Coffee Crisp spot light on message

The following column is one in a regular series that shows the results of effectiveness tests on selected tv commercials conducted by advertising research company research systems corporation.rsc uses a proprietary method of measuring the persuasiveness of tv commercials called ARS...

The following column is one in a regular series that shows the results of effectiveness tests on selected tv commercials conducted by advertising research company research systems corporation.

rsc uses a proprietary method of measuring the persuasiveness of tv commercials called ARS Persuasion.

It is a measurement of the change in brand preference due to commercial exposure.

ARS Persuasion has a 90% accuracy rate in predicting business results in split-cable test markets and has more than 300 documented validation tests.

Strategy recognizes there are numerous methods to gauge advertising effectiveness and rsc’s approach is but one of them.

Our intention in running the column is to highlight the important role of research in advertising and to stimulate thought on the subject of advertising effectiveness.

Nestle Enterprises recently launched a new commercial for its Coffee Crisp chocolate bar.

The 30-second spot concentrates on a man and woman sitting at a lunch counter; the woman does not speak English very well. The man cracks puns, some of which are about Coffee Crisp, but the woman does not understand them.

The commercial, by Ogilvy & Mather, Toronto, ends with a shot of chocolate being poured over a Coffee Crisp centre, and a tagline that Coffee Crisp makes a ‘nice, light snack.’

This execution got an ARS Persuasion level of +0.8 among the sample of 502 past year category buyers in a test conducted by rsc.

Due to the low ARS Persuasion level at the time of testing, further airing of this execution would not be expected to lead to a positive, measurable sales/ share increase for Coffee Crisp.

The spot was recalled by 37% of the sample. However, only 12% played back the ‘light snack’ key sales message.

rsc research indicates that commercials communicating the key sales message to 16% or more of viewers have a higher likelihood of superior ARS Persuasion outcomes than other commercials.

The commercial also lacks adequate product focus.

Focussing on the product in the spot and its points of uniqueness, rather than such extended concentration on the characters, may increase the probability of superior ARS Persuasion scores.

The commercial uses none of the strategic elements found to be positively related to superior selling commercials.

These include brand differentiation, competitive comparison, and information on new products or features.

It is unlikely that higher key message communication, or stronger product focus will lead to increased commercial effectiveness without a persuasive selling proposition.

research systems corporation is based in Evansville, Ind.,with an office in Oshawa, Ont. and can be contacted at (416) 623-0872.