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Why Google launched a fake Pizza Brand

Google is getting creative in testing new strategies for YouTube ads, by creating a company that doesn’t exist.

Tasty strategy

The ad team at Google (Unskippable Labs) have used stock footage of pizza to create 33 ads and successfully reached 20 million impressions on YouTube with “Doctor Fork.”

Creative Director of Unskippable Labs, Ben Jones, explains he’s interested in testing old marketing beliefs, such as the axiom “you can’t show somebody chewing food and looking at the camera.”

By creating a non-existent brand, Google discovered they suddenly had “a very different kind of freedom to be wrong,” and could put old adages to the test with no fear of hurting actual revenue.

Paging Dr. Fork

The findings have been interesting:

1.      Immersive, multi-sensory experiences drive better recall than single sensory  experiences.

2.      Separating visual input from text increases both recall and favourability.

3.      Explicit instruction to imagine increases both recall and favourability.

4.      We want edge-to-edge food in our food ads

5.      Bite and smile is not the only way to show a pleasurable food experience.

6.      Younger audiences responded better to first-person perspectives (POV) than older audiences did.

The Doctor Fork tests answered questions of two broad categories: sensory cues on ad effectiveness and people to food ratio within an ad.

In the end, the data may have not been ground-breaking, but it was informative, especially the effectiveness of POV ads amongst teen demographics. It appears Doctor Fork ran a smooth operation.

What do you think about researching through fake brands? Were you surprised by the findings or do they ring true? Let us know in the comments.

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