Great Insight: Balancing Between Obvious & Obscure

“In the advertising business,a good idea can inspire a great commercial.But a good insight can fuel a thousand ideas,a thousand commercials”
-Phil Dusenberry

No matter what anyone says, finding good & relevant insights is hard work. And I think it is getting more difficult all the time. The audience getting more & more fragmented, products been around longer, new medias emerging all the time etc. However in combination with audience behavior, they are still out there. You just have to work harder to find them.

Obvious-A Great InsightObscure
A great insight is not totally obvious. For example that women are the main decision makers in grocery retailing is hardly a groundbreaking insight. Or that men like beer. If you would found out that men contribute actually much to buying certain items in grocery stores, or you found common characteristics of the women who like beer, you might be onto something.

Pitfall of the obvious
: Everyone has already used it.Lacks to surpring and differentiation.
Pitfall of the obscure: It does not touch enough amount of target audience. Lacks the human and business relevance.

There is now shortcut or proven formula to find the insights. Probably every planner has its own method. I believe in combined “gut-instinct” and “rational deduction”. Usually the difference when winning pitches or doing groundbreaking stuff is that you are confident enough to trust your own point-of-view when doing final decisions. When checking for the strategy I usually try to tick the following boxes. These are not necessarily in order and you might not always need to check out all of these (although it would be preferable).

Insight Check-List
Simplicity: Is it simple enough? (Best insights are usually told in couple of sentences)
Surprise: Does it bring new angle to the category? Does it really help to differentiate us from the others.
Action: Does it make people to act (buy, share, try, comment, give their contact details, go to the store etc. This is especially crucial in digital campaigns)
Business relevance: Does it drive existing customers to buy more? Does it bring new business? (The best insights are those which tackle these challenges)
Human relevance: Does it reveal some human truth? Can people familiarize with the insight?
Brand: Does it benefit the brand in the long term? Is it in the brand?

And although it might seem that I only present sports brands in here, I have to share this nice little retail activation that Puma did. Especially strong in simplicity, action and business relevancy (got also Silver Lion in Cannes for Promo & Activation):

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One thought on “Great Insight: Balancing Between Obvious & Obscure

  1. […] within the agency. When people do not share the same ideals while speaking about strategy, concept, insight & idea, you end up doing disoriented work. That work does not answer business problems and it […]

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