Ad agency

[text_divider margin_top=0 margin_bottom=0 font_size=20 font_weight=normal color=#676767] Sometimes we give advice on ad structure [/text_divider]

Client: Various: FMCG, Medical, Travel
Output: Comms platforms, commentary, corrections list
Research: Oliver Payne, Founder | Dr Simon Moore, Associate, Psychologist
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Problem

How do you create behavioural message-construction advice for ad agencies?

Background

It’s tricky. A lot of ad (and to some extend research people) want a behavioural unpinning for their work; one they’ve not had for decades. The truth is a behavioural foundation is not subordinate to the existing structure – the existing structure is subordinate. And wrong (Read this: ‘Fifty years using the wrong model of #advertising‘). However, there are ways to help define areas that are more likely than not to set overt comms work on the path to success. Or at least, steer away from cliff edges, and inverse mistakes.

Solution

Can involve a reading of ads as written, or copy platform(s) from which concepts can be written by creatives. We’ve given a reading of ads as written for a chewing gum brand. Convinced they could work harder, we found a way. And we’ve written communication structures for chewing gum, asthma inhalers, railway company positive/negative structure pitch, and straight-up film script for a famous car brand.

• With chewing gum ads, there was a good use of authority figures – the celebrities used were well known and good calibre. However, they were presented talking about the reasons why older age group might not like chewing gum, which from a normative point of view simply advertised all the reasons why older people shouldn’t chew gum; bit of an own goal as this is the opposite of the campaign objective. Also, the celebs – authority figures – are shown not chewing gum; again, bit of a selfie.
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• Asthma inhalers was a job already planned, involving search-terms and youtube film animations with a ‘yes/no’ click to show next in sequence depending on answer. A clear structure. In terms of our involvement, a reading of what drives different types of asthma sufferers was written from a literature review, and a tabulated animation-by-animation copy platform was written containing suggested lines, and a companion behavioural reading of each explaining why.

• Railway company comms pitch was a curia assignment; a behavioural foundation was asked for both negative comments (works upcoming or ongoing that would cause disruption to travel) and positive comments about how the company were on the consumers’ side. It is true that the curvilinear nature of loss and gain means bundling loss messages together and gain messages separately in order to keep the instinctive positive feeling high, is a good tactic. There were others. A structure was written for negative, positive plus negative, and positive alone messages, including copy examples and example ads.

• Presenting car brands that have made ‘eco’ improvements is – when left to the ad industry – either done with ‘fluffy bunnies’ or money-saving. Both are underpowered. The normative condition is almost never used in overt comms, and in the case of sustainable messaging the two fundamentals of norms – behaviour commonly performed, and behavioural commonly approved – are the way to write. The ad is embargoed.

In this way it is easy for client to fillet the behavioural intention from the execution, and have a useful conversations around what’s trying to be achieved, as well as give non-psych planners and creative teams some thing to work with. There’s no ‘black box’ mystery. And it is by no means, perfect.
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[text_divider margin_top=0 margin_bottom=0 font_size=20 font_weight=normal color=#676767] Sometimes we write the ads [/text_divider]

Client: Tribal Worldwide for VW
Output: Script for YouTube
Copywriter: Oliver Payne, Founder

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Problem

How do you sell a premium-priced economy car?

Background

Promoting products and/or brands that are good value, but initially pricey can be difficult – especially when it’s a car. The challenge is the rush by consumers to compare only purchase price. Our appreciation of future spending is discounted heavily, so future savings are much less persuasive than they would be for a rational actor in a rational world.

Solution

The long and the short of it, is a script written to explicitly bridge the price-cost perception gap.

We wrote others to deal with running costs, and road tax.

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