Reaching your target group through consumer inspired advertising

9 months ago, Belgian advertising agency Famous started the structural collaboration with 150 Flemish and 150 Walloon consumers through their Everybody Famous Community. With more than 34,000 (!) comments already, the everyday stories of the participants inspire the strategy and creativity of the Famous team on a daily basis. But does the online research community really lead to more impactful and relevant campaigns, in addition to being an inspirational resource? In collaboration with students of the EHSAL Management School in Brussels, we investigated the impact of working with community input on the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. Together with Natalie Mas, our ForwaR&D Lab trainee, I’d like to present our findings.

The battle is in the briefing

To compare a campaign inspired with consumer insights to one based purely on the briefing of the brand, an A/B test was set up using Facebook advertisements as a cost-efficient and easy-to-measure media channel. For the first campaign (ad A), a creative team was briefed to come up with a visual and a tagline for ‘Olvarit ingredient’ – a baby food product to combine ready-made ingredients like meat, fish or chicken with home-cooked vegetables and potatoes, pasta or rice – based on the target group and the product characteristics.
To cancel the influence of the personal background of the creatives, the same team developed ad B in a second phase, armed with a briefing enriched with stories and insights from the Everybody Famous community. The Famous duo working on this project was deliberately chosen based on their limited experience with children. They even admitted they “could not think of something more difficult to develop”, making it a true challenge to come up with an impactful campaign speaking to the feelings of young mothers.

Everybody Famous to the rescue

To enrich the briefing with consumer insights, the moment of feeding babies was discussed based on the habits and behaviour of the community participants and their perception of the product and product category. The project team at InSites Consulting analysed these rich discussions (including the cutest baby pictures ever!) and provided the Famous team with an inspirational story to guide their creative flow. One of the insights that influenced their proposals was the proof to parents that their baby enjoyed a healthy meal; a baby with a face completely covered with jam. Instead of a picture of a ‘perfect baby’, the second campaign featured an image of a ‘dirty’ but happy baby.
To take full advantage of the 24/7 consumer connection, the Famous team was allowed to share 5 possible tag lines on the community in our challenge room (guaranteeing fast decision making with 4, 24 and 48 hour challenges). In this iteration, the participants were consulted and the final tag line was fine-tuned based on their feedback.

The result

Both advertisements (ad A and ad B) including a visual and a tag line of maximum 90 characters were featured on Facebook from the 1st to the 23rd of March 2012, resulting in a total of 1,007,446 impressions (the possibility that a user can see the advertisement). In comparing the ratio of the clickthroughs for both campaigns, there was only a marginal difference. The CTR of the advertisement based on the consumer insights (0,03%) slightly exceeded the CTR of the campaign based on the basic briefing (0,028%). However, to compare the relevance and the impact of the ad, we have to take the target group into account; the goal of this campaign was to introduce ‘Olvarit Ingredients’ to young mothers. 66% of the clickers on the Facebook ad based on the input of the Everybody Famous community fell in the preferred demographic of females between 18 and 34, compared to 44% of the clickers on the Facebook ad with the standard briefing.
The A/B test of the Facebook advertisements for ‘Olvarit Ingredient’ emphasizes the mission of the structural collaboration with consumers to inspire more relevant and impactful campaigns. Even with the limitations of the medium chosen for this test, the advertisement based on the community briefing was more successful in reaching the right target group of young or potential mothers. By integrating other media evoking a higher attention span, the effectiveness of this approach can only be optimised.
Special thanks to the (now graduated) students of the EHSAL Management School in Brussels: Bram Arys, Astrid De Pret, Sam Taeckens, Maarten Van Praet.

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