2019 Research Insight

Mental Availability

Byron Sharp’s book from 2010, How Brands Grow, outlined how the key to brand growth lies in maximising physical availability  - where a brand is in front of a consumer wherever they are and mental availability - the probability of a consumer noticing, recognising and thinking about your brand in a buying situation. Yet measuring mental ability was an ongoing challenge.
PHD and Argos worked with UCL to develop a measurement methodology. Four drivers of mental availability were identified: distinctive assets, such as branding and websites, the functional and emotional ‘need states’ of consumers, such as value for money or being fashionable, the context in which the product or service is being purchased, such as a gift and emotional connection. 
All of these elements were measured at scale using studies of more than 1,000 participants, giving each brand a mental availability score out of 100 (overall and for each element), with the findings used in a campaign to relaunch Argos Home and inspiring a new campaign called ‘So stylish you could wear it’. 
Campaign results showed that increasing mental availability drives growth, with Argos seeing a growth in consideration, and a hike in furniture performance versus the market.

Vizeum UK
Christmas in Disguise - Very.co.uk

Retailer Very.co.uk launched its Christmas campaign in September, on the back of browsing data showed that parents start planning their kids’ gifts from August onwards. But Very.co.uk also noted that parents don’t like to admit they are preparing this early on while advertIsers don’t recognise it. The campaign was deliberately made to not look like a Christmas one, and was ‘hidden’ in media consumed by kids. Activity included a sponsorship of Milkshake! and video executions of a ‘toy team’ of children unwrapping, testing and reviewing the top 10 toys for Christmas. Awareness of Very.co.uk’s toys offering grew significantly in two months and spontaneous awareness was also up, before the countdown to Christmas had even started.

Channel 4
Contextual Moments - Channel 4

Channel 4’s data science team developed a new way of targeting for a traditional broadcaster, enabling targeting contextually both automatically and at scale. A year’s worth of research and development led to a new context-based targeting product called ‘Contextual Moments’, which uses machine learning to automatically identify everything in our content and highlight specific ‘moments’ in television shows deemed contextually valuable to advertisers. For example, if two characters go jogging in Made in Chelsea, the next advert shown will be Fitbit. Channel 4 proved that Contextual Moments boosts key metrics and drives econometric performance. 

PHD: Poster Power - British Heart Foundation
Hearst: The Power of Positivity - Hearst
PHD: Right There With You - Macmillan Cancer Support
MediaCom: The Army: This is Belonging 2019 - Capita

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