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Research for best practice principles in advertising

Improving TV advertising ROI through neurometrics and cognitive science for KFC South Africa

With an annual R100 million spend on TV advertising (2015 spend), our KFC ad strategy team felt it was important to build best practice principles or heuristics to guide the advertising and marketing team in producing creative content with an objective of improving return on investment. I regularly conducted research to gather KPI measures, but these failed to illuminate ways to improve the impact of our work. I needed to provide research insights that captured actual engagement and responses to the content, in a way that affected consumer decision making and response to the ads. Working with the Innerscope research team hailing from Harvard and MIT, I conducted research integrating biometrics, eye tracking and reported responses, since this methodology had been proven to predict consumer response and sales. I identified seven ads from our portfolio to identify which advertising stories and practices delivered best for KFC South Africa’s ROI, and selected a relevant sample from our broad consumer base. Using the research and insights, and consulting with the team from Innerscope, I developed an "ABCs of advertising for KFC SA". Not rules per se, these would be too constraining for the creative process, but guiding principles on best practice for better understanding and alignment between the ad agency, Ogilvy, and the marketing team. We subsequently applied these ABCs to the scripts, design and production for more impactful advertising, improved ROI and more effective script review sessions.

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