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  • Writer's pictureLobster

Is there a science to art?

Understanding what creative route will maximise brand sales is a core ambition for all marketeers. Fortunately, within shopper media there is a robust methodology that provides scientific and analytical answers to creative centric queries. Through our proprietary evaluation tool PlanVault, we have investigated three commonly posed questions around creative messaging in shopper to shed some light on what and when creative works in-store.

Question 1 | Should I fight for creative freedom on shopper media?

Looking at the unique media portfolio of each of the top 6 grocers, retailers prefer clear and consistent messaging in-store, on average applying strict restrictions to over 30% of media channels in their estate.

With this is mind, internal resource can be sucked up in negotiations surrounding creative freedom and the presence of branded messaging in-store. The question is, is this time well spent?

The analysis suggests that there is a different result when you consider campaign activity which supports established brand versus NPD activity.

When supporting an NPD, a creative route that combines price messaging alongside branded communication delivers the strongest % sales uplift. This creative solution eliminates the common barrier of NPD’s; a lack of understanding of usage and product value, and in turn, the branded communication inspires, educates and even directs shoppers to purchase.

When supporting established brands, there is less of a clear distinction between creative formats. However, the impact of incorporating price messaging has less of an impact on sales uplift, perhaps because this communication can be seen elsewhere (e.g. on shelf tickets) by shoppers.

Question 2 | Is there an incremental sales benefit to running competition overlays in-store?

We are often asked whether investing in competitions will deliver incremental benefit within a shopper campaign. To answer this common query, we have investigated how shopper media performance differs when a competition is featured versus not, across three different media touchpoints. Each touchpoint is fully branded and present across multiple retailers, to allow for credible comparisons.

Considering the media investment only (i.e. excluding the cost of fulfilling and managing the competition in question), it appears that there is an incremental sales impact which can be unlocked through investing in competitions.

Given the trend for retailers towards in-store differentiation, running competitions could deliver further commercial gains when implemented.

Question 3 | Should I pay a premium to price mark 6 sheet posters?

In certain retailers, 6 sheet posters front of store could see around a £150/store premium to leverage a price message. Could this premium spend be better used to unlock further campaign reach?

It appears that there is little point in paying a premium to price mark 6 sheet posters, as this is likely to make no impact to an established brand campaign and could be to the detriment of an NPD campaign.

PlanVault data correct as of 23rd August 2018, 753 studies


It is not surprising that creative campaigns can have a direct impact on campaign performance. It is interesting however that the effectiveness of creative performance, when reviewed against statistical data, can help improve allocation of internal resource, and in some cases help reduce overall campaign investment.

We encourage brands to test and learn from a creative perspective, looking at hard data around campaign performance to ensure media plans work as much as possible.

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