At The Heart Of Great Advertising Is Real Insight

Advertising 101: Effective advertising is built on real consumer insight (not topline findings) and cleverly positioned so the target audience takes notice.

Recently, I have witnessed a great example of this on my journey to work every day.  Advertising that hits to the heart of its target market – namely me.

I am a full-time working mum. I commute daily on the freeway from the suburbs to the city. More than 2 hours a day spent away from my family, alone with my thoughts in my car.  When I think about my life, I wrestle with feelings of both pride and guilt. On the positive side, my career means I can provide my children with opportunities I would otherwise not be able to afford. By establishing a career that I love, I hope I am giving them aspiration for their own working futures.

But, it also means I am not there for them every night afterschool. It means we require strict routines in order to run this well-oiled machine I call family-life. During the week, there is no room for spontaneous deviations from this routine – I hear myself saying “no” to requests for play-dates. And, sometimes I can be tired and stressed when my workload gets heavy – I find myself snapping at my kids, and hurrying them along.  I lack the patience I wish I had, because I am busy and things needs to get done…now.

Sometimes I think, this is not the mother I want to be.

So what have I seen on my drive to work each morning? “RAVC resorts: Where mum gets to be the fun one.”

Whack! – straight to the heart. For all the benefits that working brings to my family, it doesn’t bring fun.  And this is what I want – just sometimes.

As a qualitative researcher, I instantly think about the research process in unearthing this great insight. The ‘Ah-ha’ moment in the analysis session when the planets align and the answer is revealed.  I know the depth of investigation required to get to this insight and applaud the researchers for not giving up at the topline level.

Topline research would have unearthed ‘findings’ (not insights) such as “Parents of young children are time poor and operating on tight budgets, so are looking for holiday locations that are cheap and close to home”. Advertising messaging based on this level of findings would have been something like, “RAVC resorts: Only 60 minutes from Melbourne and from $100 per night.” So what? Why would I go there?  I would just drive past this billboard and think nothing of it.

So what is so clever about the billboard I am seeing each day is that it understands me as working mum.  It provides a solution to the tension in my life and it talks to me at the time this tension is at its greatest – on my way to work.

Unearthing powerful insight is what we do at BrandHook every day. We dig deeper than top level findings to discover the real tensions that exist in people’s lives. Because we know, in both theory and practice, that this is how effective communication gets results.

Written by Megan

One Response to “At The Heart Of Great Advertising Is Real Insight”
  1. Bill Williams

    Very impressive Megan. A very sharp piece of writing. I found myself wanting you to be the person that digs deeper than the top line research for my next market research project. …or even the copy writer for my next advertising campaign.


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