Case Study

A New Way Forward for Ad Testing

The Opportunity

A large toy manufacturer needed a partner to create an ad testing program relevant to their unique market and engaging for a kid-focused audience. Many in the research industry use a one-size-fits-all approach to ad testing, but there’s an inherent challenge in generating reliable, actionable data among children.

Our Twist

Vital Findings re-engineered the questionnaire design to create an ad testing program that was not only engaging for the child but mirrored the actual media environment (hint: the clutter reel doesn’t cut it!). If you think adults struggle with short attention spans, just imagine the viewing experience of children. Toys, snacks, books, games — everything presents a distraction. We recreated the media viewing environment of a child to be able to answer a key question: will my ad breakthrough even when a child is distracted? We also created metrics unique to the dynamic of a parent and child. We didn’t just ask persuasion, we went further and got to the “nag factor” — how strongly will the child push past that first parental “no?”

The Impact

By engaging with kids in a way we specifically designed for them, we were able to gather quality data to accurately drive the brand’s creative decision-making. This data was successfully used by the marketing team to influence strategic decisions, and continues to be employed by the brand’s agency to optimize ad creative. In addition to the optimization of individual ads, we were able to isolate various elements across the ads we tested to create a list of ‘must-have’ features for integration across all future creative. These features have proven to be highly effective in further encouraging kids’ interest and engagement in the brand’s products.