A premier automotive manufacturer needed a new branded retail campaign distinctive in tone (authentic, human, progressive) to propel the brand forward
• Three possible creative routes were developed their communications agency
• Given the campaign would form the next 3-5 years of the brand’s theming, conclusive & accurate evidence was required with the recommendation. This required quantitative research, but also needed integrated qualitative research to add a critical insight into the calibre of emotional engagement achieved by the alternative routes
• Advertising print concepts were employed and to effectively convey to the target each idea, 3 concepts per route were shown

The approach
We employed our unique PABICOM© method. This is an integrated automotive specific research technique that unifies:
1. KPI modelling of concept performance using A&B’s own normative prestige auto advertising performance databank
2. Gallery qualitative for deep emotional engagement analysis
3. On-line measurement for conclusive, accurate, confident decision making

The qualitative research featured a gallery approach exposure – where ALL ideas (print concepts) were exposed at once:
• On arrival, respondents saw campaign route ‘A’ (composed of 4-5 synergistic executions…featuring common body styles to accord with the consumer recruitment) mounted on a wall in context with 3-4 competitor campaigns
• The brand being researched was not revealed to respondents
• Asked to peruse the materials and note which ads ‘connect with them’ for whatever reason
• Communications then spontaneously explored for the ‘wall’ with a gradual drill down on the brand campaign
• Route ‘A’ removed and campaign route ‘B’ then put up and direct questioning about this occurs
• The order of ‘showing first’ was rotated across the groups
• This approach delivered a ‘monadic’ (i.e. ‘clean’) read of each creative route in the context of key competition to assess comparative stand-out/cut-through/interest prior to a drill down on communications
The quantitative element featured an on-line approach which explored the concepts among over 400 prestige new car buyer/considerers.
Then, a&b’s proprietary KPI Modelling tool helped determine the best performer of the trio. The analysis placed the results in context of a large array of prestige automotive category norms developed over 12 years via our PABIS automotive industry tracker, allied with deep diagnostics from the survey to fully explain the result.
Fully integrating the qualitative and the quantitative data components (using the same executive team) enabled a clear, concise, effective optimisation recommendation to be developed.

The findings
Being an integrated research design the client had great confidence with the result. Of the three creative pathways explored, we were able to recommend a clear winner from the results of our research.
• It was widely liked
• Achieved the strongest cut through
• Best delivered the desired brand positioning
• Engaged strongly, in part, because it positively intrigued the audience
• It outperformed all norms

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We also identified that there were a small number of executional features that needed to be considered in the final creative development.

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Eye contact: Large proportions of respondents found the direct gaze of the model to be confronting. From our QVerb analysis we revealed that executions which featured the model gazing directly resulted in less audience engagement and overall appeal.

Images need to clearly convey bodystyle: In some of the print executions it was not apparent which bodystyles were being featured.

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The effect

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The TV concept was produced and launched and helped propel our client’s sales beyond even the most optimistic estimate.

The TVC was also tracked via a&b’s PABIS continuous automotive research platform and we found it to be one of the most successful ads ever monitored, in terms of accuracy in message take-out (firmly on strategy) and accuracy of branding recall.

To find out more
To learn how a&b can add value to your organisation’s marketing and business strategy, contact us:
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+61 (2) 8227-5400