How does the classic copy testing go nowadays? Recall and recognition are recorded and questions are asked about how the film was assessed and the message understood. Is this enough for your marketing department to optimize the copy? No? You are not alone. The test is sufficient for an evaluation, but all too often there are only a few indicators of how the advertisement can become more powerful.
Two things are missing
Firstly, we have to work out how to measure a measure of success! Recall is not success per se, as the long-winded example of Benetton shows. Intent to buy or brand preference are better indicators of success. Secondly, we need to take an analytical look at the drivers of success.
Analytical look? How is that supposed to work? You can have the contents of the film dissected by communication experts or have volunteers undergo a brain scan. If you are put off by the costs of this, there are tried and tested ways of collecting suitable data for a downstream cause analysis by means of online surveys.
This is how it’s done!
You show a sequence of advertisements and randomly switch your spot in it. After a distraction, you measure recall and recognition, you measure the relevant set and the intent to buy for your product and have the product assessed in more detail. As well as items that measure the message, unconscious emotional aspects should be quantified (e.g. with reaction time measurements). In other words, you are measuring what is changing into potentially relevant drivers of success as a result of the spot.
But the art lies in reading the data! Because if an ad is good, the perception of “stimulance”, recall or brand trust may improve, but which of the three have an effect on success?
Don’t the various components influence each other? Does a “stimulance” emotion, maybe enhance recall, and recall increase brand trust? Maybe, but only to a certain degree – maybe “the more, the better” attitude from linear analysis models distorts the true effects?
Don’t worry, of course there is a tried-and-tested method that takes account of all these uncertainties. And I bet you already suspect which ones…