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.


Continue reading

What Makes Great Advertising: Lessons From Language

Orlando Wood, MD BrainJuicer Labs, writes about an experiment in language analysis in partnership with Relative Insight.

One of the main barriers to the uptake of social insight has been that behind the attractive dashboards and metrics lurks a great deal of hard human work. People have been required to build dictionaries, update vocabulary lists, and check output. And that’s in addition to their analysing the output and turning it into useful insight.

One company that might be able to offer a solution to the analysis of large amounts of text data is Relative Insight. BrainJuicer Labs met up with them to understand how the software they’ve developed might help us to interrogate the language respondents use in large text datasets.

text magnifying

Relative Insight has its origins in software used to detect criminal intent in online posts. It can detect from a person’s use of language, for instance, whether they genuinely are a 10 year old girl, or in fact someone much older, pretending to be a 10 year old girl. It does this by comparing two bodies of text and looking for subtle differences in the use of words, grammar or themes. Without you realising, your language says a lot about you.

We wanted to see whether this approach could tell us anything about how different audiences respond to advertising and, indeed, whether it could help us to understand what makes great emotional advertising. We know there is a direct relationship between emotional response to advertising and its in-market efficiency, so we asked Relative Insight to analyse open-ended text responses detailing how people felt towards 150+ ads we had recently tested. The ads were part of our FeelMore50 testing – a body of creative work that has been awarded for its creativity or achieved viral success. Continue reading

The Best of the 2016 Olympics Advertising: Brazil Tops the FeelMore50 Medal Table

With its global audience, the Olympics provide one of the largest marketing platforms in the world, reaching billions of consumers – therefore making it crucial for brands to bring their A-game to the advertising space. The Games are a great branding and advertising opportunity – but on the eve of the 2016 games, which advertisements have made the most of it?

We tested over 40 Olympic-themed adverts in markets across the world, ranking the Top 10, and looking for the ones that made audiences feel the most. Because if you feel more, you buy more, and the Olympics are no exception.

Of the ads we tested, the top three – gold, silver and bronze – all go to ads tested among Brazilian audiences. Excitement among Brazilian fans is high for the games, and these three global brands, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and P&G, have found ways of tapping that. What is the secret of their success?

Olympic Rings BR Flag

Photo Credit: Célia Regina Satiko Nishio

Continue reading

A Brand For All Seasons: Fluency and Versatility

Brands can fit into many different contexts. A bottle of wine can be a gift, an accompaniment to a home-cooked meal, a romantic shared experience, or just a way to relax after a hard day in the office. How do people decide which brand to pick for which purpose? A vast amount of segmentation work is done trying to figure questions like this out.

drinking wine

But could it all be much simpler? New work by academics Davide Giacolone and Sara Jaeger, presented at the Sense Asia conference in Shanghai, suggests it might be. Giacolone and Jaeger were investigating versatility in food and drink – the chances of a given foodstuff being seen as right for a variety of different contexts. They looked at fruit, chocolate bars – and wine. They showed participants a number of common wines with basic details given – the year, the grape, and the country of origin. They then asked which of the bottles they recognised, and whether specific wines would be appropriate for specific occasions.

What they found was simple and intuitive, but it has big implications. Continue reading

Pokémon Go: The Triumph Of Fluent Innovation

Pokémon Go is the game that caught the world. With downloads in the tens of millions and active user rates overtaking Tinder and Twitter in the US, it’s a game that’s become a cultural phenomenon in less than a week and sent franchise owner Nintendo’s share price soaring. The appeal seems obvious. For kids, the catch-em-all, collect-em-all appeal of Pokémon is evergreen. For parents, it’s a way to bond with kids and get them out of the house. And for that massive slice of the game’s audience in between who were there for the first Pokémon craze in the late 90s, it’s a childhood dream come true.

PG Squirtle

It’s also a brilliant example of Fluent Innovation, the kind of innovation we’ve been talking about a lot at BrainJuicer lately.

PG Drowzee

Fluent Innovation is all about combining genuine, surprising novelty with stuff that is already fluent and familiar. “20% exciting surprise, 80% delightfully familiar” – as we put it in our previous post about it. That combination of the instantly familiar and the marvellously new is what made Moka coffee machines sell, what helps scientific papers get cited… and now it’s what’s broken augmented reality games – where the game interface overlaps with the real world via your device – through to the mainstream in one remarkable swoop.

PG Zubat

Pokémon Go maker Niantic previously made another augmented reality game, Ingress, which worked in very similar ways to Pokémon Go (Ingress’ maps of key locations overlap heavily with the new game’s Gyms and Pokestops). It was a big cult success, but on nowhere near the mainstream scale of Pokémon Go. Some gaming commentators have sighed over the fact that the genuinely innovative, smooth-running and feature-rich Ingress only achieved a tiny percentage of the success Pokémon Go has. The difference, obviously, is Pokémon: add a strong franchise to new technology and you have a success on your hands.

PG Squirtle 2

The reason why this technique works so well is Fluent Innovation. The barriers to an unfamiliar behaviour – interacting with the world via augmented reaity – are lowered by the addition of familiar unique assets – Pikachu and his chums. There are a lot more useful things you can do with the new behaviour than catch Pokémon – but without that shot of fluency they just feel weird. Just look at Google Glass, which sought to bring augmented reality to the masses and ended up an ambitious white elephant as far as wider consumers were concerned.

PG Taurus

But it’s not just a case of add a branded character and sell more. At the height of the Pokémon craze, you could buy Pokémon toothbrushes, watches and duvet covers. I’m sure they sold fine, but they didn’t dramatically expand teeth-brushing or time-telling overnight. They didn’t have any real innovation in the mix. For Fluent Innovation, neither the new or the familiar is enough by itself.

(With thanks to the trainers in our London, Shoreham, New York and Miami offices for the images used in this post!)