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Birds Eye’s German sister company Iglo achieved high advertising recall and public relation impact when it started a creative TV commercial with the first homosexual advertising couple in Germany. These TV spots were initially the talk of the town amongst consumers. Creative people in agencies as well as leading marketing and communication magazines were excited.

A leading international market research company’s traditional advertising pre-test predicted one of the best ever sales effects worldwide (amongst the Top Five worldwide ever achieved for grocery goods).

Based on that prediction Unilever invested more than 20 million Euros in 18 months in Iglo 4 Sterne (4Star) Menue advertising. However sales performance was poor.
Iglo 4 Sterne Menue was threatened to be delisted by major trade organisations.

Innovative qualitative and quantitative analysis told a different story. The commercials achieved high impact but relevant emotional details were wrong.
A few subtle but important execution changes - without changing the attractive creative key idea – led to the following result:
Iglo 4 Sterne Menue doubled its initial market share and gained market leadership within 3 months – with less than 10 percent of the advertising budget previously invested. This case study proves again how important it is to communicate the right emotions and how dangerous it can be to use advertising pre-tests which are unreliable due to old fashioned assumptions such as “homo oeconomicus” or “AIDA”.

Methods used: Qualitative methods, advertising effect pretest

Publication: Mayer de Groot, R.: Effective Communication around the World Learning from Best Practice Examples, in: p&a international market research 03/ 2012.