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Millward Brown Diagnostics Highlighted Opportunities to Optimize Creative


A mobile phone provider was launching a new "pay as you go" offer to win new customers. In addition to in-store marketing, the client planned to use TV as the primary channel to announce the new service. During creative development, the client raised concerns about the ad:

  • Would people understand the offer?
  • Would the ad resonate with consumers while remaining on-brand?


Millward Brown found that the idea behind the ad had potential to effectively communicate the new service, but was hampered by the execution. Specifically, people reported feeling "unimpressed" by the ad because they:

  • Disliked the characters;
  • Found it to have a sinister and scary tone;
  • Felt it lacked truly engaging scenes.


  • Lighten the overall tone to remove the sinister feel of the main characters.
  • Consider the number and length of scenes within the ad. Delete the less memorable scenes and extend the stronger ones to increase comprehension and allow people to "get into" the ad.
  • Increase the level of mystery and make the resolution more amusing and meaningful.
  • Reconsider the music to improve appreciation of the ad and make it more upbeat and lighthearted.


As a result, the client:

  • Took steps to make the ad less sinister and more lighthearted.
  • Reduced the number of vignettes and lengthened the remaining ones.
  • Changed the music to strengthen positive engagement.


The finished ad generated much greater emotional affinity and improved brand recognition, while maintaining its ability to clearly communicate the new service.

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