A Hunter's Guide To BS-Free Insights

Tom Morton
Tom MortonSVP, Strategy at R/GA
A HUNTER’S GUIDE TO
BULLSH*T-FREE INSIGHTS
 Tom Morton, chief strategy officer, Havas Worldwide NY
                      @tommorton
“Miserable is what your
whole crew will be,
if you‟re not original and
you show no strategy.”


                             A Tribe Called Quest
                                       Word Play
INSIGHT IS ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE
CURRENCIES IN ADVERTISING
“Nothing is so powerful as an
insight into human nature . . . what
compulsions drive a man, what
instincts dominate his action . . . if
you know these things about a
man you can touch him at the
core of his being.”


                                         Bill Bernbach
LIKE ALL CURRENCIES
INSIGHTS CAN BE DEVALUED
HOW TO SPOT A BAD INSIGHT
“Natalie is    “She is a busy, on-the-
an ISFJ.”      go mom who is always
               looking for me-time.”




THE TARGET CONSUMER
WHO ISN’T AN ACTUAL HUMAN BEING
“Teens want the ability     “People feel that
to customize and            inner beauty is
personalize food in their   most important.”
own way.”




THE DEEP TRUTH
THAT DOESN’T SCRATCH THE SURFACE
“Flossing regularly makes    “People get tired
my teeth cleaner and         by the end of
makes me feel more           the day.”
confident about my mouth.”




THE UNIQUE TRUTH
THAT ISN’T UNIQUE (OR TRUE)
INSIGHTS NEED TO BE
TRUE FLASHES OF INSIGHT
Insight: a penetrating observation about
consumer behavior that can unlock growth.
Diageo



Insight: an astonishing disclosure about real
people, the brands they use or the world they
live in that compels a change in their behavior.
Richard Huntington, Saatchi & Saatchi
INSIGHT HUNTING MEANS
DEFYING CONVENTION
“All great truths begin as
heresies.”


                             George Bernard Shaw
INSIGHTS AREN’T JUST SAID, THEY’RE FELT
When the intellect articulates what the gut has
always felt.
Unilever Consultant


Insight (n.) The act of apprehending the inner
nature of things or of seeing intuitively.
Webster’s dictionary
Axe: every guy pines for
„the one that got away‟
          Axe – Fear No Susan Glenn
THE QUICKEST WAY TO INSIGHT IS TO
REFRAME THE PROBLEM
UK Road Safety: the 30mph speed limit
is the highest speed at which most
pedestrians will survive a collision

       UK Road Safety – It‟s 30 For A Reason
Milk: most people don‟t even notice
milk when it‟s there, but they really
miss it when it‟s not
           Got Milk – Aaron Burr
THERE IS MORE INSIGHT IN THE NEGATIVE
AND CONTRADICTORY SIDE OF HUMAN
NATURE THAN THERE IS IN THE SUNNY SIDE
Nicorette: most attempts to quit
smoking are unplanned and
chaotic, so quitting sucks
            Nicorette – Shark
BGH Air Conditioners:
heat makes us undignified
  BGH Air Conditioners: Dads In Briefs
“Out of the crooked
timber of humanity,
no straight thing was
ever made.”

                        Immanuel Kant
LOOK BEYOND THE CONSUMER
AND OUT IN TO CULTURE
The Beetle is a humble alternative
     to the excesses of Detroit
Every generation of young people thinks it can change the world
LOOK TO THE DEEP TRUTHS OF THE BRAND
Johnnie Walker: an individual entrepreneur
who strides across the bottle

    Johnnie Walker: The Man Who Walked Around The World
Dos Equis: Vienna-style beer brewed
by Germans in Mexico to celebrate
the dawn of a new century.
Ritz Crackers: offering ordinary
people a taste of the good times


Atlantic City: a city built on freedom
Q. What are the greatest hits of the brand?


  Q. What was the magic of the brand when it was at
  its peak?


  Q. What are the truths of the brand that are staring
  us in the face?




THE MAGIC QUESTIONS
AND FINALLY… NOT EVERY GREAT IDEA
DEPENDS ON A GREAT INSIGHT
Budweiser – Whassup?
          Burger King – Subservient Chicken
          Guinness – noitulovE
          Honda – Cog
          Ikea - Lamp
          Nike – Tag
          Orange – Film Board
          Sony – Balls


CANNES GRAND PRIX WINNERS
NOT BASED ON INSIGHTS
Courtesy of Simon Law, Fabric Worldwide
1 of 33

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A Hunter's Guide To BS-Free Insights

  • 1. A HUNTER’S GUIDE TO BULLSH*T-FREE INSIGHTS Tom Morton, chief strategy officer, Havas Worldwide NY @tommorton
  • 2. “Miserable is what your whole crew will be, if you‟re not original and you show no strategy.” A Tribe Called Quest Word Play
  • 3. INSIGHT IS ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE CURRENCIES IN ADVERTISING
  • 4. “Nothing is so powerful as an insight into human nature . . . what compulsions drive a man, what instincts dominate his action . . . if you know these things about a man you can touch him at the core of his being.” Bill Bernbach
  • 6. HOW TO SPOT A BAD INSIGHT
  • 7. “Natalie is “She is a busy, on-the- an ISFJ.” go mom who is always looking for me-time.” THE TARGET CONSUMER WHO ISN’T AN ACTUAL HUMAN BEING
  • 8. “Teens want the ability “People feel that to customize and inner beauty is personalize food in their most important.” own way.” THE DEEP TRUTH THAT DOESN’T SCRATCH THE SURFACE
  • 9. “Flossing regularly makes “People get tired my teeth cleaner and by the end of makes me feel more the day.” confident about my mouth.” THE UNIQUE TRUTH THAT ISN’T UNIQUE (OR TRUE)
  • 10. INSIGHTS NEED TO BE TRUE FLASHES OF INSIGHT
  • 11. Insight: a penetrating observation about consumer behavior that can unlock growth. Diageo Insight: an astonishing disclosure about real people, the brands they use or the world they live in that compels a change in their behavior. Richard Huntington, Saatchi & Saatchi
  • 13. “All great truths begin as heresies.” George Bernard Shaw
  • 14. INSIGHTS AREN’T JUST SAID, THEY’RE FELT
  • 15. When the intellect articulates what the gut has always felt. Unilever Consultant Insight (n.) The act of apprehending the inner nature of things or of seeing intuitively. Webster’s dictionary
  • 16. Axe: every guy pines for „the one that got away‟ Axe – Fear No Susan Glenn
  • 17. THE QUICKEST WAY TO INSIGHT IS TO REFRAME THE PROBLEM
  • 18. UK Road Safety: the 30mph speed limit is the highest speed at which most pedestrians will survive a collision UK Road Safety – It‟s 30 For A Reason
  • 19. Milk: most people don‟t even notice milk when it‟s there, but they really miss it when it‟s not Got Milk – Aaron Burr
  • 20. THERE IS MORE INSIGHT IN THE NEGATIVE AND CONTRADICTORY SIDE OF HUMAN NATURE THAN THERE IS IN THE SUNNY SIDE
  • 21. Nicorette: most attempts to quit smoking are unplanned and chaotic, so quitting sucks Nicorette – Shark
  • 22. BGH Air Conditioners: heat makes us undignified BGH Air Conditioners: Dads In Briefs
  • 23. “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.” Immanuel Kant
  • 24. LOOK BEYOND THE CONSUMER AND OUT IN TO CULTURE
  • 25. The Beetle is a humble alternative to the excesses of Detroit
  • 26. Every generation of young people thinks it can change the world
  • 27. LOOK TO THE DEEP TRUTHS OF THE BRAND
  • 28. Johnnie Walker: an individual entrepreneur who strides across the bottle Johnnie Walker: The Man Who Walked Around The World
  • 29. Dos Equis: Vienna-style beer brewed by Germans in Mexico to celebrate the dawn of a new century.
  • 30. Ritz Crackers: offering ordinary people a taste of the good times Atlantic City: a city built on freedom
  • 31. Q. What are the greatest hits of the brand? Q. What was the magic of the brand when it was at its peak? Q. What are the truths of the brand that are staring us in the face? THE MAGIC QUESTIONS
  • 32. AND FINALLY… NOT EVERY GREAT IDEA DEPENDS ON A GREAT INSIGHT
  • 33. Budweiser – Whassup? Burger King – Subservient Chicken Guinness – noitulovE Honda – Cog Ikea - Lamp Nike – Tag Orange – Film Board Sony – Balls CANNES GRAND PRIX WINNERS NOT BASED ON INSIGHTS Courtesy of Simon Law, Fabric Worldwide