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A client of the TLF Panel, a leading producer of multivitamins and healthcare products like probiotics and herbal supplements, recently commissioned us for a delve into consumer advertising engagement in the health and wellbeing sector.

The market for dietary supplements has been very strong over the last decade for several reasons, including:

  • The ageing population
  • Greater general interest in health and wellbeing
  • More awareness of preventative healthcare
  • More self-directed research on the internet, and
  • A considerable amount of advertising by the leading brands

But there are challenges, as sales of branded vitamins and mineral supplements in the UK have flat-lined recently since a shift towards healthier diets has impacted many consumers’ perceived need for supplements, plus own label sales are growing. However, sales of demographically targeted supplements have continued to fare well, reflecting the consumer’s desire for personalisation.

These trends made it more important for our client to make the best use of their advertising budget as the company seeks to establish itself in the UK as well as highlighting the importance of demographically targeted products.

Ad testing

The client asked TLF Panel to test some press ads, competitor ads and some new advertising concepts. The survey featured visuals of the ads and concepts and was focused on their target market of 30-49 year old females. The results were segmented on:

  • Full/empty nest
  • Age of children
  • Multivitamin purchase and usage
  • Brand preference
  • Purchase frequency
  • Where purchased and
  • Likelihood to purchase more multivitamins in future

The survey began by showing competitors’ current multivitamin print ads with questions designed to understand how much each ad grabbed the respondent’s attention, how engaging the ads were, how memorable the headlines were and what main message each ad had conveyed. The questions then moved on to the panellist’s own opinions about matters such as ad layout, visual appeal and effectiveness. Finally, respondents did a word association exercise for each ad and rated their overall likelihood to purchase the product after seeing the ad.

After showing competitor ads and obtaining opinions, the survey showed 4 concept adverts that the agency was considering as press ads for their multivitamin product. After they had seen the 4 new concept ads for the client’s product, respondents were probed for memory recall then asked to rate key attributes for each concept. Word association questions were also asked in relation to the 4 ad concepts as well as likelihood to purchase the product based on seeing each of the ads in future. Finally respondents were asked to rank the 4 concepts in order of preference.

A winning concept

Following analysis by TLF, the results identified opinions and preferences overall and by segment and clearly established a favourite concept, which was taken forward and developed by the client for use in a print advertising campaign destined initially for a leading health and beauty magazine, which is free to customers of several of the High Street’s main beauty and wellbeing locations.

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