Like many creatives, I have always considered Millward Brown to be the anti-christ.
Everything I had heard from them seemed to be a guide to how to make ads worse. Often much worse.
And since nearly every ad on TV has 'passed' Millward Brown, but nearly every ad on TV is shit, I just assumed they were charlatans or fools.
But recently, I was sent a copy of one of MB's 'Knowledge Point' reports... and it's f***ing great.
Full of useful advice. And actual science to back up its claims. I tell you, the thing has rocked my world a little bit.
This particular report was about branding, and offers a beautifully balanced point of view.
They annihilate agencies who would make an 'art film' or 'random comedy sketch with the brand tacked on at the end', insisting that "The brand [should be] integral to the idea, story or structure," a thought which they also express as "Can I describe the story of this ad without mentioning the brand?"
But they also undermine the commonly-held view that an ad should have repeated packshots or branding, by demonstrating (with data) that "Strong branding is not achieved by showing the brand early or often." And "Brand linkage is not related to the time at which the brand appears in the ad" and "There is little relationship between the number of brand appearances and the branding score."
Best of all (for us creatives) - the Number 1 most important quality an ad needs, to score as well-branded, according to this new report from Millward Brown? "Creative stopping-power." (Which MB defines as 'involvement' and 'enjoyment')
Guys and girls, I reckon Millward Brown is our new best friend.
I'm now going to read the rest of the reports on their site. Maybe you should too.