YOUR MONTHLY CREATIVE TREAT: David versus Goliath Cannes winner


A great year in Cannes 2015
Millward Brown has tested 166 of the winning ads from Cannes. The winners in Cannes usually do well in our copy testing LINK, but 2015 was a particularly good year. The 11 tested ads beat the norms on all key parameters. In other words, the 2015 Cannes Award winners use their creativity exceptionally well to engage and connect emotionally with their audience, differentiating the brands and staying in the minds of the consumers.

David versus Goliath
One of the winners from Cannes 2015 uses comparative advertising. This is where the advertised brand compares itself with a competitor to make the advertised brand look superior or more appealing. Our data from our copy testing database shows that ads which make comparisons with a named competitor are stronger on Persuasion, Relevance and Key Benefit communication.

Lost in translation
In the ad for Elan Languages’ ”Taste the translation” a Japanese recipe is translated to English by Google Translate and Elan Languages. A chef is cooking the dish carefully, following the two different translations. When the blindfolded testers are asked to taste the Google Translated dish they face some serious challenges as some of the ingredients have been turned into plastic animals, sliced coins and cut up paper bits in Google Translate’s translation.

Please join the chef in the kitchen and enjoy watching him get lost in translation!

Rules of thump for comparative advertising
Normally we would apply these “rules of thumb” for comparative advertising to work:

  • The big guy should not be seen to be picking on the
    little guy.
  • The advertising should not be mean-spirited.
  • It is best to use symbols for competitor brands
    rather than the actual products or brand names.
    This limits the potential for misattribution and
    liability for defamation of character, since you are
    not directly attacking a competitor.

Elan Languages’ ”Taste the translation” ad breaks all “rules of thumb” and is making the ad the other way around: They are the little guy challenging Google Translate, they are not mean-spirited but poke at the market leader. The ad won a Silver Lion in the Cyber category.
When tested among consumers the ad beats the norms on e.g. Brand linkage and Enjoyment:
Elan is clearly positioned as the hero of this highly creative and enjoyable ad, giving the brand a clear and positive role in the story.

Great ad – what about the product?
The ad left me curious as to whether or not Elan Languages really is that superior to Google Translate so I decided to translate this article from English to Danish. Surprisingly, neither Google Translate nor Elan Languages got it right, though none of them were outright bad. In my opinion the ad is brilliant, the creative work is impressing and deeply original. That being said, the quality of their translations should be taken with a grain of salt. Or should I say a bit of Japanese soy sauce?

Another great example of comparative advertising is for Coca-Cola where the comparison is made with another of its brands in the portfolio Coca-Cola Zero. This is a brave move where the master brand is used as the ultimate taste champion.

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