The Fournaise Marketing Group analyzed that 75% of the ad campaigns it tracked and tested at pre-launch level across 20 countries worldwide in 2010 achieved low effectiveness scores and had to be reworked because of:

  1. Poor ad appeal
  2. Poor message understanding
  3. Poor message relevance
  4. Poor likeliness to engage by the target audience

Fournaise uses its Next Generation Creative Effectiveness Tracking solution CampaignTester® and its proprietary Scorecard-based 9-KPI (Key Performance Indicators) Ad Performance Tracking methodology to measure the degree of potential effectiveness of its clients’ ad campaigns in full independence and neutrality – to help both clients and agencies identify what works and what does not, and take the relevant creative corrective action.

It identified two key reasons why ad campaigns test-scored poorly and had to be seriously reworked to boost their effectiveness:

1. In 60% of the cases, the clients’ briefs were too loose, too weak and not sharp enough, setting up the agencies for failure right from the start:

  • The campaigns’ objectives were either too vague or unclear
  • Unique selling or value propositions were non-existent or terribly plain
  • Appealing customer benefits were totally missing or simply overlooked
  • Irrelevant, incomplete or misinterpreted customer insights were used
  • Look, feel and style were thought to be able to overcome the lack of content
  • Over-reliance on the agency to come up with the big idea in spite of vague or unclear directions in the brief

2.  In 40% of the cases, the agencies’ creative delivery was off-brief or simply not good enough to generate an effective impact on the target audience:

  • Understanding of the needs and wants of the clients’ target audience was too superficial, not deep enough or too much based on gut-feelings
  • Unique selling or value propositions were overlooked, and customer benefits were put aside, not listened to or not properly taken into account (deliberately or not)
  • Planning and/or creative process was rushed
  • Planning and creative teams were not working hand in hand enough and were often guilty of infighting
  • Lack of creative open-mindedness, objectivity and self-analysis when it comes to feedback/directions from the client
“The ad campaigns that test-scored well in 2010 and that went on to be successfully deployed with high effectiveness levels were all based on the winning formula of precise and relevant customer insights, solid value propositions and appealing customer benefits expressed through excellent-quality creative executions,” says Jerome Fontaine, CEO & Chief Tracker of The Fournaise Marketing Group. “This winning formula is basic and is not new, but is too often forgotten or ignored by both clients and agencies,” he added.