Quantity equals quality. On the first day of class, a professor at the University of Florida divided his film photography students into two groups. The first group would be graded on the quantity of work produced: 100 photos gets an A, 90 photos a B, and so on. The second would be graded on the excellence of their work: they need only to submit one image, but it had to be near perfect. At the end of the term, he was surprised to find that all the best photos were produced by the quantity group. They were busy taking photos, experimenting with different methods, and learning from their mistakes, while the ‘quality’ group speculated and theorized, with little to show for their efforts but one mediocre photo.
All creative pursuits are dominated by the Pareto distribution, stating that 80% of outcomes are due to 20% of causes. Movies. Books. Music. Art. Technology. The ratio isn’t always 80:20, but the vast majority of value is always generated by a tiny percentage of the assets produced. It’s rarely possible to predict ahead of time what will work. You must work through the 80% to get to the 20%. There’s only a 5-15% probability that a new ad will outperform the previous best creative in your account. When you do find a winner they tend to outperform by 20- 500%, which makes up for all the budget wasted. After 4-6 weeks even winning combinations reach their peak due to ad fatigue – users get tired of seeing it in their feed – and the next unicorn hunt begins.