In the old world view, it was assumed that humans and their decisions are essentially rational, and that a change in attitudes would drive behaviour in the desired direction. Advertising and communications were based on this traditional ‘persuasion model’. Advertising research was similarly rational, focused on determining what was communicated by an ad (at least what people could remember being communicated) as well as some form of persuasion measure.
However, in the new world view, we know that very little thinking is purely rational – and acceptance is now dawning in marketing and research circles that successful advertising needs to speak to the unconscious mind. The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising in their seminal paper concluded that emotion is what makes a lasting impression on the unconscious mind - and is better at building brands, and profitability. If emotional engagement is so important to effective advertising, then research needs to engage on this level too.
We decided to road test some of the new techniques that have been developed to measure these subconscious responses and what we learnt has changed the way we approach brand and advertising research. In our paper we will share our learnings, along with 2-3 client case studies to show how we have implemented a new integrated approach, demonstrating how it can help make advertising more effective.