‘What is the insight?’
That’s a question many an AE and Planner have dreaded being asked by the Creative Director, when discussing a brief. While most agency creative brief formats have a section on consumer insights the ability to generate a good insight is not second nature to all. Usually, what gets written as an insight is usually a fact or a regular observation. Even experienced Planners, whose domain ‘consumer insight’ is can be found wanting when it comes to developing relevant, powerful insights on which an advertising idea can be developed.
While consumer research can help in generating insights (insight generation workshops are common too), very often it is an observation which is not so apparent at first glance. One of my Planner friends is known to have coined the phrase ‘unthought known‘ as a definition for an insight. In other words, it is unearthing a behaviour which is perhaps not-so-apparent and expressing it in a manner (usually profound) that leads to an idea. The inimitable Jeremy Bullmore puts it even better. He asked:
Why is a Good Insight Like a Refrigerator?
Because the moment you look into it, a light comes on.
The subject of insights requires another blog post perhaps. But the topic was brought alive in my mind when I saw this spot for Snickers.
Is the insight obvious in this commercial? ‘When you are hungry, you are not yourself – you tend to be irritable’. Not that all good (or popular, successful) advertising is based on an insight – there have been several ads which have scored well on entertainment and hence memorability. But when you have a good insight, it makes the advertising creation a bit easier.