Ad Testing: More Vital Than Ever?

Online video has been one of the great success stories of digital advertising – consumers are said to prefer it as a way to consume content, and brands have invested in it massively. Its momentum is such that the news this morning that Facebook metrics have been overestimating the amount of time people spend watching videos on the platform won’t change the upward trajectory of online video or its centrality to modern marketing.

Angestellter auf Laptop eingeschlafen

But it is a useful reminder of how important it is to get the best content in place – work that genuinely does capture people’s hearts and eyes. And the best way to do that is testing.

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Under The Hood Of Our System 1 Digital Content Test

This post is a sneak preview of the next generation version of our award-winning Ad Testing methodology, specially optimised for digital content.(You can hear a free webinar about it next Wednesday).


This isn’t new territory for BrainJuicer: we’ve been testing online content for as long as we’ve been testing ads. And the core of our approach is still the same as it always has been – we measure emotional response to ads to predict how effective they are.

So what’s new? We wanted to create a version of our test that reflected our philosophy on digital content – a set of principles that we think aligns very well with a new appreciation of how best to use online content in a marketing campaign. Continue reading

System1 Politics: Five Things You Need To Know

This week we were proud to launch System1 Politics, a new BrainJuicer project. Here’s what you need to know.

It’s asking the big questions.

System1 Politics is a new specialist unit set up to use BrainJuicer methodologies – like our Brand Tracking, Ad Testing, Predictive Markets, and Storyteller tools – to tackle political questions. Like “who’s going to win the US election?”

It’s following the Presidential race.

At, our microsite, which is currently all about Trump and Clinton and will be for the next 8 weeks, with an update every Tuesday showing their current standings and a fresh selection of no-holds-barred consumer verbatims that might raise even Trump’s hair. Even back in January we were predicting an extremely close race and the current waves of data are bearing that out. Continue reading

5 Questions To Make Your Digital Content Better

On September 26, 2006, the modern era of marketing began. Facebook – already enjoying viral growth among academic institutions – opened its accounts up to the public for the first time.


Facebook in 2006 – opening the door to modern marketing…

A month later, in October, Google bought YouTube, making a powerful statement that the future belonged to video.

These two elements – social media, and online video – remain the fundamental building blocks of online content: the levers of all the change we’ve seen over the ten years since, across every device.

While many commentators talk about that change as the only constant worth considering, we take a different view. At the same time as staggering technological change has transformed marketing, there’s been a new and deeper understanding of the fundamentals of human decision-making – which have not changed for tens of thousands of years.

To communicate with people today, you have to understand both radical change and extreme continuity. You have to use the basic “System 1” shortcuts of human decision-making to get the most out of the myriad of new platforms, tools and features you’re confronted with on a weekly basis.

Later this month, we’ll be launching a new version of our award-winning ad testing methodology, specifically designed to test digital content. A free webinar will lay out its new capabilities and the philosophy behind it.

As a taster, here are the five questions we feel you should be asking about every piece of content you create – online and offline. Continue reading

How to Use Colour

We try and provide interesting reading ourselves at Brian Juicer Blog, but every so often we find a post by someone else we just have to link. For instance, “Color Psychology In Marketing: The Complete Guide” by content marketing firm Coschedule – a gobsmackingly detailed guide to how to use colour and what each colour ‘means’. Even if you’re sceptical of some of the psychological insight, you’ll pick up some design basics which might make your next presentation a lot brighter.

And some of the material is fascinating – like this survey on the associations of colours and words.

colours and wordsNo wonder so many companies use blue, the colour of trust, reliability, and security.

From our perspective, the most crucial use of colour is as an asset a brand can ‘own’ – a mental association that builds Fluency for a particular brand and makes it more recognisable and thus more likely to be picked in a fast System 1 decision. Take Santander, for instance. Underpinning the bank’s rapid market share growth in the UK was its saturation use of a particular shade of red. Bright and dynamic, it helped the bank stand out in a market both highly competitive and slow to change. When we surveyed the distinctive assets of banks last year, Santander’s ownership of red was unchallenged – no mean feat, since several other banks use it. Colours matter, but they matter most when you can make them yours.

Off Target

P&G made headlines last week when they announced they would be rebalancing their Facebook advertising spend away from targeted advertising. “We targeted too much, and we went too narrow”, as chief marketing officer Marc Pritchard put it, concluding that Facebook targeting was useful for time-specific advertising (like nappies for new Mums) but ultimately lacked efficiency. P&G’s TV ads, like the 5-Star Thank You Mom, speak to everyone. But its Facebook spend was way too specific.

thank you mom

At BrainJuicer, we’ve made no secret of the fact we aren’t huge fans of heavy targeting as a marketing practice. As a behavioural intervention it makes sense on paper – if you genuinely can guarantee that you can reach someone just as they’re about to make a relevant decision, why not get your brand in front of them? This is what makes Google Adwords such a great product, since search is as good an indicator of relevance and decision imminence as you can find. But targeting based on interests and histories – which is what most digital targeting boils down to – does not meet that criteria.

But the real reason we’re suspicious of digital targeting-based strategies is that they make one huge, and misguided, assumption. Continue reading

The (un) expected Olympic Games – A perspective from Rio

The author, Célia Regina Satiko Nishio, Senior Client Director at BrainJuicer for LatAm, is a tri-athlete, completely passionate about sports, and is Brazilian & Carioca by heart and soul.

I am a tri-athlete, completely passionate about sports and am Brazilian & Carioca by my heart and soul! So, for me, the Olympic Games are something very special – like an emotional movie, one that lasts 15 days! Everything impresses me, from the colors and magic of the opening and closing ceremonies, the national anthems from each country, the never-heard-of countries with super-athletes, and of course, all of the sweaty victories! So with that, I quickly planned to work as a volunteer and bought several tickets to attend the games. But I found this unprecedented, giant event in Brazil, and even better in Rio de Janeiro, was noted and celebrated by few when Brazil was announced as a host. Despite Brazil’s good performance in the Olympic Games, we are traditionally involved – mainly and almost purely – with soccer games (FIFA World Cup), and that’s it.

An absence of feeling

Since the beginning of last year, a client of ours has tracked the interest of Brazilians in the Olympic Games, and with no surprise, we found people were feeling very neutral about them – and neutrality isn’t an emotion at all, rather it’s the absence of emotion. Maybe, I hoped, with the event approaching, interest and feeling would increase.


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