The Creative Brain Results Part 2 – A Business Case For Canadian Creatives

June 30, 2015 Ben Myers
Attendees prepare for brainwave measurement in The Creative Brain feature at Dx3 2015.

Attendees prepare for brainwave measurement in The Creative Brain feature at Dx3 2015.

The Creative Brain Presented by Mediative and Powered by Brainsights at Dx3 2015 used EEG technology to measure participants’ brainwave reaction to global and local advertising. We examine the findings and impact of The Creative Brain in five parts.

For Matt Di Paola, Managing Director, Digital Innovation, SID LEE, how well the Canadian ads performed in the tests form a business case for more local ad creative.

“There are a lot of marketers in Canada that want to do original work, but we’re obligated to do global work,” said Di Paola conceding that the restrictions of budgets and time often tie even the best marketer’s hands behind their back.“The work is already in the can and a brand needs to put out a TV spot without knowing if it will really work in the market.”

Di Paola’s suggestion for brands is to use the digital medium as a playground for rapid ad prototyping.

“Think of the Old Spice ad that went viral. The ad you saw on television was optimized by dozens of tests online before being distributed on a large scale,” said Di Paola advocating for a lean startup mentality in the creation of advertisements.

Region-specific ads have a greater chance to connect deeply with an audience and if the digital infrastructure is in place to help convert them, then all the better.

Creative Brain Results – Local vs Global

Local punches above its weight and encodes best

The Canadian advertisements managed to compete directly with the global ads in catching the participants’ attention, despite having lower production values and no celebrity star power.

Ads like Netflix’s Pep Talk, created by the team at DDB Canada in Vancouver, that features veteran Canadian actor, Neil Crone (Red Green Show, Goosebumps among other credits) as a hockey coach in a dressing room giving an inspirational speech made up of popular film tropes. The nuances of this ad’s Canadiana are subtle. Hockey.

Not only the use of the colour red, but beyond that, the ad looks similar to a Canadian Heritage Minute spot.

Local’s efficacy is especially true when looking at how we encode, or remember these ads. Three of the top five ranked ads in encoding were Canadian ads, indicating that while the ads may not be the most attention grabbing, or emotionally charged, our non-conscious brain are registering more information from the local content, over the global.

Powerful Global Creative Speaks All Languages

With that said, a global ad like Volvo’s Epic Splits, which featured Jean-Claude Van Damme displaying his trademark flexibility in between two Volvo transport trucks, was also greatly successful in grabbing participants’ attention and encoding its message. It is a beautiful ad, Jean-Claude is prominent and unflinching and everyone understands the context of two trucks driving in sequence on the road. From a subjective creative view, the ad grabs our attention because of its stunning visuals and because of the simplicity of its message: Volvo trucks are so stable and safe that you could do the splits between them while they are driving.

From a qualitative of reviewing the audiences’ brains It is clear to see why this ad was able to capture viewer attention, however, in terms of encoding, there are a few potential explanations. Perhaps this observed increase was derived from the ‘safety’ aspect of the spot. Consumers may have found this information particularly useful or relevant to themselves personally, thus choosing to encode to memory.

This is part 2 of 5 in The Creative Brain Results series. See more results and download the full report with findings here.

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