Great post from Millward Brown’s head of research, Nigel Hollis, on some Thinkbox research which validates research from the 80s by Millward Brown founding partner, Gordon Brown.
For an ad to be effective Gordon concluded, “There must be some connection between that which is interesting and involving in the commercial and both the brand and the message.” This concept was later dubbed “The Creative Magnifier.”
On simplicity and non-distracting creative:
The Thinkbox research also highlights the “attentional blink” described by Graham Page and Professor Jane Raymond in their 2006 paper “Cognitive Neuroscience, Marketing and Research: Separating Fact from Fiction.’ The blink refers to the time the brain takes to process a chunk of information. During this time, the brain’s ability to process new information, such as recognizing a brand in a commercial, is briefly impeded. Here again, Gordon Brown anticipated these findings by saying “Creative and involving strands/elements within a commercial can actually distract from communication elements that occur at around the same time.”
Interestingly enough, for online advertisers, integration is key:
Online advertising is more effective when viewers are primed by seeing the ad on TV first. The Thinkbox research finds that engagement with that online advert is more than 20 percent higher if the ad is screened on television first. Contextual memory processing – the processing that enables viewers to remember the brand being advertised – doubles when the ad is shown first on television and then online.