On average, a consumer is exposed to 3000+ ads every day. This means that more than ever, those in the brand communications must up their game in developing campaigns that cut through the clutter and get results.
Real and powerful insights have proven time and time again to be the engine of powerful and successful campaigns.
Unfortunately, most of the campaigns in this market are not based on strong consumer insight. This results in communication that is mundane, poor in cutting through the clutter and poor in delivering results.
Developing innovative brand communications ideas
Here will see how the use of a structured thinking tool from Mindscapes’ can empower you with a method to developing great campaigns.
Most agencies have a ‘Client Brief’ template. It guides clients in briefing their agencies more effectively, and ensures there is a common understanding between the two parties. Though this does not always happen! But that’s a story for another day.
Typically, on the template will be the question, ‘what is the consumer insight’?
In my experience in Agency, it was very rare that a real insight was provided. Most of the time, the agency had to go back and find one.
In hindsight, I don’t believe its for the client to crack this.
It is the responsibility of the agency as the communication partner as it forms the basis of messaging the brand proposition in a manner that connects with the consumer. Best case scenario is to crack it together.
So, what exactly is an insight? Let’s start with what it’s not. An insight is not information.
For example, ‘most black skinned women have oily skin’, that is not an insight. It’s also not an observation. For example, ‘Nairobi has a lot of traffic during weekdays. That is not an insight.
According to Mindscapes Tools, Insights is a chain of revelations. It’s a series of revelations that are made from one revelation to the next. Mindscapes have developed a simple approach that helps one reveal an insight.
This is ‘OUA’; Meaning Observation, Understanding and Articulation.
Observations are simple truths about situations, about people; what they do, think, feel and know in our everyday lives. It does not require any form of research. Although research can be used to validate, through quantifying the observation. However, it’s obvious.
Now these observations provoke a new revelation. This means that we start to see this observation differently. This can be a revelation about why people behave the way they do, think the way they think, or feel the way they feel.
Note that this is not about looking for something that is pre-determined, you are looking for what you don’t know. It’s a revelation! Because observations can be anything and everything under the sun, it’s important that we get the right observation.
A tip is that it has to lead to an AHA moment; “I never thought of it like this!” This is the ‘Understanding’; it connects to the context of the brand. And there is a sense of an insight in it.
The ‘Understanding’ then leads us to the next stage, ‘Articulation’, which allows us to articulate a new perspective about the brand. This is the idea that the brand can stand for or play in relation to the consumer.
Let’s look at some examples.
Equity “Karibu Member” Campaign
The Equity bank campaign ‘Mimi ni Member’ was very successful because it was based on a very inspiring insight. The brief was to launch a banking product that targeted a previously unbanked audience.
Let’s reverse engineer. The ‘Observation’ was that ‘People in the lower end of the spectrum (the unbanked TA) were intimidated by banks because they felt alienated from them’.
This is an observation of their current mind state and perception towards main-stream banks. This is a truth that no one can refute.
The understanding / new meaning/ revelation was, could Equity bank take the position of creating a sense of belonging within this TA? Is this inspiring? Does it give a new sense of discovery for the brand?
Every human being has an inherent desire to belong.
From young teens who want to belong a peer group, to a young man who wants to be part of the ‘boys’, a woman who desires to belong to a click of friends, the lady in the village who wants to belong to a community group and older man who wants to belong to the ‘ group of elders’, we all desire to belong.
So yes, this was indeed valid and inspiring.
The articulation then becomes, ‘In a world where the TA has been alienated by other banks, Equity bank is the bank the creates sense of belonging’.
This is then put into the creative brief. Out of this the ‘Mimi Ni Member’ campaign was created. This campaign was a huge success and resulted in exponential growth for the brand. Proven success
The Dove Campaign
The second example I would like to share is the Dove Campaign.
Dove believes that beauty is for everyone and therefore features real women of different ages, sizes, ethnicities, hair color, type, or style.
Dove never presents the unachievable, manipulated, flawless images of ‘perfect’ beauty. The campaign that came out of this brand proposition was, ‘You are more beautiful than you think’. Let’s work this backwards.
The ‘Observation’ was, only 4% of women around the word consider themselves beautiful. Women are their own worst critics. This was an ‘Observation’ verified by research.
Because Dove was about making women realize their personal beauty potential, this observation revealed a new understanding/ meaning. That Dove could take their positioning a level further and convince the 96% that they are indeed beautiful in their own unique way.
The articulation could have been that in a world where most women criticize the way they look, Dove will make them feel confident about themselves by proving that they are beautiful.
It was decided that an unscripted experiment would be the best way to reach women. In a video, which was produced by the ad agency, Ogilvy and Mather, several women describe themselves to a forensic sketch artist who cannot see his subjects.
The same women are then described by strangers whom they met the previous day. The sketches are compared, with the stranger’s image invariably being both more flattering and more accurate. The differences create strong emotional reactions when shown to the women.
The film created a sensation upon its online release quickly going viral. More than 15 million people downloaded the video within a week of its release. It also caught media reaction.
The Daily Telegraph called it “the most thought-provoking film yet”, while Forbes said it was “powerful”.
These two examples are found under the Mindscapes Insights tool called ‘Search for Conflict’ This tools guides one to look for internal or external conflicts that affect people, cause discomfort and tension, hence causing them to seek a solution.
The discovery of a conflict can give the brand a new perspective that is more meaningful and relevant to the consumer.
This is because it touches the core of the consumer, it represents what they truly feel and experience. By virtue of this, they will connect with the brand as it will have provided a solution to their tension.
To conclude, great insights play a huge role in creating great creative and impactful campaigns. Insights can be the basis of a new communication strategy, new proposition and new big idea.
On the other it can be the basis of strengthening and re-enforcing an existing communication strategy/ proposition/ big idea by making it richer, giving it a new and fresh perspective.
Looking at it from the audience, it makes the creative campaign more relevant, trusted and believable.
Lastly, great insights inspire creatives to develop more surprising and interesting solutions. Everyone will be proud of the work. Next, more insights tools to be unpacked.
Author: Susan Makau
CEO, International School of Advertising (ISA)