Reducing brand re-positioning risk

Industry: Alcoholic Beverages – Mass | Market: Canada

Background Challenge

In the hyper-competitive mass spirits market, brand strength and ad effectiveness are often the difference between success and failure. But in global companies, global ads and positioning don’t always translate into local market success. Such was the challenge facing a global spirits brand that engaged Brainsights to help them understand how to evolve their brand in Canada. At risk was millions of dollars of revenue and consumer brand relevance.


Brainsights recruited more than 300 Canadian Millennials, measuring their brain activity as each watched 60 minutes of content, from across a range of industry verticals.
This included two distinct brand campaigns from the client comprising eight individual ads, as well as a range of competitive advertising both within their specific spirits category and beyond (in other alcohol beverage categories). Both global and local content was tested.
We coded each piece of content by 40 different meta data variables, including product, brand and industry, but also characteristics like themes explored, story archetypes, genres and whether the content contained music and celebrity.
Mining the brain data analyzed against these content variables and segmenting them by audience variables (age, ethnicity, etc), we could identify the most persuasive way to communicate to the target consumer, as well as compare the strength of the two brand voices at the non-conscious level – all against the brand’s competition – to identify the best way forward for the brand.

Findings and Results

By analyzing second-by-second data from hundreds of brain hours, Brainsights identified a clear path forward for the brand in its re-positioning efforts. This necessitated a departure from the global creative strategy due to its lack of persuasive power compared to both the competitive set and previously screened ads from the brand. This case was made much easier due to the actual emotional and neurological data captured from Brainsights’ proprietary measurement platform. The result is a brand that maintains consumer relevance and market leadership to this day.