I’ve never been a big fan of tests.
I put it down to the intense childhood traumas I suffered in anticipation of results being handed out by the frankly fearsome Mrs Halfpenny, in primary school.
And in later life, when some know-all research and data boffin happens along to our highly respected audio shop, and starts shouting the odds about ‘data driven creative’, my immediate instinct is to don my best beret and send them and their infernal graphs packing. Quicker than you could shout… “I’m an instinctive bloody creative, love!”
See, I don’t need creative research to be able to do a good job. I’ve got decades of audio experience, I’m at the top of my game, and no pie-chart on earth is going to tell me any different. Or, is it?
I have to tell you, the nightmarish images of Mrs Halfpenny loomed large over my life once again, when it was first suggested that we submit our campaign for a major financial services client, into Radiocentre’s - ‘RadioGauge’ research project. And when the report arrived back at Get Carter Towers, complete with a real-time ‘audience audio engagement meter’ embedded into the presentation, I was feeling decidedly nervous!
You could have cut the atmosphere with the proverbial knife, as my finger hovered hesitantly over the ‘play button’. Before eventually plucking up the courage to set the audio and fully synched audience engagement graph into motion.
As you’ll see from the graphic above, once the attention grabbing opening chords of our lovingly recreated version of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles' “I Second That Emotion” blasted out at the ad’s intro – up shot the audience’s engagement – the red line on the graph. Phew! In fact, at a number of key points throughout the 30 second spot, it was tracking at around double the Radiogauge average - shown by the green line’.
Job done, it would appear.
You will, without doubt, notice a bit of an ‘audience snooze-fest’ going on in the graph, towards the end of the ad. I’ve got only one thing to say there – “T’s & C’s!”
As I mentioned, this was a financial services ad, and they were fairly fulsome to say the least. But that’s a whole different blog subject - for a whole different day.
Lessons learned? Well as creatives, I guess we all have a tendency to think that ‘our gut’ tells us what’s best. And on most occasions it may well be right. But to be able to prove that, and more importantly demonstrate it real-time to the client using RadioGauge, is an invaluable tool to have in the kit-bag.
So, take that - Mrs Halfpenny!