Insights Presentation

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A look at insights - what defines them, how they manifest well and what to avoid.

A look at insights - what defines them, how they manifest well and what to avoid.

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  • 1. insights What they are And what they’re not Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 1 Say hello. Talk about how this presentation was written in a hurry as some sort of foil for the possibility that it’s all crap!
  • 2. Generally, ‘Insights’ is just a horribly misused word! Along with ‘Brand’ and ‘Strategy’ Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 2 Start with a good rant about misused words and the abundance of buzzwords in marketing - usually to the obfuscation of any real meaning. Try to remember to use the word “obfuscation” in particular.
  • 3. consumer cultural future insights insights insights product brand market insights insights insights purchase usage owner insights insights insights Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 3 Talk generally about insights - the multitude of different types that exist - the fact that this list may not even be exhaustive and definitely contains some areas that don’t make for particularly good insights. At least, not that I’ve seen to date. But, you never know… Reference some real examples that are coming later - like the Crispin Porter Burger King stuff that rides the wave of anti-metrosexual eating. And, the Got Milk work from Goodby Silverstein that found an insight in the relationship between Milk and other foods. Maybe mention the need for some friction - that Milk exists out of the negative - that finding some of these insights requires that you push against the usual patterns of behaviour. This could come later, though!
  • 4. Why insights are important Strong insights often lead to great work. Not all the time, but enough to make them worthwhile Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 4 Maybe admit that at the outset the author was going to rubbish insights as passe - the thing of yesteryear. But, upon reflection and a bit of digging, it became clear that the real problem isn’t that they’re no long useful - it’s that so many ads don’t actually contain real insights and we’ve spent so much time talking about them that they’ve become part of marketing language. They’re oft talked about, but rarely found. Much as we’d like to pretend that it all came from planners, it probably didn’t - in reality, a lot of the time it’s the creatives who inject the insight. That’s part of the process of creating work. And, more often than not, the account team were responsible for making a leap of thinking that exposed a real insight. However you find them, though, they are definitely worth having. When you look around, you’ll find that a lot of really great work has a great insight at the heart of it.
  • 5. in•sight |'in¡sït| Noun The capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 5 The interesting bits being accurate - although that sounds pretty obvious. But, Intuitive - and I think that is important, because it’s not about rational thinking and slavish research. You need to find something that strikes a chord with people - it’s a gut-felt response we’re looking for, and not a head nod.
  • 6. in•sight•ful |in-sahyt-fuhl| Adjective Characterised by or displaying insight; perceptive Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 6 Equally, and the only reason I pulled this in as well - there needs to be a degree of ‘perceptive’ in there. Something that is perceptive, can’t be too obvious - it can’t just be an observation - which is a key distinction.
  • 7. Diageo’s definition An insight is a penetrating observation about consumer behaviour that can be applied to unlock growth Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 7 Yet more words! Probably the most interesting thing about this is that it’s one of so many definitions that exist - and, to be honest, I just chose this one because Herve told it to me and it was really rational. It feels like the minute you talk about it this mechanically that you lose some of the sauce you’re looking for.
  • 8. Stuff WCRS planners said, when asked… “A new Point of View that’s immediately recognisable” “An insight is NOT an observation - it explains why, rather than just observing that people do something” “It must be cause AND effect - insights prompt effect” “Insights...They’re things that other people think of, then you immediately wish you had” Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 8 Naturally, talking to people we know here produced far more interesting results. Particularly the last one, which is kind of an insight in itself.
  • 9. Disruption insight Observation Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 9 Talk about Chiat and HHCL and disruption - finding conventions and breaking them Talk about general insights being less disruptive, but equally potent. The need to actually find something with a point (or a point of view). Wang on for while about
  • 10. My Opinion (as of yesterday) An insight is a revelation that produces great work (there should be a degree of “Fuck me. I never thought of it like that!”) Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 10 We know that we’re avoiding a trap here - which is that our “insight” is just an observation and maybe not even a particularly astute one. So, for me, the important word is “revelation” - the need for something that changes our opinion… and that can be done in many different ways, but is definitely a key part of the best communications.
  • 11. Judging your insight… Will people get it? Is it something new? Is it simple enough? Can you support it? Will it effect change? Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 11 Talk about how maybe it doesn’t need a definition anyway - after all, nobody has an agreed definition, so maybe it’s because it’s a bit more complex than that. In which case, maybe we’re better off using a set of questions to see whether we’ve got a good ‘un…
  • 12. Write it on a blank sheet of paper, with no supporting words Is it still interesting? Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 12 We know that we’re avoiding a trap here - which is that our “insight” is just an observation and maybe not even a particularly astute one. So, for me, the important word is “revelation” - the need for something that changes our opinion… and that can be done in many different ways, but is definitely a key part of the best communications.
  • 13. How to find insights… To be fair, good insights are usually hard to find… Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 13 I don’t think I can really tell you how to find them, since it involves some inspiration and some degree of looking at a problem in a way that nobody has before - otherwise, it won’t be fresh enough to be an insight. So, instead, I thought I’d touch on a couple of things I think then use examples - nice cop out!
  • 14. Research ≠ Insights Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 14 First off, I want to be vitriolic about research. It’s not that I don’t think we should do it, it’s just that I think it’s become a crutch for everyone. And, as such, it no longer produces the magic we’re looking for. Unless you do something weird with it. Take business people out to dinner. Or go on field trips with consumers. Basically, do something different with them if you want to find a different answer. AND MAKE SURE you know what you’re asking - always go in with a new hypothesis to test. Otherwise, you’ll probably find what everyone else discovered 5 years ago.
  • 15. Discovery » Insights (research being one tool for discovery) Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 15 Discovery isn’t exactly the revolutionary term I was looking for, but it will have to do - since I couldn’t think of anything else last night at 8pm. But, if you’re thinking about exploring and discovering, then you’re at least thinking bigger than research. And, the research will need to live up to more in itself. So, go discover. And make it a big old trip so it’s got a good chance of digging up something new...
  • 16. Don’t pretend it’s an insight when it’s not! (you’ll only get found out) Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 16 Finally, and I know this is a bit of a side point - don’t kid yourself that you’ve got a great insight when you don’t. There’s nothing worse than pretending. Because it probably means that you won’t find another part of your brief or strategy to upweight instead. After all, the insight isn’t everything!
  • 17. Some examples... Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 17 Right, time for some examples. And some ads to keep you awake! Hopefully these will give you some ideas beyond the obvious for finding an insight as well as be ads that you haven’t seen. In the hope of keeping it interesting, I’ve purposefully gone with a majority of US ads.
  • 18. Burger King Crispin Porter & Bogusky Employed a social scientist Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 18 Crispin Porter & Bogusky Employed a social scientist to make a bigger cultural observation about what people are eating and why, revealing a dissatisfaction amongst men...
  • 19. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 19
  • 20. California Milk Board Goodby Silverstein & Partners Used a deprivation study Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 20 Goodby Silverstein & Partners Observed that Milk was best with food... then they used a deprivation study to find the insight...
  • 21. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 21
  • 22. The AA HHCL Talked to the phone operators, instead of just customers Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 22 HHCL Saw that AA members talked about how friendly the AA repairmen were (hence the previous ads). But, when they talked to the phone operators, they found a far more provocative insight...
  • 23. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 23
  • 24. EDS Fallon Found an insight within comments from the CEO Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 24 Fallon Nobody understood or particularly cared about IT outsourcing until it was brought to life in a different way. An insight they found within a comment from the CEO...
  • 25. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 25
  • 26. HP iPod Goodby Silverstein & Partners Delved into people’s playlists Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 26 Goodby Silverstein & Partners Delving into people’s playlists, they found that the mash up of music was far greater than you’d ever expect - Bach next to U2, Interpol, Eminem, Willie Nelson and so on...
  • 27. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 27
  • 28. Volkswagen Arnold, Boston A Creative Director reminiscing Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 28 Everyone shows cabrios/convertibles in the sunshine. Until Arnold did this night spot - which brought to life the hidden joy of a night drive. All because the creative director, Lance Jensen, had a different view of convertibles from his own college years. His comment: “Everyone thinks beach and sun, but at night it’s like you’re in a space ship.”
  • 29. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 29
  • 30. Game Show Network Chiat Day, San Francisco A group outing that inspired the campaign Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 30 Another agency to take a slightly different perspective. Chiat Day. Who took the whole team out to the studios of Game Show Network for a day initiation. And spotted something that research probably never would. The fun isn’t in taking part - it’s in knowing the answer when the idiot in the chair has frozen in fear!
  • 31. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 31
  • 32. Two final examples... Proof that insights aren’t always the answer Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 32 Hopefully these will give you some ideas beyond the obvious for finding an insight as well as be ads that you haven’t seen. In the hope of keeping it interesting, I’ve purposefully gone with a majority of US ads.
  • 33. British Airways Saatchi & Saatchi Great ad - no insight! Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 33 I found this in an old APG paper from 1993 - you can only assume that people were more lax on ‘insights’ in those days! I thought we’d look at it because it’s a prime example of a product fact wrapped up as a insight for no good reason. After all, it’s a great brand, a great product fact and a great ad.
  • 34. Insights are often unrecognised fundamental human truths. So begins the section on “insight” from the Saatchi & Saatchi’s APG paper for British Airways in 1993... Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 34 Can’t argue with that, can you?
  • 35. The emotional insight: The central nerve that runs through people's emotional attitudes to flying is that it brings people, families and loved ones together. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 35
  • 36. The ‘size’ insight: Having excavated all the data and figures on British Airways, we felt that the most compelling 'megafact' about it was still that BA is chosen by more flyers internationally than any other airline - 25 million passengers, of all nationalities, fly with BA each year. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 36
  • 37. It is often said that creativity is the result of two previously unrelated thoughts crashing together. We combined these two emotional and rational insights and got a potential contradiction in terms. A 'caring megafact', so to speak. British Airways brings 25 million people to other people all around the world every year. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 37
  • 38. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 38
  • 39. Cadbury Dairy Milk Fallon The insight of “joy” or not? Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 39 Just to bring things back up to date again, this ad caused controversy exactly because it has no insight. Maybe even no particular message. But then the post-rationalising began and people celebrated the insight of “joy” that chocolate brings you…
  • 40. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 40
  • 41. Boots Suncare Mother Lovely observation, or great insight? Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 41 This came up when we were talking about this in the planning meeting last week. We quickly decided that it was a great example of an ad with an observation, but not an insight. But then, maybe not - the insight is that we go crazy for the sun in the UK - “every second counts” Dunno - but it’s definitely closer than BA was!
  • 42. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 42
  • 43. Boots Christmas Mother Lovely observation, or great insight? Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 43 As I look back over this, I can’t help but think of this ad too. It’s a corker - beautifully observed and fantastically executed. But is it really an insight, or just another superb piece of observation that captures the antics of women at christmas party time?
  • 44. Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 44
  • 45. Finally, don’t get too hung up on them Many insights are creative rather than strategic Many great ads contain ideas but not insights Just make sure your briefs are really clear and contain something that is inspiring to creatives! Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 45
  • 46. Idea Insight • Sony - Balls • Honda - WhatIf? • Guinness - Noitulove • Honda - Grr • Honda - Cog • Budweiser - Whassup • Orange Film Board • Fox Sports Net • Nike - Tag • Subservient Chicken • Apple - 1984 • Ikea - Lamp Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 46 Bit of a last-minute thought - what have the main Cannes winners had - insights or not? And the answer’s pretty clear - very few are insight-based. Doesn’t mean that insights are useless - just be careful not to think they’re the only route to a great ad. Incidentally, the client at Ikea is convinced that Lamp had an insight, so that just shows how subjective this all is!
  • 47. insights The End Thanks! Simon Law - October 11th, 2006 (Revised March 2009) Friday, 3 April 2009 47