Insight Work that Works
Insight work is what grounds a great idea and makes sure that it hits the mark, that it solves a problem, and that it’s actually valuable to the client.| August 18th, 2015
“Great idea” is a common expression to hear.
It’s used weekly, whether it’s at work in a stretch, during a client presentation, or at home on a Sunday when your housemate says “why don’t we just order a pizza?” – but good ideas can’t exist without a human truth behind them, without an insight.
Insight work is what grounds a great idea and makes sure that it hits the mark, that it solves a problem, and that it’s actually valuable to the client.
The problem is, within the advertising industry, the importance of insights and proof points can be overlooked, especially when the idea is big, flashy, and has a lot of people excited.
Most people in the industry will have come across some big campaigns for big brands where the insight is little more than conjecture based on the personal experiences of those in the room: “Antiques… People love antiques. We asked around the office and most people we spoke to agreed… Our creative director even went antiquing in France over the weekend. That’s why we’re launching a pop up antique bar for your battery brand…”
We need to remember how disconnected many of us are by working in the industry we do. We think differently. And just because we think something is a good idea, or something is true for us doesn’t mean it really is for the target audience we’re trying to connect with – with the array of data at our fingertips you can find a proof point for just about anything if you need to.
But these proof points need to be real truths. Real consumer research, so they’re not just insights that serve the purpose of selling the idea we like.
Here’s some insight work that I find powerful, that are strong and have been the foundation for some GREAT ideas. Ideas that couldn’t live and prosper without them.
Tribord – The Worst Drink in the World (Rosapark)
This one isn’t an everyday campaign, and it’s not often a brief like this will fall into your lap – but the insight stands. People don’t like to drown.
Coca Cola Personalisation (MediaCom)
This campaign is a build on the success of Share a Coke. “Everyone loves to see their name on a bottle” – People like personalisation
Intouch Insurance – Mortal Timeline (BBDO Russia)
A smart use of video, off an un-expected insight: “Some of the most viewed videos on the internet are crash videos” – People like watching crash videos
When you think of any really strong campaign, it starts with a true, often painfully simple, insight.
Retrofitting ‘proof’ to convince clients to buy cool creative ideas isn’t proper insight.
The insights need to come first. Using diligent insight gathering before the creative development leads to the kind of work that delivers big results – whether on multimillion pound advertising campaigns or deciding what pizza to have on a Sunday evening.
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