To gain analytical insight into the effectiveness of an advertising campaign for an After alcoholic drink with coffee, caramel and vanilla extracts, haystack combined quantitative, qualitative and behavioural measurements.
The After ad for a subtle alcoholic drink specifically targeted at women, was set up in seven A4 size print advertisements. They were sequentially shown to each participant wearing a Tobii eye-tracker, allowing for real-size representation. Participants were asked to look at the ads as they would when coming across them in a magazine. They were fully in control of the exposure time of each ad and were equipped with a key to click from one ad to the next. After being exposed to the entire set of ads, the participants expressed their evaluation of all ads verbally by means of scaled items (attractiveness, clarity…). Subsequently, a qualitative in-depth interview explored the associations and feelings they had with regard to the ‘After’ ad.
The results showed an important mismatch between the interpretation of the ad - which was implicit and emotional, creating mystery and curiosity - and the actual product. Female consumers could not identify the product as an alcoholic drink as the feelings and symbolism were typical of cosmetics ads. The shape of the product reinforced this assumption, as it strongly resembled a perfume bottle. Eye-tracking data provided additional evidence for this misunderstanding: it revealed that the attention was mainly drawn towards the logo, the visual and the product (on benchmark), whereas the product information at the bottom of the ad was hardly noticed or read.
The After campaign was successfully changed in line with haystack recommendations for a stronger focus on the product and altered symbolism that would match it. Consumers expected softer symbols related to a solitary delight, warmth and intimacy. ”Haystack research has contributed greatly to the success of our business and the transformation of After into a fast growing international premium spirit brand.” - Denis de Groote, CEO After