• Sportlife Deep

    Sportlife Deep: ‘Share of heart’ vs ‘share of mind’

    Introduction

    Leaf, the parent company of Sportlife chewing gum, has traditionally used television commercials to create the necessary buzz to support the brand’s introduction of a new line extension. In 2005, Lost Boys—an agency specialised in interactive experience concepts—convinced the brand management at Sportlife to experiment with an interactive game called the Arctic Games. They proposed that an interactive game on the Internet would not only reach the target group of 13–19-year-olds better for a ‘share of mind’, but that through a gaming experience—including in-game branding of Sportlife Deep—the brand could even reach a ‘share of heart’ position. To establish how realistic this was, the European Centre for the Experience Economy conducted an applied study that compared the following:

    1. the reach and cost per one thousand impressions (CPM) among 13–19-year-olds (i.e. the primary target group) of a traditional television ad campaign in the Netherlands in the spring of 2005; traditional measure of Gross Rating Point (GRP); the percentage of penetration within the target group of 1,250,000 13–19-year-olds, times the frequency.
    2. the reach and cost per one thousand impressions (CPM) among 13–19-year-olds of an interactive game with a mix of radio commercials, ‘webvertising’ and the Internet game in the autumn of 2006; traditional measure of Gross Rating Point (GRP).
    3. the ‘share of heart’ or the Experience Rating Point (XRP) evoked by the Arctic Games.

     

    Our hypothesis was that while the second campaign might have a lower reach, the impact in terms of experience or ‘share of heart’ would be higher at a lower CPM. The motivation for the study was that many brand managers today still struggle with allocating budget to new interactive media even though previous studies have confirmed that media consumption by youth has changed considerably in the past ten years. Youth are spending less time on traditional media and more and more time on new, interactive media such as text messaging, chatting and gaming. Our being able to prove the hypothesis right would therefore be of help to other brand managers in convincing their superiors to allocate more budget to interactive brand experiences in future.

     

    What does Sportlife Deep offer its customers?

    The Sportlife Deep brand associates with the experience of freshness, coolness and extreme sports, reflecting the cool and fresh taste of the product. The intensive distribution of the brand ensures that the product is available in all relevant outlets and is therefore easily accessible for primary target group of 13–19-year-olds. In particular, the emotional brand image (fresh, cool and extreme sports) aims at differentiating this brand from competing brands. The idea is that if young people experience the brand as cool and fresh and associate it with the sports they like, they will quickly adopt the brand. This experience of extreme sports in the snow (cool and fresh) is portrayed in television spots of 20 to 30 seconds. In the autumn of 2005, the Arctic Games entailed three rounds of gaming on the Internet, offering participants a chance to take part in different snow and ice-related sports and to win a range of prizes. The Sportlife Deep brand was subtly branded within the games.

                To be able to measure the impact of the game, we drew up an on-line questionnaire with 25 questions based on the theory we present in the first couple of chapters of this book and in particular on the ten characteristicsof a meaningful experience as presented in Chapter 6. This theory uses aspects of knowledge from the concepts of flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990) and experiential learning (Dewey, 1938), among others.

     

    Table 1: Experience Characteristics (Boswijk, Thijssen & Peelen, 2005)

    EXPERIENCE CHARACTERISTICS

    1. There is a heightened concentration and focus, involving all one’s senses

    2. One’s sense of time is altered

    3. One is emotionally engaged

    4. The process is unique for the individual

    5. There is direct contact with the ‘raw stuff’

    6. It entails a process of doing and undergoing something

    7. There are elements of playfulness (flow)

    8. One has a feeling of having control of the situation

    9. There is a balance between the challenge and one’s own competencies

    10. There is a clear objective

     

    The on-line questionnaire was programmed to appear immediately after the successful completion of the three rounds of the Arctic Games and generated 347 respondents (214 male and 133 female). 49% of the respondents belonged to the primary target group, the 13–19-year-olds, while the remainder were from the secondary target group, the 20–45-year-olds. The statistical analysis of the data resulted in a validated Experience Rating Point Framework© for measuring the Experience Rating Point (XRP) or ‘share of heart’ index and the impact. On the basis of the study, we were able to establish that the higher the XRP or ‘share of heart’ index is, the higher the brand awareness and the purchase intent will be.

     

    XRP Framework©

     

    XRP: ‘Share of heart’ index

     

    Impact

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Marketing Value

     

     

    Senses

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Brand Awareness

     

     

     

    Emotions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Purchase Intent

     

     

     

    Experience

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Image

     

     

     

    Evaluation

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Figure 1: The XRP Framework©for directing ‘share of heart’

     

     

    Some facts from the study

     

    • The television ad campaign reached the target group by 85% through over 767 commercials at a cost of €1,363,102 (see Table 2 below).

     

    Table 2: Costs of TV Campaign

    Exposure Costs: TV

    € 1,363,102

    Costs per 1000 contact moments

    € 219

    CPM (cost per 1000)

    € 1,272

    Costs / GRP

    € 2,742

    Costs per min. of exposure

    € 0.53

     

    • The interactive campaign reached the target group by 61% through a mix of radio commercials, ‘webvertising’ and 1.8 million or more games played at a cost of           €379,980 (see Table 3 below).

     

    Table 3: Costs of Interactive Campaign

    Exposure Costs: Game

    € 379,980

    Costs per 1000 contact moments

    € 33

    CPM (cost per 1000)

     € 498

    Costs / GRP

    € 409

    Costs per min. of exposure

    € 0.07

     

    • A comparison of the costs of the two campaigns shows that the per-minute cost of TV exposure at €0.53 is significantly higher than the €0.07 per-minute cost of the interactive campaign.
    • The exposure to the TV commercial is passive, while the exposure to the Arctic Games is active and based on a free choice. For that reason, the contact is considered to be of higher value at a lower cost per minute.
    • The average time spent watching the TV commercials was 25 seconds, while the game engaged users for an average of 150 seconds. In short, the time involvement of the game was six times higher.
    • The impact of the TV commercial evaporated over time (unless it concerns an award-winning commercial that remains in one’s memory). The Arctic Games do not evaporate; indeed, they are still available on the Internet (www. arcticgames.com), even though the campaign has closed. People still play the games, thereby lowering the costs per minute even more.
    • What counts is the statistical evidence that a higher ‘share of heart’ index results in higher marketing responses such as brand awareness and purchase intent. Brand image was not measured in this particular case.

     

    What does this mean for the people who work at Leaf?

    This means that the hypothesis has been proved correct: the ‘share of heart’ in interactive campaigns has a higher impact than just the ‘share of mind’ in traditional TV campaigns. It provides brand management with arguments for their superiors to allocate more budget in future to interactive campaigns and to new media. This presented quite a culture shock within Leaf, as introductions of line extensions had been conducted there in the same routine way for decades. Changing the routine in budget allocation requires courage from both brand management and senior management. Above all it requires new tools for measuring impact (such as the XRP©) to augment the more traditional tools such as the GRP. It no longer suffices to measure only the reach of the target group. One really needs to know the impact of the experience or ‘share of heart’. We should mention that we have not as yet been able to successfully measure the ‘share of heart’ of the TV campaign. We have tried to do so in a laboratory setting using a modern, neuropsychological approach in an attempt to compare the neural impact of TV and gaming. This research is still ongoing. In future it will certainly reinforce the case for more meaningful interaction as opposed to one-way communication.

     

    What does it mean for the internal organisation and processes?

    At Leaf, like most large companies, the marketing budgets for the next year are drawn up in the fourth quarter of the preceding year. The researchers at the European Centre for the Experience Economy advised brand management to consider budgeting a mix of new media like ‘webvertising’ and games alongside traditional media like TV, radio, shop merchandising and print for their future brand introductions, in contrast to the sequential approach applied in 2005 (i.e. first TV in the spring and then the interactive campaign in the autumn). The researchers’ stance was that allocating the same total budget, but now with a higher percentage for new interactive media, would render a greater impact in terms of both ‘share of mind’ and ‘share of heart’. This proposition will still have to be tested in future. It seems logical however, considering the evidence presented.

     

    What is the effect on the business model? How is money being made?

    As we have just argued, adjusting the budget allocation in favour of interactive media might render a higher return on investment. If viral marketing through the Internet can increase active engagement with the company’s products, the relevance and impact for the target group may be higher and at less cost. Of course, the interaction will have to be a meaningful encounter, based on the characteristics of a meaningful experience.