Get Ready For The 2016 FeelMore 50!

Next Tuesday we’ll be unveiling our latest set of FeelMore50 results – the Top 50 most emotional ads released or given awards in 2016, from all around the world. Visitors can expect laughing horses and disguised dogs, stressed Moms and obsessed Dads, and plenty of other routes to Feeling taken by advertisers over the past year.

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This year for the first time we’re also including our new Micro Rankings – sub-charts broken down by media, so you can see the most emotional and effective long-form, short-form and purely digital advertising. We’re doing this because there’s never been a better time to take a hard look at the emotional efficiency and long-term branding potential of digital ads in particular. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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).

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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

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.

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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

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

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.

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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

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)