Does your creative pass the Mute Test?

A lot of time is spent behind the scenes coming up with great ideas for TV spots: internal brainstorming meetings, long calls and presentations with clients, focus groups, scripting, various rounds of revisions…. the list goes on and on.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a fun process, even one of the main reasons I originally got into advertising. And, it is a vital process to make sure companies are putting the best product in the market to lure consumers into buying/interacting with their brand.

Unfortunately, many times, creative teams (and clients) get too caught up in the stories and aesthetics of the spots that they forget one simple element: Does the spot pass the Mute Test?

The mute test

The mute test you ask? That’s right! At the end of the day, your TV spot and/or video must pass the test! Why?  Because after all that effort, time, and money spent producing the spots, you need to make sure that, even with the volume down, viewers understand who you are (brand), what the story is about, and what you offer. Remember, viewers may be at home with their TV muted during the commercials, watching it on Social Media with their volume muted (default for most platforms), or at a bar or restaurant watching sports where, in most cases, only one game has the volume playing, and/or the crowd is so loud viewers may not hear the spot anyway.

Furthermore, it is crucial that your spots pass the test because you are paying for the media placements and impressions.  So instead of “wasting” those media dollars with spots that may not get your message across, make the necessary adjustments to deliver the best spot the first time.

Here is the test:

  1. Ask a person to watch your video for the first time
  2. Mute your volume
  3. Play them your video
  4. Ask them:
    1. What was the spot about?
    2. What was the brand?
    3. What product or service was offered?
  5. Publish or revise as necessary

 

An easy fix? Supers. Good ’ol supers that help tell the story; supers that highlight the main points of your message, and that are designed within your brand guidelines.

Then, put it to the test one more time.  Passed?

Want to learn more? Let’s talk! Contact us at letstalk@modusdirect.com.

 

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Why Ask Why?

Do not stop to think about the reasons for what you are doing, about why you are questioning.  The important thing is not to stop questioning.  Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.  It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a holy curiosity. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives.”  ~Albert Einstein

Why ask why?

Had Albert Einstein and many others not asked all the question he did, where would we be today? We are not rocket scientists or philosophers in advertising, but it is equally important for us to ask questions to truly be the best partners that we can be.  Agencies need to be asking clients questions, clients need to be asking agencies questions and agencies need to be asking their vendors questions.  One of my mentors instilled in me to always ask at least one question in every meeting you’re a participant in.

Clients to Agencies

Clients should be encouraged to ask questions!  Here at Modus we love an open dialog and enjoy educating our clients because as both client and agency become more educated results get better.  Clients ask how media works if you don’t know!  We love to help our client feel more comfortable and confident with how your marketing budgets get spent. Asking questions strengthen the relationship and eliminates any confusion between client and agency.  If you don’t know how that Local Break works, ask! We will gladly impress our knowledge on to you.  Ask your agency if who will be working on your account and what their credentials are.  Ask about the strategy behind the creative execution?  It is going to be effective or will it just earn that agency another creative award. Ask what type of reporting you will receive and on what frequency.  You should ask what types of clients the agency likes to work with, what makes a good client?  What is the agency’s culture, and would that mesh with yours so the relationship can be effective and enjoyable?

Agencies to Clients

Agencies should be asking clients TONS of questions especially in the beginning of the relations, but if the questions don’t continue the progress and growth will stall.  Asking questions keeps the line of communication open and you know that the agency is engaged in your business.  Agencies ask for as much data as we can possibly can.  This isn’t because we are nosey, it is because the more information we have you’re your business the better decisions we can make.  We will ask you for ALL of your marketing spending even on tactics that we don’t control, the reason why is that we can create predictive models, so we are able to see how our efforts effect the overall business because in today’s marketing world it is more difficult to convince someone to pick up the phone. Here at modus we will ask if your call center can handle Spanish speaking calls, we will ask about particular markets and how each of them are individually performing.   We will ask what your goals are, what data you already have on your consumer base, what have you tried before, what your successes and failures have been?   And yes, I said failures, because without some failure there is no growth.  If you have any type of testing strategy, then you would have experienced success and failure.

I could continue to list questions that should be asked, but then you will be sitting there asking yourself why am I spending this much time reading this blog!  There is always something that can be done better, collectively agencies with clients grow business in an active partnership. If you have questions, call us, (941) 552 6770!  We will gladly answer your questions.

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