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Wind turbines might represent a sustainable future but they don’t inspire consumers, as creative testing shows.
Think about solutions to climate change and you’ll no doubt picture things like wind turbines and solar panels, but it’s moving away from obvious imagery like this that’s helped Clim8 Invest to really connect with their target audience.
Clim8 Invest, a London-based climate impact investment app, made the discovery that there were better ways to get their message across thanks to creative testing. It started when they were planning their first ever digital video campaign and had two very different ideas for the creative, which they needed to choose between. They worked with Attest to carry out some creative testing to see which ad performed best among their target customers.
“Of the two ads that we were testing, one route was very expected, showing wind turbines and electric cars and what the future looks like,” says Ilona Sediha, Marketing Lead at Clim8 Invest. “The other one was warm and human. It was about this feeling of doing something great without practically mentioning climate change or these solutions.”
Sediha and her team wanted to find out which ad people preferred and why, but they also wanted to know how respondents interpreted the ad’s messaging. How well did they understand what Clim8 Invest do? To find out, they used open text questions letting respondents answer in their own words – something which Sediha, who has a background in psychology, values highly.
“You actually get the most insight from people verbatim. Just ask and they will tell you. Attest’s respondents are really happy to do it, which is great. Some people would leave sentences and sentences of things if you let them!”
The research proved very illuminating for Clim8 because viewers of the ‘more human’ ad actually understood the brand’s mission better. It showed that Clim8 needed to make a step-change to their marketing because they had previously defaulted to showing people what the future looks like.
In the first ad, they would give you specifics but they didn’t actually give the essence. Ilona Sediha, Marketing Lead
In the first ad, they would give you specifics but they didn’t actually give the essence.
“In the first ad they would tell you, oh, you invest in energy solutions or you invest in cars. So they would give you more specifics, but they didn’t actually give the essence. Whereas if you kept it completely aspirational, they got the main message that we are investing in reversing the effects of climate change.”
Sediha adds that they really wanted the video to deliver a feeling: “Frankly, I don’t care if they know how it’s done, as long as they understand that this is what we do. And then they can go on the website, download the app and find out more this way. It’s not the advertiser’s job to explain completely what you do in 30 seconds. It’s just to entice the interest.”
Creative testing can do so much more than tell you which ad people like best; you can dig deep to find out exactly what they like, what they don’t like, and how your creative can be improved. Sediha was surprised to find that respondents to Clim8’s survey had very strong opinions about a dog that appeared in their ad.
“One thing they said was, do you wanna try a different dog? We actually did in the end because if 15 people tell you it’s the wrong breed of the dog, you can’t ignore it. We ended up with a dog that was much smaller and cuter than before.”
If 15 people tell you it’s the wrong breed of dog, you can’t ignore it.Ilona Sediha, Marketing Lead
If 15 people tell you it’s the wrong breed of dog, you can’t ignore it.
Sediha says Attest makes it easy to get this level of detail – even for people who aren’t research professionals. Her team started the research project with Attest’s creative testing template, which she modified to their needs. She then used the platform’s demographic filters to target Clim8 Invest’s consumer base of slightly older and wealthier individuals.
She explains: “Because we are an investment product, it’s our duty to not advertise to people who are perhaps at the level where they’re more likely to have unpaid credit card debt. So therefore we removed households within the lower income limits and upped the percentages of people over 35.
“In digital, you can obviously pick the audience. We did exactly the same thing in Attest, just to make sure that we were asking the right people and it’s really useful.”
Following the creative testing, Clim8 Invest produced the full version of the audience-chosen video ad, and the exercise saved them money on having to do full production for both video options.
“Previously, you’d have to invest in production, then spend money to actually launch the ad, and then test it with people by paying for advertising. Creative testing lets you skip all of that and just go with a version that is more likely to perform well.”
And perform it did! The video ad was launched programmatically in the UK, and the results were impressive, achieving VTR (view through rate) of 69% and CTR (click through rate) of 0.71%, both significantly above benchmarks.
We revised all our digital formats – you won’t see a wind turbine from us anymore. Ilona Sediha, Marketing Lead
We revised all our digital formats – you won’t see a wind turbine from us anymore.
“We used a media provider to help us buy programmatically across digital. And they said they hadn’t seen a higher clickthrough rate for a pre-roll ad before in our competitive set. Off the back of that, we revised our other digital formats and conversion rates improved. So you won’t see a wind turbine from us anymore.”
According to Sediha, Clim8 are now able to connect with people on a deeper level, communicating that those who invest sustainably are doing great things for the planet, and for their loved ones.
“It really helped us improve our positioning,” she says. “So we now feel and look very different to some other sustainable investment providers out there who still talk about electric mobility and all the technical things, trying to talk to the rational side of people’s brains. Whereas we say, let other people do this education and let’s use advertising to give people hope.”
The Complete Guide to Creative Testing
Check out our free Complete Guide to Creative Testing and discover how easy it is to start testing your creative assets before you release them into the wild.
Senior Content Writer
Bel has a background in newspaper and magazine journalism but loves to geek-out with Attest consumer data to write in-depth reports. Inherently nosy, she's endlessly excited to pose questions to Attest's audience of 125 million global consumers. She also likes cake.
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