How Saddington Baynes delivered a neuro-led creative production - #BehindTheIdea

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The potential of neuroscience and neurocreativity is endless. This project by Saddington Baynes demonstrates that and much more.

Assisting with a global agency pitch, Saddington Baynes employed its Engagement Insight tool to generate measurable insights on the emotional/psychological impact of certain images. Harnessing the power of neuroscience, the agency was able to provide confident USPs for the BMW X3 PHEV, introducing BMWs new eco-friendly hybrid electric vehicle under a whole new, impactful light.

Today we are getting Behind the Idea following a chat with Saddington Baynes, in the attempt to take a sneak peek at the fascinating world of neuroscience applied to advertising.


What was the brief?

To assist with a global agency pitch for the BMW Automotive creative account. We were tasked with providing the creative angle and demonstrating the power of using neurocreativity as a tool to gain deeper insights into campaign performance. This was achieved using Saddington Baynes Engagement Insights consultancy service. 

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

Initial discussions with the agency were around the separate Engagement Insight offerings that were available. This allowed them to understand what sort of insights we would be capable of unveiling for the client. 

We then looked for examples of which image concepts would be a good choice to demonstrate the power of Engagement Insights. It was decided to use the BMW X3 PHEV as this is a new-technology powered car and the demands of an audience for this type of vehicle differ when compared to traditional combustion only cars. 

We suggested testing specific imagery around the story of “You don’t need to sacrifice what you expect in a luxury SUV to do your part for the future”. We then agreed on a number of specific attributes around this concept to test the images against. This gave the agency confidence that they had an additional USP they could provide to BMW.


Tell us more about the concept. How did it come to life, and why was it the right choice?

The concept was to understand how we could maintain the key BMW attributes of luxury and high performance vehicles but also ensuring the visual language used drove emotions around the X3 PHEV being good for the environment compared to non-new energy cars. 

There was a specific focus from the agency to gather information around how imagery which focuses on a high performance vehicle can still be perceived as a “greener option” for consumers.

We took the agency's initial story boarded image and created a number of variations focusing on adjusting the colour of the vehicle, iterations of the environment and the overall grading of the image.

The results demonstrated that there were a number of specific elements that could be used in future creative development that gave clearly stronger emotional reactions specific to the brand values and the environmental angle that the pitch was taking.  

What was the production process like? What was the biggest challenge?

Production was relatively simple as we could quickly create variants of the images using our in house retouching capabilities which could be tested within 24 hours of the initial meeting. The biggest challenge was maintaining the general look and feel that the agency had agreed, whilst also having concepts which gave measurable and distinctive results.


What is one funny or notable thing that happened during the production of the campaign?

This pitch happened around the same time as lockdown came upon all of us. So despite the overall project being put on hold we were able to still deliver our insights on schedule ensuring when the pitch is picked up in the future the agency has the relevant behavioural information to hand to help shape their visuals.

What’s the main message of the campaign and why does it matter?

Introducing BMWs new eco-friendly hybrid electric vehicle, and developing a visual language that allows a repositioning of their traditional brand message and shows the importance of using insight driven production to uncover this.

How can a campaign be created to change consumer perceptions of a car brand which is classically linked to being high performance to a car brand now focussing on being eco-friendly?  

This matters as brands often require full rebranding for this type of brand image change. We were able to demonstrate that there are specific visual ingredients which can be used to tailor existing campaigns and help them maintain the overall brand feel as well as introduce new concepts which resonate strongly with consumers.

What is one unique aspect of the campaign?

Neuro-led creative production. This approach brings in insights right from the start and offers a brand new angle which agencies can use as a USP in their pitching. This gives the agency confidence in their pitch but also gives the brand confidence that they are limiting the risk involved in the costly production process by speaking directly to consumers right from the get go.


How long did it take from inception to delivery?

Our Engagements Insights analysis was taken on board and delivered within 1 week, including different concepts and full insight reporting.

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

Neuro-led production allows them to see a new approach to imagery creation, taking it from a purely creative ‘feel’ approach to a quantifiable data driven decision making process. This provides measurements across the whole production process which can then be translated into actionable insights immediately, limiting the costs of further refining of ideas.

Credit list for the campaign?

Callum Gould - Head of Insights
Chris Christodoulou - CEO
Andy Walsh - Head of Retouch


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