One of the many definitions for Public Relations is the practice of managing and disseminating information for an organisation to the public to affect their public perception. So far so good. Many of you reading this will probably be thinking ‘why am I being told what I already know?’.
Well, there is a reason and that is the word ‘information’. It’s the cornerstone to knowledge in all its many manifestations and can have a powerful effect on campaigns. So, we want to take this opportunity to highlight how information acquired through market research cannot only help you reap rewards, but perhaps even win you an award.
When examining some of the most successful campaigns of recent years, unsurprisingly they were all informed by insight. That is to say, the messaging behind a campaign is developed with the help of research that helps them strike the right tone.
This is not hearsay. There’s a veritable bounty of award-winning campaigns whose creative direction was sparked by insight.
Take for example Don’t Cry Wolf’s activism campaign for Tangle Teezer. To create a campaign that could address a sensitive issue and more importantly prompt real change, Don’t Cry Wolf leant on research. The result was 3 awards, 2 finalists and 1 nomination.
That return is nothing to sneer at. And this is just one example. A former judge at Cannes Lions revealed that the one of the best campaigns he’s seen was driven by insight. He cited the example of a campaign by REI that one 9 (yes 9!) Lions.
Using insight gained via market research, REI developed a Twitter campaign that pushed back against the Black Friday buying rampage as the research found that its audience actually preferred not to shop on Black Friday. Insight sparked the idea that led to a wildly successful Twitter campaign that sparked a movement and challenged long-held assumptions about consumers.
Knowing this is one thing, but how can it help you? Well, these case studies can help you formulate your own campaigns. This advice comes not from us, but from Susie Walker, VP, Awards & Insights at LIONS. She recommends that those aspiring to win a Lion should learn from Lion-winning work.
If you look at some of the most creative campaigns of recent years, what connects them all is how they embraced insight and used it in their campaigns. Rather than seeing insight as an obstacle to creative, they used their new-found knowledge to get the creative juices flowing.
Let’s end with a word from Heather Kernahan, the CEO of Hotwire Global Communications. Heather is an ICCO partner and has won many awards for her work. Now, she has some advice for those who are looking to catapult into the pantheon of award winners:
“Knowledge is a powerful tool so embrace knowledge in all its forms. It won’t stop the creatives among you from coming up with all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas. Rather, it will give them a sense of structure and direction and help them to channel their efforts into the most productive avenues.”
Jane Hales who will be at Cannes Lions this year is the co-founder of the award-winning Sapio Research. Sapio Research is a full-service market research company supporting Agencies and Brands to make confident decisions or achieve extraordinary headlines. The team does this through their ABC process: Audience, Brand and Content Research.