Ad Pretesting Tools
How to maximise the impact and return of your ads with ad pretesting
Published on
17 November 2022
Nurul Ashiqin Zainal Abidin image
Nurul Ashiqin Zainal Abidin
Insights Writer
Chun Hui Lee image
Chun Hui Lee
Insights Writer

Whether your goal is to maximise the return on your ad spend or convince your stakeholders that your ad proposal will be successful, ad pretesting tools come in handy. Let’s discover which option best fits your brand and objective — and launch successful ads that everyone will discuss.


Advertising evolves alongside the consumer media consumption landscape from printed advertisements in newspapers and magazines, to television and radio advertising, to current digital advertising. Notably, both budgets and expenditures for advertising also grow with ever-increasing competition for consumer attention.

Today, businesses and marketers use various tools and metrics to measure ads’ effectiveness to maximise the return on ad spend. While these tools can help evaluate existing ads’ performance and provide a future reference, they are far less effective in preventing the launching of ineffective ads than testing your ads before launch.

Ads on billboards

What is ad pretesting?

Ad pretesting, as the name implies, is the process of testing your ads, whether they are raw concepts or fully formed adverts, with your target audience before launching. The pretest can be conducted on an entire ad or specific aspects of it against metrics like likeability, authenticity, the strength of the call to action, and more.

The benefits of testing your ads before launch

1. It offers you the best chance to succeed while avoiding the worst-case complexity

An effective ad receives positive reception from the target audience and entices them to follow the desired call to action. Conversely, an ineffective ad puts your resources and efforts in vain or, even worse, damages your brand’s reputation. Market research lets you preview how your audience reacts toward your ads and support your decisions with data.

2. It enables you to test, optimise and iterate with fast project turnaround

It involves rounds of reviews and amendments from ideas to execute an effective ad. Agile market research can greatly improve this process with systematic and consistent data collection to help you reach the winning ad quicker.

3. It helps you to optimise your ad targeting

Testing your ads through market research provides you with opportunities to learn how different audience groups react toward your ads. This is crucial to optimise your advertising strategy and content for each specific group, ensuring the maximum return of your ad campaigns.

Different types of ads and how to test them

Different types of advertisements involve different content, sizes, resources, and reaching out to different audiences. Thus, each advertisement type requires a specifically designed tool to get the most out of them. Here is the breakdown of four ad pretesting tools, including when to use them and the research questions they address.

Image Ad Test

In today’s digital world, image ads are displayed on webpages, social media, emails, and many more platforms to capture the attention of users and visitors and subsequently induce them to engage with the advertised product or service.

As image ads can be presented in diverse ways, including different sizes, visuals, and layouts, the image ad test is designed to help you find the best image ads for your business. The test includes key metrics such as likeability, originality, authenticity, intent to follow the call to action, intent to share with others, and more. You may also include your competitors’ image ads to compare performance.

Example of research questions addressed by the Image Ad Test:

  1. Which image ad has the highest intent to follow the call to action?
  2. Which image ad is perceived as the most attractive by consumers?
  3. Which image ad is considered the most premium and has the highest Willingness to Pay?
  4. What are the individual elements that respondents like, dislike or do not understand in tested image ads?
  5. What are the emotions associated with each image ad?
Image Ad Test
IAT

Efficiently test potential images to identify the best one for your ads

Print advertising is the most time-tested advertising and remains common in newspapers, magazines, and handouts. Printed ads on recognised publications can build credibility and trust with consumers. Viewers also tend to spend more time reviewing print ads than other advertisements.

As print ads stay on the page as long as the medium is kept, an effective print ad test should include metrics like clarity, trustworthiness, relevance, likeability, and associations.

Example of research questions addressed by the Print Ad Test:

  1. Which print ad has the highest purchase intent?
  2. Which print ad is perceived as the most credible by consumers?
  3. Which print ad is considered relevant to your brand?
  4. What are the individual elements that respondents like, dislike or do not understand in tested print ads?
  5. What are the emotions associated with each print ad?
Print Ad Test
PAT

Efficiently test print ads to identify the best one for your campaign

Out-of-Home Ad Test

Out-of-home ads are gaining popularity, particularly in densely populated cities, due to their ability to reach a broad audience and a wide range of available mediums, from banners, posters, and billboards, to street furniture and transit media. Investments required for out-of-home ads also tend to be higher than other ads.

The Out-of-home Ad Test is built to determine how your audience will respond to the ads before displaying them and gather feedback to maximise the effectiveness of these ads. The metrics included are memorability, likeability, ease of spotting, and intent to discuss further.

Example of research questions addressed by the Out-of-Home Ad Test:

  1. Which OOH ad has the highest discuss intent?
  2. Which OOH ad is perceived as the most attractive by consumers?
  3. Which OOH ad is considered the most memorable by consumers?
  4. What are the individual elements that respondents like, dislike or do not understand in tested OOH ads?
  5. What are the emotions associated with each OOH ad?
Out-of-Home Ad Test
OOH

Efficiently test out-of-home ads to identify the best one for your campaign

Ad Copy Test

When people recall successful ads, they mention the keywords on the ads. Essentially, text copy on ads is key to generating enough awareness and interest among target groups to learn more about the advertised product or service and eventually follow the call to action.

Interpretations of text are highly subjective. Thus, the main goal of the ad copy test is to avoid detrimental misinterpretations from the get-go and launch compelling copy by analysing attributes such as trustworthiness, originality, associations, and intent to purchase.

Example of research questions addressed by the Ad Copy Test:

  1. Which copy has the highest purchase intent?
  2. Which copy is perceived as the most attractive by consumers?
  3. Which copy is considered the most premium and has the highest Willingness to Pay?
  4. What are the individual elements that respondents like, dislike or do not understand in tested text?
  5. What are the emotions associated with each text copy?
Ad Copy Test
ACT

Efficiently test ad copy to identify the best one for your campaign

Talk to an expert about pretesting your ads effectively and efficiently

Are you looking to gather quantitative and qualitative feedback on your ads? Or have any burning questions? Conjointly’s team of research experts are here to help.

FAQs

What are the differences between ad pretesting and A/B testing?

Conjointly offers ad pretesting tools based on sequential monadic testing. It is a more comprehensive approach to evaluating ads than A/B testing. It can be used to gather quantitative and qualitative feedback on more than two ads in one experiment.

How to minimise respondent bias in ad pretesting?

To minimise order bias, or essentially respondents providing answers that were influenced by the first prompts that were shown to them, you can randomise the order of the questions shown to each individual respondent. With Conjointly, all responses go through a robust quality check process, ensuring you only pay for complete, quality responses.

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