Category News

B7 Communications Strategy Guides Surf Sensations Launch

Surf Sensations has been launched with a TV advertising campaign based on a communications strategy devised by B7  Innovation and the Surf brand team.

The campaign shows how Surf Sensations can put uplifting fragrances made with perfume oils into your everyday life.  B7 founder, Paul Tidmarsh comments “Adcepts gave us much more depth and precision than traditional concepts could on this project. Because we looked at so many different potential communication ideas from so many angles, we found that the fragrances being crafted by expert perfumers was the best support for the price premium, and that the imagery should speak to the buyer as a woman, rather than as a mother.”

B7 wins David Ogilvy Gold Award 2015 for Knorr USA Work

B7 has won the prestigious David Ogilvy Gold Award for ‘Excellence in Advertising Research’ at the annual Advertising Research Foundation awards ceremony in New York. The awards celebrate the role of research in uncovering the insights and emotional connections that underpin great creative advertising.

The prize was for B7’s work on Unilever’s Knorr brand which became the basis for the ‘See another side’ advertising campaign which prompted consumers to re-evaluate the quality of Knorr Sides range.

B7 founder Paul Tidmarsh said:

‘We’re thrilled to have been honoured with such a prestigious award – it shows how great creative research can lead to great creative advertising.”
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B7 Innovation’s Paul Tidmarsh Celebates 200th Adcept Project

B7 Innovation, the world’s leading Adcept specialist, has hit a new milestone – it has now completed 200 Adcept projects.

“It’s hard to believe that we’ve done so many,” says B7 founder Paul Tidmarsh. “We started 11 years ago, working from my kitchen table with just a laptop, a printer and a vision for changing how innovation and brand communication could be explored and researched. A lot has changed since then, but not the vision.”

Since B7’s first project in 2003 (the re-positioning of Archers Peach Schnapps), the agency has gone on to work on the development of some of the world’s most respected brands. Those who have passed through their doors include Dove, Philips, Flora, Bell’s Whisky and Tesco.

“Although our vision hasn’t changed,” says Paul Tidmarsh, “our techniques have. We’re always looking for little ways to improve our methodology. Mainly lots of tiny tweaks that in themselves don’t seem important, but when you add them together, mean a lot. It’s like a sportsman concentrating on the one activity every day, trying to find some extra edge – specialisation and focus lead to excellence.”

B7’s Adcept methodology came from a frustration with concept statements traditionally used in qualitative research. “Concept statements are completely alien to focus group members and they lack any emotion” says Paul Tidmarsh. “Our Adcepts speak to consumers in the familiar language of brands – advertising. They also have emotion and personality, which is usually the most important aspect of a modern brand.”

“Early on, it could be difficult to get clients to look beyond concept statements simply because that was how everybody thought research was done. But when people saw what we were doing, they were amazed” says Paul. “Not only were our Adcepts better than concept statements, we could also show up to 80 different ones per focus group, meaning no potentially interesting ideas need be excluded, and every idea area could be explored from multiple angles.”

“We’ve been really fortunate to work with some of the best brand teams, research agencies and advertising agencies through these 200 projects. We think we’ve contributed a lot, but we’ve learnt plenty too. All our work comes from repeat clients or referrals, so we must be doing something right,” says Paul Tidmarsh, “here’s to the next 200 projects!”.

Brandcepts Vs Concept Statements is like Portraits Vs Stickmen says Paul Tidmarsh

“Brands are just like people”, says B7 Innovation founder Paul Tidmarsh. “They tell the world about themselves in much the same way that we do, they just use slightly different means:

• What they say and how they say it – advertising
• What they look like and the clothes they wear – packaging
• What job they do – the product

“So it makes sense when researching a new brand or re-focusing an existing one, that we show consumers a rounded 3D version of how it could be. This means using research stimulus that communicates the key features of the brand. Unfortunately,” says Paul Tidmarsh, “the concept statements and mood boards used in traditional qualitative research can’t do this. They’re unfamiliar and unrealistic, they lack emotion and they give an incomplete picture of how the brand could communicate in a holistic way. But at B7 Innovation, we believe that we’ve found a better way.”

“We create multiple expressions of how a brand could communicate, what we call ‘Brandcepts’”, says Paul Tidmarsh. “These consist of three types of stimulus: Adcepts, Packcepts and Productcepts that mimic how a brand would communicate its personality to consumers in the real world.

“The Adcepts are always the most important as we use these to explore what the brand could say and in what style. Showing consumers real creative stimulus and finding out why the strongest executions touch their hearts, makes the process of completing a brand positioning statement or communications brief for a new brand so much easier. It is almost as if the brand has made the successful change in direction and we are simply finding out the root of its appeal.

“Where packaging plays a critical part in a positioning,” says Tidmarsh, “we use ‘Packcepts’. These can vary from rough sketches to investigate format, to a 3D, highly finished mock up. This allows us to investigate aspects such as degree of modernity, how upmarket Vs. everyday, natural Vs. scientific etc.

“Productcepts are used to scope several innovation ideas. They are simple illustrations of potential products that the brand could launch. They consist of a rough colour illustration of the product or pack format and a short, simple, factual description devoid of hyperbole or attempts to sell.

Added together, these three aspects of the Brandcept give consumers a much richer understanding of what the brand could become, something much more helpful than concept statements and mood boards could ever provide. “Comparing Brandcepts with concept statements and mood boards,” says Paul Tidmarsh, “is like comparing a portrait with a stickman drawing.”

Tesco Hudl proves a hit with consumers as 400,000 fly off the shelves

Tesco’s Hudl tablet computer, for which B7 used its Adcept methodology to help develop the communication strategy, has been a major success. Online marketing & media publication “The Medium” reports:

“Supermarket giant Tesco may have had a disappointing Christmas overall but one venture which didn’t disappoint was the Hudl, a budget tablet which shoppers snapped up in their droves.

In the three months to December Tesco shifted a creditable 400,000 of the 7in devices, seeing off competition from sector heavyweights such as Apple, Amazon and Google in the process. The festive sales boom saw 100,000 Hudl’s sold in December alone as cost-savvy shoppers were seduced by the lowly £119 price tag… so much so that stocks ran out and individual units were being flogged on eBay for £180.

Flushed with success Tesco has announced that it is currently developing a second generation Hudl which will be released later in the year”

B7 founder Paul Tidmarsh says “Naturally we’re delighted that our Adcept technique has helped get the communication strategy just right for Hudl – it’s a tremendous product & the public has clearly realised how useful & how much fun it can be in their homes.”