Honda optimizes its biggest European content launch with world-first neuroscience approach

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Honda’s European Real View Test Drive programme employs Implicit neuroscience testing during content production, optimising the visual design of its ‘virtual showroom’ imagery

Honda’s biggest-ever European content programme ‘Real World Test Drive’, developed in partnership with global marketing and technology agency DigitasLBi, calls in creative production and neuromarketing specialists Saddington Baynes.


Fit-to-brand imagery

To support the rollout of Honda’s Real View Test Drive programme, developed in partnership with global marketing and technology agency DigitasLBi, Saddington Baynes developed a virtual ‘showroom’, where prospective customers are taken on an in-depth virtual tour of the brand’s range of cars, including the all-new Civic.

The ‘showroom’ was designed with support from Saddington Baynes’ Engagement Insights® neuroscience consultancy service, which provides deep insights into consumer perception.

The resulting image content was optimised to engage viewers on a deeply emotional level, as well as educate on a rational level. Considering that 95 percent of consumer purchase decisions take place in the non-conscious mind, this was a perfect use of Implicit neuroscience techniques to design the most engaging environment for a large campaign launch across multiple markets.

Louise Furneaux, European Communications Manager, Honda Motor Europe comments: “The work completed by Saddington Baynes' Engagement Insights® for the Real View Test Drive campaign was key in identifying the right look and feel for the virtual ‘showroom’ sections of the film. The team created an architectural space that perfectly captures our brand values.

“EI allowed for testing of our content throughout the development process, predicting how the consumer would react while validating the gut instincts of our agency team. The insight was invaluable in our effort to create distinctive imagery that maintains relevance to the customer.”

Honda and DigitasLBi engaged Saddington Baynes to deliver 20 CGI films across 4 vehicles, fusing video, CGI and motion graphics in 17 languages for 22 markets, delivering over 300 shots and 900 outputs. A transitional swipe takes viewers from live action into the ‘showroom’.


More about Engagement Insights®

Engagement Insights® was born out of the curiosity of Saddington Baynes CEO Chris Christodoulou, who suspected that the use of Implicit neuroscience techniques during production – not after launch – offered the studio an untapped benefit to their creative output. Saddington Baynes partnered with neuromarketing experts Thom Noble and Darren Bridger at NeuroStrata to develop the service.

Two years of resulting tests have proven that subtle adjustments to colour palette, cameras, lighting and textures has a positive or negative consequence on brand perception, engagement levels, and visual impact. To achieve the appropriate response from consumers, DigitasLBi and Saddington Baynes informed and validated their creative decisions with scientifically sound evidence gathered through Implicit testing, rather than traditional Explicit research techniques which cannot provide meaningful predictive metrics about consumer perception.

Chris Christodoulou, CEO, Saddington Baynes comments: “We’ve been developing and solidifying Engagement Insights® for advertising image production over the last two years. We can uncover previously hidden nonconscious emotions to achieve meaningful predictive analytics about how viewers genuinely feel about the campaign imagery we create for our clients. The result? Our clients can make more informed decisions about the potential effectiveness of visual campaign content prior to the approval of image content, giving them a competitive advantage.”

After implementing Engagement Insights, average engagement of Honda users went way up on multiple platforms:

  • Viewers spend 6 times or 13 ½ minutes longer on the Honda website

  • Viewers are twice as likely to enter the Honda Car Configurator process

  • Viewers are twice as likely to book a Honda test drive



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