30% increase in creative effectiveness with Zappi Amplify

Katie Sweet & Kim Malcolm

Stephan Gans, SVP, Chief Insights and Analytics Officer at PepsiCo, has been on a journey to transform the insights function at PepsiCo. With an initial vision to turn insights into a competitive advantage for the business, he knew he needed to digitalize the function to allow teams to move faster, work iteratively and get smarter over time.

One initial area of focus was creative effectiveness. PepsiCo and Zappi worked together to develop the Zappi Amplify Ad System to give PepsiCo robust consumer feedback at all stages of creative development. As a result of implementing the new system, PepsiCo improved creative effectiveness by 30%.

Hear Stephan explain more about the impact of Zappi Amplify Ad System in this video:

Stephan Gans explains how the Zappi Amplify Ad System has helped PepsiCo up its creative game and improve creative effectiveness by 30%.
Video transcript

About five years ago, we at PepsiCo decided that we wanted the consumer insights function to become a truly competitive advantage for the PepsiCo businesses around the world. And we wanted to enable all those PepsiCo insights leaders that work in dozens of markets across the globe to be faster, to be better business partners, and to be able to do their work in more cost effective ways. 

In order to do that, we decided that we needed to digitalize the function, and we created a digital platform that we named ADA. The ADA platform connects all those different insights leaders across the globe. And you can think of the different testing tools as apps that sit on the ADA platform. 

Creative effectiveness was an area where we were particularly keen to up our game. To develop a suite of consumer testing tools that would enable us to get better. Why? Well, first of all, we all know, of course, that our consumers are bombarded with commercial messages. For our messages to stand out, it is simply harder and more important than ever. Secondly, PepsiCo spends a ton of money all over the world on connecting with our consumers through creative messaging — advertising online or on TV.

We've seen a 30% percent increase in the effectiveness of the content of our creative work.

Stephan Gans, SVP, Chief Insights and Analytics Officer at PepsiCo

Now that we've had that system really implemented for about two years, we've seen a 30% percent increase in the effectiveness of the content of our creative work. 

The key driver of that improvement in effectiveness is the Amplify advertising testing system that we developed with Zappi for the ADA platform. And it is that Amplify testing system that really brings together the best in class methodology with the data, enabling us to do that deep dive learning that I talked about earlier all over the world that is creating this virtuous circle for us, in which we get better each and every time we test an ad.

In short, every time we test an ad, the whole of PepsiCo gets smarter. 

So the Amplify ad testing system has a number of key features that jointly delivered this tremendous ROI that I mentioned. The testing system does a much better job in predicting the actual sales impact. It has roughly twice the predictive value of our legacy testing tools. And on top of that, it does a really good job in predicting the longer term impact on the strength of our brands. 

It produces these powerful predictions through both attitudinal and behavioral data. First of all, the testing system is able to do that because we talk to about roughly twice the number of consumers in these testing tools than we were typically used to. Through talking to so many more people, we get a lot more accurate feedback on how long it takes for people to actually skip the ad or how many people watch the ad in full. How people actually remember the ad after watching it in a clutter reel. What people's specific responses are to an ad. And so on. A lot of very valuable data points that combined with a large sample provide us with very robust prediction potential. The evaluation of the ad is accompanied by a very rich moment-by-moment evaluation of the extent to which people are engaged with the content of the ad. 

In short, every time we test an ad, the whole of PepsiCo gets smarter. 

Stephan Gans, SVP, Chief Insights and Analytics Officer at PepsiCo

And, importantly, all the data is delivered in a very user friendly, intuitive platform to the end user, often, the insights leader in a specific market. Which makes directly working with the data that much more easy, enables a very fast response time, and, all in all, makes life a lot easier for the insights leader that is working with the tool. 

And finally, and importantly, we've created much tougher benchmarks for ourselves. We don't want our consumers to just tolerate our brand's messaging. We want them to enjoy it. To be motivated by it, and we want those ads to really drive brand value and short term sales.

Now, becoming that competitive advantage that we set out to become in PepsiCo is obviously a journey, but creating the Amplify creative testing tool on the ADA platform has clearly been a very solid step in the right direction, enabling the insights talent all across PepsiCo to be those business partners that can work iteratively, that have the best possible tools available and that can work fast and very cost effective, to really partner with the marketing and innovation teams across the globe to be as effective as we can be as marketers.

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