Ensure your Message Resonates with Consumers (and in Less than 24 hours)

Lida Walsh, Head of Solutions, Harris Interactive UK

For consumers and brands alike, these have been truly unprecedented times—and the challenge of connecting with audiences in the right way can feel particularly difficult. Now, more than ever, it’s critical to pre-test your ads to ensure they will resonate with target audiences. As circumstances and sentiments shift rapidly around the globe, speed is critical.

Pre-test your ads quickly and efficiently

You can easily gather insights to fine-tune your messaging, imagery, and music prior to launch to ensure maximum in-market impact. In this case, speed and timeliness are critical, again as consumer sentiment and circumstances change faster than ever.

In less than 24 hours, you can have the insight you need to refine your ad–or change it entirely. Ensure all components of your ad are well perceived and impact your audience in the way you intend them to.

Testing two similar ads: How will they measure up?

Marketers have been changing advertising to better connect with consumers during the coronavirus pandemic. However, some have been more successful than others. We have tested two commercials that launched during the lockdown, measuring how consumers responded to each ad and how they perceived the brands:

  • The first commercial is for a Cathedral City (cheese) television campaign created to support government stay-home messaging and to position Cathedral City cheese as the perfect way to liven up meals during lockdown. This ad, Cathedral City’s first TV commercial in three years, presents scenes of near empty schools, streets and roads before cutting to a family cooking and enjoying meals in their home. Soundtracked by the Dan Croll song ‘Home,’ the ad underscores the government’s message that home is the best place to be in these lockdown times: “Right now, more than ever, the safest, most comforting place to be is home. #stayhome.” The ad concludes with a shot of the Cathedral City range alongside the brand’s slogan, “The Nation’s Favorite.”
  • The second commercial is part of a new global campaign for Uncle Ben’s (rice). The ad features a real-life father and daughter, illustrating how emotional connections made over dinner can help to bridge the physical distances between families. While many brands have suspended new campaign production due to COVID-19 precautions, Uncle Ben’s “Special Guests” spot was shot while practicing social distancing. The ad slogan here is “We don’t need to be together to be close. Discover recipes designed to bring us closer.”

How were the commercials perceived?

Considering overall Likeability, brand Linkage, and brand Impact, Cathedral City scored higher in all three. While similar proportions of people strongly liked both ads, the “neutral” contingent was far greater for Uncle Ben’s.

All key messages were taken clearly, but respondents perceived other messages, as well. Cathedral City conveyed concepts such as comfort at this time, reassurance and joy to the table and family life is important. For Uncle Ben’s, the messages were Helps bring family together and People’s lives at the moment. Both commercials scored high in terms of clarity, believability, meaningfulness, and relevance, but Cathedral’s performance was again somewhat higher.

Emotional Engagement

Every commercial’s aim is to trigger some strong emotions. Here, the ideal is a positive tone that will lift people’s spirits during lockdown. The testing revealed that positive emotions are scored similarly for both brands, though more respondents noted a sense of sadness from Uncle Ben’s. Cathedral City also created a much higher desire for the brand–as many as 68% claimed that they would buy Cathedral City, compared to 50% for Uncle Ben’s. Respondents also reported a stronger emotional bond to the brand than before viewing the ad. The Dan Croll song, used as the main emotional driver of the ad, struck viewers as catchy, recogniszable, memorable, and appropriate for the brand. The Uncle Ben’s ad relied more on the dialogue between family members, and the music did not register as pivotal for audiences.

With these insights, it’s clear that the Cathedral City ad reached people’s hearts, created positive feelings, great brand linkage, and very high desire. All in all, it’s a commercial worth getting on the air. Uncle Ben’s, while a success in several ways, does not measure up to Cathedral City in its overall evaluation and also strengthened a feeling of sadness.

Take the guesswork out of your next ad

Finding the right tone for the time is a tricky endeavor, and it takes more than simply creating a good advertisement. This is not the time for guesswork when it comes to meaningfully reaching consumers. Our solutions can ensure that advertisements are bringing people closer to your brand.

Get started on pre-testing your next ad by connecting with us today – a member of the team will be in touch to discuss your needs.

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