The Big Showdown!
We are lucky to have a client who couldn’t decide whether to make their TV debut with a filmed commercial or a graphics commercial. There was a feeling that a presenter-led commercial might better solidify the reputation of the brand, to put a face to the name. But… a graphics-led commercial might better demonstrate the benefits of the product. So, they did both. Gotta love clients with such a gung-ho can-do attitude! We produced a live-action and a graphics commercial, and the client A/B tested the two ads in parallel. Two weeks into the campaign, the client shelved the live-action commercial and substituted the remaining airtime to broadcast the graphics commercial alone. The cheaper (sorry, more ‘cost-effective’) graphics commercial had prompted a better response than the presenter-led version.
Objectively, the graphics ad didn’t have the same ‘razzle dazzle’ as its live-action brand-led compadre, but the straightforward explanatory creative of graphics were perhaps able to convey the benefits with more clarity. Of course, that’s just a single anecdotal example – the majority of commercials on air are filmed as live-action, and are – by and large – exceptionally effective. If the budget allows, a shoot is always worth considering. But, when choosing between multiple creative approaches there are no grounds to regard a graphics commercial in any way the lesser of the options. Choosing graphics can also be a canny strategic move for new advertisers looking for immediate impact, or for experimenting with multiple versions of campaign creative. Graphics aren’t necessarily always produced for smaller budgets, but there is the potential for a lower investment in production, and those savings can be used to allocate more of the campaign budget to airtime or viewer impressions, and so gain additional exposure for the commercial.