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Eclipse Mints: Why purpose-driven advertising needs to balance selling

April 2019

This is a self-funded case study using our Advertising Testing solution.

Eclipse Mints’ new campaign titled “Share a little more” divided the creative community. Some lauded its captivating cinematography and heart-warming story, while others tore it to shreds, lamenting the mint brand’s decision to adopt a lofty purpose and desire to solve societal issues.

But what did regular Australians think about the ad? More specifically, the people who the ad was ultimately trying to influence, and not the ones who live and breathe brands and advertising? Marketers will sometimes struggle to relate to the actual people who buy their products, which is why hearing the customer’s voice when making creative decisions is so important.

Cubery’s proprietary methodology uses 3 ‘C’s’ to determine the effectiveness of advertising:

  1. Captivate people by engaging them emotionally
  2. Connect back to the brand in a meaningful way
  3. Compel a change in thoughts, feelings and behaviours

Creative background

The ad told the story of a young couple attempting to escape the hyperconnected world that we live in today. Using emoji masks to reflect the online personas that people often hide behind, the couple progressively remove their masks to reveal their true, human identities. The idea being that Eclipse Mints facilitates people connecting on a more meaningful and intimate level.

How did the ad perform?

A solid strategic intent can often be lost or overshadowed by the way it is creatively brought to life. Almost two-thirds of viewers stated that the emoji masks were the main thing which stood out in their minds from the ad, with everything else a distant second.

However, not everyone was receptive toward the emoji masks. For some, they made the ad seem unique, different and interesting, while for others they translated into it being creepy, strange and disturbing. This adversely impacted emotional engagement.

Worryingly, only half of people were able to easily understand the ad (55% versus the norm of 72%). As a result, spontaneous take-out of intended messages around “freshens your breath”, “is good for sharing” and taste/flavour benefits, all came out at extremely low levels.

This in-turn meant that the associations people attached to the brand were all narrative-driven, centring around Eclipse Mints being ‘unique’, ‘different’ and ‘interesting’. Absent was anything of substance related to the product itself.

The ambiguous role of the brand was the primary driver of confusion, with most people unable to clearly articulate how the story related to Eclipse Mints. With the campaign being an entirely new platform for the brand and subsequently absent of any established cues or assets, the impressions most people were left with didn’t meaningfully connect to Eclipse Mints.

What are the learnings for advertisers?

The unconventional approach means that “Share a little more” will not only cut through, but also help position Eclipse in a unique way in the mint’s category. However, as important as it is to get noticed, this is only one part of the advertising jigsaw puzzle. Without having a clear, meaningful and credible role for the brand in the story, the ad subsequently failed to deliver impressions which strongly impacted people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours toward Eclipse.

Comprehension – specifically when it relates to the narrative – isn’t a prerequisite for making effective advertising. Generating intrigue and leaving people to use their imagination to connect all the dots together, can sometimes be an effective storytelling technique. However, when the confusion relates to the role of the brand, it almost always has a debilitating effect on everything else.

Depicting the emoji heads in a more fun and playful – and less scary and creepy – way, may also help build emotional warmth and align more closely with the brand’s personality.

Eclipse Mints Ad Testing performance

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