Science behind Creative Effectiveness: Lurpak butters up viewers with emotional and memory triggers

By AdNews | 8 July 2014

Creative Effectiveness Lions are coveted by both brands and agencies, showing that creative work actually achieves a business goal and pushes the brand’s performance forward.

For Lurpak, a look at the neurological responses to the ad show that its effectiveness comes from strong emotional drivers and memory triggers for both men and women.

As part of our exclusive series of neuro-analyses of the winning ads at Cannes this year in partnership with Neuro Insight, we took a look at how viewers' brains respond to Lurpak's ads.

Masterfully Magical/Magically Masterful

On first impressions, the Luprak “Weave Your Magic” ad takes one on an adventure, reminiscent of childhood fantasy movies that whisked us off to a faraway place – yet this place isn’t so far – it’s just a few steps away in the kitchen. The ad portrays the ‘magical’ world of baking and cooking, which of course, wouldn’t be possible without the help of Lurpak butter. But, do viewers fall down the rabbit hole into wonderland, rushing off to buy Lurpak butter for that tea party they’re late for? Well, this ad won a Creative Effectiveness Lion which is awarded for those ads whose creativity has shown measurable influence on consumer behaviour, whether it be through brand equity, sales or profit. To understand why this ad was effective, let’s take a deeper look through Neuro Insight‘s Memory Encoding time-series Analysis, looking at female viewers first.

 As we can see from the Memory Encoding graphs, the female audience appears to be captured from the start of narrative; Memory encoding starts off strongly and is sustained as the narrative develops and peaking at the strongest scene in the ad - the butter falling into the flour. This is a powerful image that can also be used on billboards to replay the entire TV in the audience’s mind. Engagement and Emotional Intensity scores are considered as well.

Immediately after this peak Memory Encoding drops significantly for the next 10 seconds, an effect also seen in the male group. It seems that, while women were highly engaged (not shown here) by the opening narrative and music featuring the magic and mystery, as soon as the mystery is resolved and the ‘magic’ is revealed to be cooking ‘that brings people to her door’, memory encoding drops. This pronounced drop in memory encoding is an example of what we term ‘Conceptual Closure’ and occurs whenever the brain identifies the ending of an event, an event boundary, or when an implicit question is answered or uncertainty in a story is resolved.

While Conceptual Closure can sometimes seriously compromise ad effectiveness, in this case, Conceptual Closure is not a problem as it does not occur around the times of branding. Branding occurs earlier in the ad visually when Memory Encoding is high, as well as towards the end when memory encoding is re-triggered at a crucial moment – the scene where the butter is spread onto the roll which coincides with the voice-over ‘and a good measure of Lurpak butter’. So, women register the fact that the ad isn’t just about cooking, more specifically, it’s about butter. But will women remember which brand of butter? The Neuro Insight measures, indicate that they will. With strong Memory Encoding at visual branding at the start, about 15 seconds in, at verbal branding towards the end, “a good measure of Lurpak butter” and at final branding, right at the last moment, Memory reaches or exceeds 0.7, which is Neuro Insight’s benchmark for effectiveness. This shows that, by women’s standards, Lurpak definitely deserved to win the Creative Effectiveness Lion. But, do men feel the same?

While men show greater variability in Memory Encoding, the male Memory Encoding peaks generally coincide with the female ones in all but the first five seconds of the ad. Once again, the revelation that cooking is the magic that ‘brings people to her door’ triggers the Conceptual Closure drop in memory. However, when it counts – at key branding moments - Memory Encoding is just as strong, if not stronger than women’s memory response. Thus, the Lurpak brand was communicated effectively to both male and female audiences.

Overall, it’s clear to see why the Lurpak ad won a Creative Effectiveness Lion. Not only is the narrative well encoded, but the ad uses precisely the right moments to brand allowing viewers to effectively store in conscious and unconscious memory ‘the Magic of Lurpak’.

We've also looked Volvo's Jean-Claud Van Damme fuelled Epic Split and the Harvey Nichols' 'Sorry I Spent it on Myself' ad.

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