Introducing the Communication Efficiency Test (CET)

I am sure that 10 is a good number, but in this context the number 9 is even better.

I am going to anticipate what is going to come when I have written the last couple of posts on advertising fundamentals set forth by Horace S. Schwerin and Henry H. Newell in their book Persuasion in Marketing. As I have stated plenty of times I urge you to get this book and pick up this research information directly from the source. The fundamentals are the result of extensive testing based on more than 50.000 ads and commercial. I am not saying that this is the whole story there is, certainly not, but is a good basics if you want to avoid big blunders in advertising.

You need, of course, to add a dash of campaign strategy, lots of creativity and originality to get things working for you. And you will better off if you bring a couple of bare bones to the party as well. So that is just what I am going to suggest to you in setting up a basic check list for your future expertise as an advertiser. Or as an advertising consultant. You will be surprised how well this is going to work for you.

You may ask, is this really necessary. Do I need a check list for this. Well, I leave the answer to you, but before you speak it out, take a local tour in the magazines, in the newspapers, on the commercial television canals, that you have access to. Look briefly, or less briefly, over the ads and commercials that demands your attention. I have done that, and what I see produced from even highly estimated ad agencies, does not impress me. Not all of the time anyway.

Using the CET checklist will secure you against possible pitfalls. Expensive ones, even. Particularly if you are the one paying for the game.

So here is what I am going to do: I am going to let myself be inspired from the arguments from Schwerin and Newell, and I am going a couple of barebones to the list, which will bring me to the number of 9 (nine). These is going to be 9 separate checkpoint in the CET checklist, then. Right?

The CET check list:

1. One Unified Impression.

2. Dominant Mood.

3. Visual and Verbal.

4. The Simple Truth.

5. Product of Consumer.

6. The Right Consumer.

7. Thoughts Worth Entertaining.

8. Connotations.

9. Gestalt factors.

How to use?

How do you use this check list? Basically anyway you want, but my suggesting is you give each checkpoint a stretch from minus 3 to plus 3 so you have some room to mark your evaluations.

Could look like this:

1. One Unified Impression.

Evaluation Scale: -3***-2***-1***0***+1***+2***+3

You will do that for each of the checkpoint in the CET checklist I just introduced. I will have the full checklist made ready for you in later post, but there is enough for you already here to get you down to work.

Crash Criteria:

As you see the evaluation scale have a red area and a green area. The span from -3 to 0 is the crash area (left) , and the span from 0 to +3 is the non crash area (right). Just like the traffic light: red you stop and green you walk.

Here is how I suggest you use it. If, to the best of your ability, you find that a certain checkpoint not fulfilled in the add or the commercial, you rate it on the red side of the scale (minus something). If you find the criteria fulfilled you rate on the plus side of the scale.

Crash criteria are: If even one of the 9 checkpoints are evaluated to the red area you crash it, you dump it, you don’t pay out.

Pretty tough?

You may argue that this is a pretty tough test. Only one checkpoint in the red and then you dump the whole thing? Could we say, mayby, two or three in stead? No we could not. It is not possible to half or even partially pregnant.

The argument for this toughness is that the 9 checkpoint are weaved together. You will find, that if you down an ad or a commercial on “One Unified Expression” you will probably experience that it fall apart on many other checkpoint, as well.


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