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HOW EARLY STAGE CREATIVE TESTING AVOIDS COSTLY MISTAKES

Updated: Mar 26



THE CHALLENGE

Our client, an educational institute was keen to invest in ABL advertising to support a rebranding strategy. The ad agency had developed several scripts, but the client was uncertain whether the creative angle effectively supported the rebranding campaign. The client needed further evidence, to determine the impact the creative route had on perceptions of the institute & what message it conveyed. The results would drive the decision on whether to progress with the ABL campaign.


THE SOLUTION Focus group discussions were conducted with 56 respondents (prospective students and parents of prospective students) in Newcastle and Leeds. Animated storyboards were rotated across the groups, followed by individual brand recall & association exercises to determine immediate reactions. An open discussion ensued exploring the creative elements of each route. At the end of each group, each respondent recorded a short vlog detailing their reactions to the ads, to aid in the client/ ad agency debrief. THE OUTCOME

The client made the decision not to progress with ABL advertising. The research revealed that the creative angle was too complex and abstract for the message to be understood. Students overall decision process was more complex and involved, and a TV ad was likely to have little impact on their final decision. The research also revealed that highly creative ABL ads convey the perception a academic establishment is struggling, or one that does not have a vested interest in the delivery of quality education.

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