Copy pre-testing has always been a part of marketing. But these days it has become increasingly important for Brand Managers to reduce risk as much as possible and get advance information on how commercials are expected to perform.
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing which type of test production format to use:
Definition – still artwork, stock or custom photos shown in an edited timeline using cuts and dissolves to show movement
Consideration – effective when budgets and/or timelines are tight
Costs – $8,000 – $15,000
Lead times – 1 to 2 weeks
Definition – created from hand-drawn illustrations with color and detail added and then brought into computer software and matched with audio
Consideration – choose an artist with a style of artwork that you like: revisions can be tedious, time-consuming, and potentially costly
Costs – $20,000 – $25,000
Lead times – 2 to 3 weeks
Definition – actors and sets are computer generated, motion capture actors used to show realistic human movement. Changes can be handled at virtually any point in the development process.
Consideration– while changes can be made with ease, they also can increase costs by 40%-50%
Costs – $25,000 – $30,000
Lead times – 3 to 4 weeks
The best decision for the format of your test production is made with consideration of the type of research needed, type of product, and the type of commercial. Additionally, many advertisers are tempted to use the test spot “on air”, especially with the more advanced testing formats; however, this is not best practice and represents a critical risk to your brand. It’s important to agree with your agency up-front that test commercials will be thrown out and never placed on-air.
Need advice or recommendations for test production vendors? Give us a call–our production experts consult with brands around the world, and we’ve supported thousands upon thousands of test productions over the last 30+ years. If you need anything at all, we’re here to help.