Blog Marian Cammaert – Client Consultant


The creative strength of a commercial is important. That’s something you don’t have to convince me of anymore. For years I have been working on the effectiveness of campaigns from different perspectives and time and time again, creation is a very important part, if not the most important part of what makes a campaign effective.


Standing out through the clutter

Hundreds of new campaigns are being launched every week. Standing out through all the clutter, can be a challenge. The creative strength plays a very important part in grabbing the audience’s attention. After all, people don’t look at advertisements willingly. They avoid commercials by nature. Just look at how many people install ad-blockers nowadays. So, you have to stand out. But, how do you know that for sure? That’s where pre-testing comes in.


The devil is in the detail

I’ve seen plenty of examples where a pre-test has made the difference. Sometimes, it’s the tiniest of changes that matter (where your logo is placed, for instance). But it also has to do with how long you retain the audience’s full attention. Whether a commercial is watched in its entirety or not, has a serious effect on the message it’s communicating. For an optimal message transfer, holding one’s attention is crucial. Research conducted by DVJ showed that retaining the audience after the first 10 seconds of the ad, is the most important KPI for brand impact.


Resulting in some serious money

With all these commercials, you must wonder: Why are only a handful of commercials tested? There’s never enough time, and only big campaigns seem to be important. Online, print and radio even less. So, my plea is: always test your creative strength. Because the optimisations a pre-test delivers, could instantly result in some serious money. Even if you’re only looking at the number of GRP’s for example. From our database of customers who invest in pre-testing, it appears that you can save up to 150-200 GRP’s per campaign.


“If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic.” – William Bernbach, Founder and Creative Director of advertising agency DDB


“The fight” at the end of the year

If there’s one season where it’s particularly difficult to stand out, it’s definitely the holiday season. Who isn’t familiar with the Coca Cola commercials? Or what about the annual John Lewis ad that came out recently, which Les Binet reminded us about during our Brand Growth Event last month. Emotions are running high, and people are crazy about it. There are even Top 5’s of the most tear-jerking holiday commercials. People wanting to be the first to hear, see and in particular, cry. And always with millions of views on YouTube.

It seems that there’s nothing wrong with the willingness to watch these ads (I’m certainly willing to watch!). These commercials are at the top of their game when it comes to creative strength. These brands know what gets the attention, how to get people watching, and how to draw emotion. Let it inspire all of us for more effective creatives. Or let us help you. With that, I rest my pre-testing case.