Why You Should Pretest Your Ads – Top 3 Reasons

An invention is not complete until it has gone through several prototypes. A writer goes through many edits before publishing a book. And you most certainly wouldn’t purchase a car before test driving it. There’s a common theme here: trial and error. It is for this reason that ad testing is such an important part of the advertising process. Here are the top reasons why you should pretest your ads before selecting which one will air nationally.

Top 3 reasons why you should pretest your ads:

1. Avoid PR Nightmares

Unfortunately, sometimes advertisers are unaware that their ad is problematic until it’s too late. Don’t let a PR snafu wreck your brand identity! Test your ads to get learn early on if people will take offense to the ad’s message.

For example, some people found Nivea’s “Re-civilize yourself” ad campaign to be racist, and they had to pull the ad. The ad featured an African-American man, so they found the slogan to imply that African-American men are uncivilized.

Nivea offensive ad. Many consider this ad offensive. This could have been avoided with proper ad testing. This is why you should pretest your ads.
“Re-civilize Yourself” ad by Nivea

With the proper ad testing, Nivea could have avoided this. For instance, they could have this question in their test:
Would you say this ad is ____? (Please check all that apply)
Other (please specify)
None of the above

2. Pick the Winner

If you’ve produced several versions of the same ad, you may find it difficult to decide which ad will go to market. Let ad testing help pick the winner for you! In conducting market research, you can compare all the spots against each other to see which ad performed across all types of metrics, such as believability, likelihood to purchase, etc.

We conducted a fun study earlier, comparing House of Card’s Frank Underwood campaign video against Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio’s. It is crystal clear that Rubio and Underwood outperformed Bush. While Rubio had higher performance among engagement metrics, Underwood’s ad performed better across all other metrics. If you’re going to spend millions running ads, you should run the best one. This is why pretesting your ads is so important.

3. Continuously Improve Your Commercial

Even if an advertisement is already good, testing can make it great. No matter how good an ad already is, even the smallest of tweaks can strengthen message delivery and increase engagement. For instance, we used Spot Trender to test our new video explainer. Everyone at our company thought the original video was pretty good – until we had new data. With a few data-driven tweaks, the new video converts way better. We made a lot more money than the cost to pretest and tweak the video. This is why we always pretest our ads.

We’d love to hear from you. Contact us and let us know how we can help!

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