exactly the same thing: lots of views.

The result is work - brilliant work - like this:

7 million views so far. And it's for P&G.


The company that is also still capable of putting out work like this:

This one has only 2,000 views.

And that gives me tremendous hope.

Clients have always cared about what can be measured. And now that the boredom of a boring ad is so acutely measurable, they'll view that as a failure. To put it another way, since only cool stuff gets lots of YouTube views, hopefully all clients will now want only cool stuff.

Am I being too simplistic?

I don't think so. History provides many examples of new measurement techniques prompting significant behavioural change. Advanced analysis of baseball stats led to different types of players being hired. Advanced political polling led to different types of policies being adopted.

So surely the coalescing of interest around this new metric... will lead to a different and better type of ad being made?