How Westpac’s ‘Life is eventful’ Effie winning campaign used neuroscience

Westpac’s ‘Life is Eventful’ campaign, creative from DDB Sydney, picked up the Bronze Effie award in both the Brand Value and Financial Services categories at the Australian Effies last night.

To enhance the impact of the campaign, Westpac turned to neuroscience via Neuro-Insight (NI) to analyse where the TVC could be optimised.

Neuro-Insight measures brain activity to understand a piece of creative and how it’s perceived by viewers, its chances of memory encoding and therefore being committed to long-term memory; the crown jewel for all advertisers.

For Westpac, NI was able to track across multiple areas of the brain of those watching the creative, to measure points such as memorability, brand impact, likeability, emotionality, and attention.

Using those insights the brand was able to implement changes that created a significant increase in branding effectiveness. Between pre-testing and the final advert the neuroanalytics company was able to recommend changes that saw the ad reach the 98 percentile against NI’s historical database of 15 years of research.

Jen Melhuish, head of advertising, Westpac , said: “We’ve worked across various campaigns with Neuro-Insight over the last 6 years, which has enabled our team to make confident, unbiased decisions.

“Most recently on our “Life is Eventful” campaign, the neuro optimisation; distinguished the impact of soundtrack, identified key scenes to be utilized cross-platform, as well as highlighted opportunities to amplify our newly refreshed branding identity.

“The granular analysis of key moments across the creative, the actionable-insights from the Neuro-Insight team often take the form of minor editing tweaks that clearly make a big difference to our creative effectiveness in market.”

The campaign made a considerable impact to Westpac’s consideration in market as it moved from 4th to 2nd over that same time period, and reached number 1 spot in NSW for the first time in the brand’s history. Its national consumer brand consideration improved by 12 pointss over a 20 month period.

One of the key objectives of the campaign was to win over 18-34 year olds, and with that segment on the Eastern seaboard metro areas, active consideration increased by 9 pts and passive consideration was up 24 pts in the past 12 months.

Peter Pynta, Neuro-Insight APAC CEO: “To improve brand consideration in a category as commoditised as financial services is often not an easy process. Being able to measure a brand’s chances of being committed to long-term memory offers an advantage which Westpac was able to harness.

“Creative excellence and effectiveness of the industry’s output should be celebrated. And what we’ve also seen proven time and again is the direct correlation between long-term memory encoding and real-world sales.

“Effective advertising really is the key and looking at the Effies is great to see such compelling work here in Australia to get advertisers closer to the powerful intersection between science, marketing, and creativity.”

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