Keep it under one roof

The first challenge brands usually face on the road to developing strong creative is the number of agencies involved. The creative agency comes up with a great concept, but can the production company produce it within budget and on time?

The media agency books the spots for the creative, but are they looking at previous campaign results to base their channel, day and daypart selection on? Using one agency to handle all these aspects will result in an integrated campaign where performance is top of mind throughout the entire process.

Data augmented creation as part of the performance approach

When data is at the core of every step in the creation and production process, all elements — concept, script, actors, etc — are crafted and chosen based on real data.

Here is a five-step approach to developing performance-driven creative:

1. Evaluate data

The first step in the creation process is to evaluate data. By analysing the client's target group, competitors, drivers and barriers to purchase, we have access to real insights that are used in the creative brief.

2. Analyse previous campaigns

Measuring the performance of previous campaigns is a crucial part of the process. The performance does not necessarily mean how many people were reached at what frequency, but rather how did the campaign perform in relation to business KPIs — visits to website, app downloads and conversions.

By using two data sets ?— the client's TV schedule and website traffic data — TV attribution software can measure how individual spots and media placement affects ROI. This information is very valuable in the C&P process to ensure that every campaign performs better than previous ones.

3. Use an AI booster

Using data from consumer psychology and learnings from its attribution software and target group preferences, DCMN recently developed an AI booster that is used to develop an objective message for the creative based on language and target group.

If the target for the creative is, for instance, a male individual living in South Africa, the AI booster will replace words or phrases that won't resonate with the target.

For example:
  • Without AI? — We open on a man sitting on a porch drinking champagne.
  • With AI? — We open on a man sitting on a balcony drinking a beer (locality and gender preferences were used to replace words that won't resonate with the male target).
The call to action is also treated based on the learnings from previous campaigns. For example:
  • Without AI— Get up to 70% discount.
  • With AI — Get up to 68% discount now. But only until 31 October at (discount is not a multiple of 10, 'now' is included, the discount has an end date and the website is included).
Every step brings you closer to developing creative with a strong performance foundation.

4. Test your creatives 

Would you buy a new car based on gut feeling only? Why then trust only your gut when it comes to your creative? By testing creatives, you can identify which creative resonates most with the client's target audience and has the best chance of delivering the desired results.

This is done before production starts, using storyboards to explain concepts to the participating focus groups.

5. Test your cast

Now that you know which creative concept has the best chance of delivering the desired results, the production process can start. Even now, data is still the backbone of the process with research enhanced production.

Test the cast to determine who is more likable, the most premium candidate or the best for a TV commercial featuring a specific product or service.

A few other things to keep in mind when creating a performance-driven TV ad:
  • Ads with a shorter duration usually work best from a performance point of view. Looking at the past success of DCMN's clients, a 20-second ad (with a 10 second cut down version) performs much better than a 30-second or 60-second ad.
  • For digital brands, the call to action at the end of the ad is a crucial element for performance. This call to action will be linked to the business KPIs (website visits, app downloads, etc.).
  • Using a performance approach when doing media planning is just as important. You can read more about that here.