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Let’s not Throw the Baby out With the Bath Water!

By Barbara Monteleone

Let’s not Throw the Baby out With the Bath Water!

Segafredo Zanetti Poland case study: How to optimize a TV commercial by just working on details.

As the media market is becoming increasingly cluttered and production budgets smaller, the real efficiency of how a piece of communication is perceived is of crucial importance. Professional experience and competence are at the basis of good evaluation criteria, but really understanding how even the smaller details do impact attention, emotion and cognition at the non-conscious level of the viewer, is a challenge that only neuroscience can help in winning. When Ottosunove met Segafredo Zanetti Polish Board Management, they expressed some doubts regarding the real capability of a locally produced TV commercial to convey the strategic objectives of the communication and to emotionally involve consumers. Ottosunove was asked for a professional evaluation, after which they proposed to investigate further via neuromarketing research. The purpose of the neuromarketing research project was to verify the real impact of the existing TV commercial in Poland, to optimize it in the shortest time possible and at a reasonable cost, and to scientifically confirm the effectiveness of the modified version.


With a strong market share in the “out of home” segment, Segafredo Zanetti Poland possesses a good brand awareness as an aspirational, high-quality Italian coffee brand. The need was to understand if the communication was able to convince consumers of new strategic objectives and if the creative concept was emotionally involving and convincing. The objective of the project was to strengthen the brand image, increase its market share mainly in the promising “at home” segment, whilst giving more meaning and memorability to the “Barista at home” claim.

To respond to these demands, Ottosunove adopted the following approach:

• Carried out a critical analysis of the ad to form a hypothesis and to structure the correct methodology and precise briefing for the appointed research Institute: the neuroscience test was carried out by Neurohm Poland.

• Ran a first wave of neuromarketing research, using IRT (BiocodeTM) and bio feedback measures (BionaviTM and eye-tracking).

• Performed the TV commercial revision via detailed storyboard and voice-over storytelling; supervised modifications done by Polish production house.

• Ran a second wave of research (BiocodeTM) to check if main strategic values were better conveyed by the revised ad.

• Used test results to edit a short cut down


The first Implicit Reaction Time test (BiocodeTM) clearly showed that the original TV commercial was able to slightly improve strategic values already grounded in the consumer’s mind (i.e. Italian professional heritage, well-known brand), but failed in conveying the new values (“Barista at your home”, available at my store).

Biometric measures and eye-tracking confirmed the first diagnosis made by Ottosunove: a lack of emotional impact mainly due to very cold first scenes with no human presence, generic coffee preparation detail scenes without a clear narrative to link them to Segafredo Zanetti brand‘s quality, a too crowded final scene detracting attention from branding elements. Second by second analysis and eye-tracking added precious indications on problems related to specific scenes and pack shot non-conscious perception. At this point, Ottosunove defined and indicated precise TV commercial modifications via a detailed storyboard, specifying the need for these changes: • Addition of a voice-over with storytelling, to give meaning and brand linkage to product scenes • Substitution of the opening scene to add human presence for more emotional involvement and self-identification • Revision of product beauty shots (cut, lighting, duration) • Close up of final scene to increase human presence and visibility of branding elements • Revision of pack shot to increase visibility of the most relevant reference (to be put in correspondence of eye fixations area); elimination of ineffective elements to the advantage of better brand visibility. All the above operations were carried out using existing footage and this was appreciated by the client.

A second wave of IRT (BiocodeTM) was carried out: the results of viewing the new version vs. viewing the original one clearly showed a deeper impact of the brand image values and a strong increase of conviction towards the new values that were the key aim of the communication. After airing the revised commercial, Segafredo Zanetti Poland went from 6th to 5th place in the national market share in the beans segment (source AC Nielsen)


Conclusions The study demonstrates how the combination of professional competence with a technical and neuromarketing approach provides a real deep understanding of the consumer’s perception at rational and non-conscious level, resulting in great added value. Furthermore, biometric measurements allow the possibility to work “surgically” on small details for much better efficacy, often - as in the case shown -with limited costs and in a relatively short time. It must be noted that in today’s world of business communication, marketing and retail of today, the neuromarketing approach and biometric measurement tools prove invaluable as they open a window on the non-conscious perception of the brain, which is at the basis of any human choice decision. Obviously, if used at an early stage, these powerful tools can prove even more useful: the field of application stretches from strategic concepts, to creative ideas, animatic or testing edits before airing.

This article was originally published in the Neuromarketing Yearbook. Order your copy today