5 Great Ads Based on a Unique Consumer Insight

Slide1What is an Insight?

Insight is not something that consumers ever knew before.  That would be knowledge not insight.  It’s not data or fact about your brand that you want to tell.  Oddly enough, Insight is something that everyone already knows. Insight comes to life when it’s told in such a captivating way that makes consumers stop and say “hmm, I thought I was the only who felt like that”.  That’s why we laugh when see the way that insight is projected with humor, why we get goose bumps when insight is projected with inspiration and why we cry when the insight comes alive through real-life drama.

Dove “Real Beauty”

We know that the women we see up on the runway are size 2,  103 pounds and likely 17.  We know the movie stars have had plastic surgery.   We know that print ads, even with the most beautiful women, have been photo-shopped.  There are real problems in our current society with anorexia  anxiety and depression about appearance.   Dove’s insight of “Women in all shapes, sizes, look are still beautiful.  Let’s stop idolizing the fake and start living in the real world.  Let’s be happy with what we look like”.    Women connected with this insight because they already felt that way, but were just glad someone was finally saying it.

Benylin “Take a Benylin Day”

Can you ever imagine a cough medicine telling their consumers to take a day off?   This one is one of mine, so I know it well.   Let me share the science of cough medicine.   A cold lasts 7 days WITHOUT cough medicine.   And a cold lasts 7 days WITH a cough medicine.  The big drug companies fear you’ll ever find that out.  But in reality, the real role of the cough medicine  is not to cure you but to comfort you.  The insight here is that “having a cold really sucks, trying to fight through it and get to work really sucks, I know in the back of my mind I should call in sick and get better”.   Benylin captured consumers who already knew this insight and were happy that someone was giving them permission to take a day off and rest.

Ikea “It’s just a lamp”

It’s a gutsy move by Ikea to admit that their furniture is disposable.  But in reality, Ikea has loyal fans that keep coming back to the store.   This Lamp ad captures consumers who connect to the insight about “whey hang onto this old lamp, it’s crazy, just get this year’s better model”.


Stella Artois “Home from the War”

Stella is a premium beer, not for all occasions.  It’s worth savouring, not wasting on the every day moments.  Here is a son returning from war, his dad is so relieved to see him and the obvious moment is to give him a Stella to celebrate his return.  But, the dad views Stella was such a high regard that he still won’t “waste” the Stella on the man who saved his son.


Nike “Find Your Greatness”

There is a fat kid in all of us.   This ad was aired during the Olympics when the best of the best are celebrated and those who come 4th are chastised.  Working out is good for all of us, no matter what your own personal goals are.  We don’t have to push to win a gold medal to be motivated to get out there and run.


If you are in the mood to see other great advertising, here’s a few other stories:

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  1. How to Write a Creative Brief.  The creative brief really comes out of two sources, the brand positioning statement and the advertising strategy that should come from the brand plan.  To read how to write a Creative Brief, click on this hyperlink:  How to Write a Creative Brief
  2. How to Write a Brand Plan:  The positioning statement helps frame what the brand is all about.  However, the brand plan starts to make choices on how you’re going to make the most of that promise.  Follow this hyperlink to read more on writing a Brand Plan:  How to Write a Brand Plan
  3. Turning Brand Love into Power and Profits:  The positioning statement sets up the promise that kick starts the connection between the brand and consumer.  There are four other factors that connect:  brand strategy, communication, innovation and experience.   The connectivity is a source of power that can be leveraged into deeper profitability.  To read more click on the hyper link:  Love = Power = Profits


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About Graham Robertson: The reason why I started Beloved Brands Inc. is to help brands realize their full potential value by generating more love for the brand.   I only do two things:  1) Make Brands Better or 2) Make Brand Leaders Better.  I have a reputation as someone who can find growth where others can’t, whether that’s on a turnaround, re-positioning, new launch or a sustaining high growth.  And I love to make Brand Leaders better by sharing my knowledge.  Im a marketer at heart, who loves everything about brands.  My background includes 20 years of CPG marketing at companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer Consumer, General Mills and Coke.  My promise to you is that I will get your brand and your team in a better position for future growth. Add me on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/grahamrobertson1 so we can stay connected.


12 thoughts on “5 Great Ads Based on a Unique Consumer Insight

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  3. Homology of beliefs. That’s what the target discovers in the marketer’s message. There must be a cultural gap between my thinking and the Stella Artois ad. Kind of got a hero-denigrating vibe which did not resonate with me as an American.

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