Event Blog: A First Aid Kit for your brand

Event Blog: A First Aid Kit for your brand

At the May 2018 AURA event, we welcomed speakers from a variety of agencies and client side businesses to focus on the theme of ‘first aid for your brand’. 

Our speakers spoke from a position of direct experience and discussed a range of applications, from neuroscience and eye-tracking, to brand positioning and ethnography. The goal was to share with attendees proven techniques which have made a brand’s communications more efficient, strengthened brand image, or boosted market share. 

We wanted attendees of the event to return to their businesses with additional insights as to how other experts have effectively repositioned their brand, how ethnography has connected brands with their customers and see the latest in neuroscience applications. 



AURA welcomed speakers from 9 organisations, each bringing different insights and experience to the event: 


Talk 1: Sweating The Small Stuff

The Behavioural Architects (Crawford Hollingworth) discussed ‘how behavioural economics inspires small changes that can make big differences to brands’.

Crawford shared with members how context can often change and what behavioural economics does, allowing users to see maybe new spaces or new ways that brands can connect to unlock behavioural understanding and insights to drive change. Crawford went on to explain that by priming your subconscious you are able to bring the right associations forward. 


Talk 2: Research Creatives Love

Nathalie Gil of BAMM referenced the case study of the BT Storybook project, developed alongside AMV BBDO and BT, BAMM and discussed how creative ethnography can give depth to a brand positioning and inspire creative agencies to develop successful brand campaigns.

Nathalie introduced research that is relevant to creatives, supporting their creative process as opposed to hindering. Their approach was to recruit moments as opposed to people for their methodology. BAMM made use of those moments (stories) to help BT better understand how technology fuels peoples lives and creates moments


Source: BAMM


Talk 3: Paying (for) Attention

Mike Follett (Lumen) was joined on stage by Patrick Smith (British Gas) to discuss how British Gas  is using attention data to optimise media buying and enhance creative performance. 

Central to their talk was the idea that just because an advert can be seen doesn’t mean that it will be seen. The talk examined how British Gas have been working with eye tracking specialists Lumen to predict which sites and formats are most likely to deliver attention to advertising, and which ad creative is likely to stand out the most.

Read more from Mike Follett (Lumen) on how British Gas is using attention data to optimise media spend and enhance creative development.

Related article: Paying (for) Attention


Talk 4: Brand First Aid in Action

Fleur Horner and Susannah Cohen from The Value Engineers spoke directly about their work to revitalise the Berghaus brand. The speakers shared with members a 360 case study delivering an honest account of the brand repositioning experience. 

During their talk, the duo from The Value Engineers gave an honest account of the brand repositioning experience from both client and consultant perspectives. They were clear to give a refreshing ‘no filter’ talk, which included elements where parts of the project didn’t go as planned, in order to highlight to the audience, elements that were really impactful both internally and externally.

This involved acknowledging upfront that brand positioning is quite abstract, so in order to help engage the business and really help them see the value of the work the team was doing, TVE took the internal teams through a number of case studies that could really show the purpose and help them understand why TVE were doing the work they were doing. 

Through their case study the speakers shared a methodology that involved the team examining the positive elements of the brand and entering into a rich exploration phase talking to consumers in their homes, looking at their outdoor kit, but also going out on the hills and interrupting walkers and talking to them. 


Talk 5: Using Storytelling to Drive Advertising Memorability

Heather Andrew (Neuro-Insight) and Abiola Oni (Rightmove) shared a case study on the subject of assessing the subconscious impact of Rightmove’s latest advertising campaign. 

Key to their project was their approach to measuring emotional responses and memory encoding to enable them to understand how the campaign was working and draw out learnings to inform future creative executions.

Throughout their talk the speakers from Neuro-Insight and Rightmove, shared with us how they had examined brain activity amongst their participants and that the results were demonstrating brain responses that indicated their advert was telling an emotional and compelling story. Their method was able to show that brain response moved appropriately in response to the highs and lows of the narrative, and memory remained high throughout, indicating that the brain was engaging with the story without wear-out or loss of interest.

Read more from the speakers Heather Andrew and Abiola Oni in this longer article sharing deeper insights into their process and results:

Related article: Using Storytelling to Drive Advertising Memorability


 Source: Nero-Insight/ Rightmove


Talk 6: Short Can Be Sweet

Peter Haslett of Realeyes spoke on the effectiveness of 6-second ads, how short can be sweet in the ad industry. Peter demonstrated how short form ads are working for brands and publishers, but also for today’s time-poor consumers. Realeyes achived this through the use of facial coding as the specialise in capturing data via participant webcams. 

During Peter’s talk he demonstrated how six seconds can and do work to get people's attention and engage an emotional connection. Their research has shown that when you've created that attention and emotional connection, you will, in fact, see that that'll have a greater propensity to be shared online, to be viewed online, to generate buzz as people are talking to friend, relatives, colleagues, etc. So it's a really important hurdle that the piece of content will be remembered and that there will be some action generated from it. 

Peter summed up by saying that six seconds work very well, but the one thing that Realeyes knows is it's harder to tell a story in six seconds. You can't allow people to just take a 30 second story or a 60 second piece of great television content and cram all that into six seconds. You've got to use soundbites effectively within a campaign to create something that's very target specific and objective oriented. 


Source: Realeyes


Talk 7: Relationship Capital

Jamie Allsopp and Carina Giesa from Sparkler examined the role brand relationships play in how businesses operate. Relationships with a brand are vital to finding new growth and in managing existing customer relationships. But their impact can be tricky and elusive to measure - difficult for respondents to articulate and hard to capture in surveys. The team from Sparkler discussed how they make use of a ground-breaking neuro experiment to find out what the brain can tell us about people’s relationships with brands.

Jamie and Carina discussed how brands are more like our relationships with friends. Ultimately these relationships need to feel familiar, be fresh and cross channel, as you would expect from a friend. These factors help to build the ‘Relationship Capital’ as brands are the culmination of every interaction. 

Specifically the team discussed their work on EEG – Electroencephalography – allowing them to measure changes in voltage across the scalp, telling them about what is going on underneath. Neurological measures include attention paid towards visual brand assets, emotional connection towards brand related information, and formation of a memory of the information presented. 

In order to explore how people’s brains react towards brands Sparkler invited 100 respondents, wired them up with EEG equipment, and exposed them to visual brand assets of Uber, Spotify, Lidl, Ford, Radio 1 and many other brands. To complete the picture, the team collected self-reported data so they could slice the EEG data along different sub-samples with different frequencies of brand usage, degrees of brand affinity, brand relationship histories, and life stage relevance of a given brand.

Related article: What Neuro Can Teach? Relationships with Brands in the Digital Age 


Exclusively for Members

As always, our seminars are exclusive to AURA members. 

Following the event, additional material will be available on the AURA website. Follow this link to see additional event content.