Sam Tatam: How to push the creative limits with print


My name is Sam Tatam. I run the behavioral
science practice at Ogilvy Consulting in London, and it’s really exciting to be
here to talk about how we might push the limits, the creative limits, with
print, but more specifically what I’m going to bring to the discussion is how
we can start to better understand our psychology, and that testing with small
variants, based on hypotheses, can have really big impacts for our clients. This is our team in London and our founder Rory Sutherland who’s the
vice chairman of the Ogilvy group. We’re a team of 12 behavioural scientists that
apply this craft on a range of different categories, from communications and
marketing, all the way through to safety. I’ll talk a little bit about
how even printing can help us creatively applied in a safety
environment to achieve our objectives. Today I want to cover a little bit about
why we think behavioural science is so important. We’ll have a bit of
a journey into our brain. Hopefully we’ll learn something. I want to share a few
examples of this work applied, but importantly I want to leave you with a
simple framework; a way of thinking or navigating the world, so you can
start to apply this thinking in your creative testing. Those are my three
objectives. So firstly why behavioural science? It’s a key question and we often
use the analogy that we’ve been navigating the world with broken
binoculars, historically, and we’ve had two fractured lenses. The first fractured
lens is a neoclassical model of economics. A lot of traditional marketing
Theory has been based on a neoclassical model; an assumption that humans are
rational utility maximizers. That we navigate our world with perfect
information and perfect trust and so we only make decisions that are good for us.
We only make decisions that are perfectly logical and and rational.
But we know this isn’t the case. There are behaviors like altruism that humans
don’t stand to gain immediate benefit, and but we do them anyway.
The second fractured lens is hypothetical decision making. An
assumption that we can ask people and when they might change their behaviour, or
why they might have changed their behaviour. What recent research in
psychology is teaching us that up to 90 to 95% of the decisions that we
make are actually made in an evolutionary old part of our brain. It’s a part of our brain that we say it’s opaque to introspection, we can’t
ask it because we simply can’t access it. So what we’ll do is generate a
socially appropriate response based on the room that we might be in. You can
pump the scent of lemon detergent into a cafeteria and give someone a crumbly
cookie and you’ll find they meticulously clean up after themselves because
they’ve been primed with the sense of cleanliness. They don’t know it’s the
detergent that’s inspiring their actions. It’s subtle subconscious cues. When
we look at how we can bring this thinking now into marketing or
communications we like this analogy. I imagine we’re in the room today now,
we’re working to sell coca-cola. We might ask ourselves ‘what are three ways
we might increase the sales of coca-cola?’ and often when we ask this question
people say ‘make it cheaper’. That’s one way, make it cheaper. Or even better let’s make it bigger and cheaper, so even greater value for money.
Often people say ‘maybe make it taste different, maybe make it taste better’.
Those are three fairly logical rational sorts of solutions that you might expect
to come from those two broken binocular lenses. I see a little
bit of nodding. But what’s really interesting over the the best part of a
decade is that a category, a challenger, that’s really given coca-cola a good run
for its money is a brand by Red Bull. It’s half the size. It costs twice
as much. And certainly when you taste it for the
first time it’s a little bit disgusting. There’s something in the
psychology of tasting just a little bit foul that reinforces the fact that it
must be doing something good. These are three solutions that we wouldn’t get
in a focus group. These are three solutions that people can’t tell us. If
you just made it taste a little bit worse I might believe you have
psychotropic powers. It’s not going to happen. So behavioural science is
starting to give us some new ingredients to shape our creative solutions. We
often talk about coca-cola and Red Bull and it can feel like a one-off, so I
have a few questions just to wake us up; just to get us into gear; a quick quiz,
and I trust you in marking your responses and keeping your answers in
your head and I’ll go relatively quickly and through these. The screens
are relatively important for this one. This is really about experiencing our
brains, so the first question a real easy one: Which square is lighter on this
checkerboard? The A square, or the B square? Which Square is lighter? The A
square or the B square. I’m talking to a roomful of printing advocates; this will
be an easy one! Second question: How many F’s are in this
sentence? “Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with
the experience of years.” How many F’s? “Finished files are the result of years
of scientific study combined with the experience of years”. Last question. This is an important one, this isn’t a psychological test in this sense. It’s
not an inkblot test. I’m not trying to explore the deep dark depths of
you. I presented this once and someone said ‘why are you showing a picture of my
parents fighting?’ It’s not the case! Can you see anything significant in this
image? Can you see anything significant in this image?
So, try and keep those three answers on the top of your head and now we’ll
explore them. So the first answer was B. Give yourself a slap on the back if
you said B. There are three F’s. Sometimes people say four, but there are
three, and it was the Statue of Liberty. Did anyone get three out of three? No. Two
out of three? A couple of two’s. Did anyone get one? Alright, so we’ve got a
mix between two’s and one’s and some people that got it entirely wrong. That’s okay, infact that’s what we’re looking for, because none of these
answers are actually correct. But these are the answers that our brain tends to
jump to, and I’ll talk us through each of the questions, and why that’s the
case, and why it’s really important for us to understand this. So the first
question looks like an easy one: Which square is lighter? The A square or the B
square? Often we find most people say B; the B square looks lighter. But
actually they are the exact same shade of gray. They’re the exact
same shade of gray. Our brain is a pattern recognizing machine. We
don’t navigate the world like our printers in our GBs; we navigate the
world using context, and we see the B square surrounded by four dark
squares so we assume that must be a lighter one.
We’ve also over time, I experienced the world under shadow. We know that things that are under shadow are actually lighter than they may appear. We sort of superimpose visual meaning on that. I’m sure I can tell you until I’m blue in the face that they’re the same shade of gray, but I still see B square
as being lighter than the A square. So let’s see what happens now as I start
to remove some of the context. As we remove the context we see that
the illusion disappears completely. This is really important
for us. We love visual illusions in our discipline. Just as we can
make the B square look lighter than the A square, we can make one product appear more valuable than another product, or cheaper, or more
expensive, based on the context that we can build. We love these sorts of
illusions that help to shine a light on how our how our brain works. There are
six F’s in this sentence. This was an experiment in the room today. Often we
find – I suspect we have a large proportion of the room that English is a
second language – often we find when English as a first language that people
don’t necessarily need to read every word to extract its meaning. I also
set a fairly strict word task. I asked you to search for an F, and we tend to
miss the of’s. We process information quite phonetically
so it sounds like a ‘V’ so we kick it out of the search task. But we
find time and time again that these patterns of behaviour occur. Last question.
I don’t expect people to get the Statue of Liberty. Can people
call out what they did see? We’ve got a ‘face’, ‘frog’, anything else? A frog?
Great. So we’re about to conduct a live lobotomy. Let’s see if this works.
I’m about to rewire our brains so the psychology behind this is there’s twice
as much information that goes from a part of our brain called the limbic
system where a place called the hippocampus where memory is encoded.
Twice as much information that goes from that part of our brain to our primary
occipital cortex which is where we see them from our eyes. We essentially see
memory. Hopefully this means that if I change your memory I’ll change how you
see, moving forwards. So we did have some people that said this was a frog,
and they were absolutely right. It was a frog. Hopefully now we can all see that
it was a frog and even if we didn’t see now it’s it’s certainly a frog. But if I
change the image I’m hoping that your memory of this image has changed and now
you will always see the Frog when you’re exposed with that question. Final
question, and this is a bonus question. Can you see any red on this page? Maybe
I’ll change the question – Which side has the most red? Left-hand side? We tend to
find most people say the bowl of strawberries on the left hand side has
the most red. I can promise you there is not a single drop of red on this page.
It’s a joy to be able to present this in Canon. There is not a single drop
of red on this page. This is actually just a collection of greens and
grays, but because of the context of the colour, and our memory of strawberries, we
superimpose red when there wasn’t red. We do a lot of work in unconscious bias in
recruitment and if you can convince an audience that we have a strawberry bias,
that we just saw colour when it wasn’t there, we can start to be open to other
biases that we might fall fallible to. So that’s seeing our brain in action but
I wanted to spend just two minutes talking about why this is the case. If
I was a surgeon and and maybe today we’re speaking to a roomful of doctors
and surgeons and we’re speaking about the human heart, I could tell you
with relative certainty basically every square millimeter of the human heart,
every atrium and ventricle, the flow of blood. The brain is far more complex.
There are more neurons in the human brain than there are stars and galaxies.
That means there’s more potential patterns of connection in the human
brain than there are atoms on Earth. Even some of the finest tools that we
have are still very blunt in understanding the brain. So one way of
thinking about the brain then is more theoretically. And one leading theory, or
way of deciphering the brain, is seeing the brain in two systems: system
one which is a evolutionary old brain, and system two,
which is a distinctively human brain. System one is the part of our brain – if
you imagine our brain growing like a cauliflower, over time, over evolution. We start with the brainstem and the short branches. This is our system one. It’s our limbic system. It’s a highly
emotional brain. It’s the part of our brain that we share with chimpanzees and
higher-order mammals. Whereas system two is a distinctively human, frontal
cortex, neocortex, very expensive brain. It costs a lot of glucose and a lot of
calories to use this brain, so we tend not to. So when I mentioned that 90 to
95% of our decisions are made in an evolutionary old brain, I’m talking about
our system one. Our system one is very fast. It’s uncontrolled; we can’t police it.
It just operates. It’s effortless. It’s highly emotional and it’s unconscious. I
engage my system one when I’m talking and walking. I don’t necessarily need to
think of every action. I’m able to do it naturally. System two is more
controlled and slow. It’s the part of our brain that thinks about thinking. It’s
the part of our brain that we can consciously access and because we can
consciously access it we tend to overestimate how much it guides our
decisions. It’s a part of our brain that we can’t do two things at once so it’s
it’s the part of our brain we engage when writing poetry, or solving Sudoku,
and but it’s very hard to write a poem while solving the sodoku at the same
time; you have a clash. Whereas our system one works in parallel, really
effortless. So a lot of our work is better understanding our system one
responses, and on occasion seeing how, and when, we might engage with our system two. I’ll talk really briefly now about a few ways in which we’ve engaged this and
talking through the quality of print. One of the things we seek
to find, as we’ve mentioned, are these small shifts; small maybe unexpected
shifts, in an environment that speak to our evolutionary old brain; not the
part of our brain that we think we’re using all of the time. In this first case
study – it’s a slightly different starting point but I think it’s a good place to
start. It’s one of our earliest case studies in
Greenwich Village in London during the London riots in 2012. We were
tasked with reducing antisocial behaviour on the streets of London. If we were
to go back to our neoclassical lenses of economics we’d say get more police on the
streets or increase the fines. But we found a lovely small insight that this
case study video will give us a good exposure to. It’s a lovely, simple, creative twist to a context with big results. I’m conscious our amazing
translators were looking at each other during that process because I
don’t think they were able to capture the audio and but essentially we found
an insight around babies faces reducing aggression. So we painted the shopfronts
with babies faces and had an 18% reduction in crime. At the time that
was a correlational statistic. We didn’t know if the police came on the week
before and took all the crooks off the street, but we’ve been working with
Oxford University since then and we’re finding that result looks more like
20% and actually what we’ve done now is shift our intervention to print. So we’ve
started with spray paint, and now we’re in Ealing, another area of London, to
see if we can actually increase the impact of our result by having a more
photorealistic face of babies. so watch this space! The second
case I wanted to share is some work we’re doing and have conducted with
Christian Aid, a charity in London, actually all over the UK. The process that Christian Aid go
through is to receive donations. One week a year. They have an envelope and they
have volunteers that go and deliver an envelope to homes, and the next week the
same volunteer will go and pick it up and hopefully it’s full of money. That’s
the dream! Christian Aid came to us to us to ask us to optimize
their envelope. A lovely brief. “How can we create an envelope that people
put more money in?” was essentially the challenge and these are our
volunteers on the streets. So what we developed were six interventions and
I’ll read them out relatively quickly. On the top left hand side we can
see what was a really simple hand delivered stamp. We value things more if
we know effort and labour has gone into them. So simply by saying this is hand
delivered to a drive a sense of reciprocity to our audience to donate more. The second condition was around urgency. I’m creating a sense of
immediacy of the action. We’re only collecting for this week. Will that
increase our donations? The third; the top right hand side, was all
about the fluency and clarity that this is an appeal. Actually labeling it a
“donation envelope”. Making it very clear that this is what you do with this
envelope; calling that out clearly. Now if we go to the bottom row and we’re going
to go orientation. This is what’s known as an affordance cue. You know how
sometimes when you go to pull a door that’s got a handle but it should be a
push? That’s what’s known as a false affordance cue. It trips our brain up and
what was really interesting about these envelopes is that they open from the
side. The normal affordance of an envelope is you put money in from the
top, so we simply changed the orientation so people put money in from the top down.
The second on the bottom row was about Gift Aid. This is a process in
the UK. If you fill out a form the government will match 25% of
your donation. So it felt like a compelling test for us to run. Finally a slightly obscure one was just increasing the weight. Just increasing
the paper stock from 90 GSM to 150 GSM. So, we’re going to have another
quick experiment and I’m going to go from the top to the bottom and I’m going to ask
us to clap loudest when we think the intervention that was the most
successful. I’m going to start at hand delivered, to urgency, to appeal,
down to orientation, and along gift aid and I want us to please clap and the
louder we clap let’s see if there’s wisdom of the crowd. So, clapping for hand
delivered stamp. Anything? A few? Urgency? A little bit louder. Appeal? That’s the
winner to date I think! Orientation? Gift aid? And wait? Ooo! Alright! Now we’re talking printers. Great OK, let’s go through some of the results.
I think from our discussion there was some louder clapping on appeal, but
certainly the loudest on weight. So let’s see how we all performed. If we
look at total donations raised – this is what it looked like. Appeal
was 10% more donations than our control group. We tested five million
envelopes in a control and 200,000 envelopes in each other condition. Appeal gave us a 10% boost. Hand delivered gave us a 13%
boost but what was interesting is that hand delivered gave us a 13%
boost largely driven by the fact that more people gave them back, so we had a
high return rate on hand delivered not always a higher average finance Weight. We’re close there: 14%. So
just increasing the paper stock from 90 to 150 GSM increased donations by 14%. We’re talking about a product today that I think can go to 350. This
is a million dollar machine here! Finally 17% – just changing the
orientation. The equivalent of walking into a door that says push but you
pulled because of the handle. What we did was change the orientation which had a 17% boost. Sometimes these are unexpected, which goes to the power of
testing. Trying things that might seem counter intuitive, but testing. How do
we make the drink taste a little bit nasty? so people believe it’s working. Testing. We did find that things worked
significantly below the control. Gift Aid was 46% below
the control! So if we had Gift Aid plastered on each one, we would have
lost a fortune. We think the suspicion behind that is what
they call crowded out the motivation. people aren’t donating to Christian Aid for
financial benefits; they’re donating to Christian Aid to feel better. So if you
make it commercial you take away some of that opportunity. The final case I
wanted to talk about – going from the streets of London, through to a letter
box drop, and now into a big tissue Factory in North America. We do a lot
of work with Kimberly Clark and the challenge for us was how we can redesign
some of their safety processes and train some of the workers about their brain. This image on the on the screen, if you can see it, this is the
inside of one of Kimberly Clark’s tissue factories in Connecticut. This spool
is a massive roll of tissue and it’s charging away at meters and meters
and meters a second. We’re talking tissue so because of the environmental
differences in the speed at which it’s working, sometimes the tissues sort of miss a catch and what you have is what’s known
as a hay out. So you have meters and meters of tissue that just goes spilling
into the factory. This is something that’s really dangerous that you
need to stop relatively quickly. So what the workers do is they switch off
the electricity and they go into the machine to remove this hay out and
that’s a fairly dangerous procedure. When they switch off the electricity –
what they have is a blue lock; a really simple blue lock, that they lock on the
electricity source so no one can turn the electricity back on while
they’re in the machine. We could say that’s a lovely behavioural intervention.
The problem was people weren’t using it. This was a rule that was passed down
that wasn’t embraced by the people of the factory and they’re putting
themselves in danger. So this is the idea that we’ve implemented: we turned a blue
lock that was a responsibility to authority, to a commitment to our family
and we essentially personalised the locks of the mill workers so that
could be with your loved ones or with your dog. What we did
was handed the locks over a bit like giving a Rolex at a ceremony. We had
a lovely simple poem that we printed to make it feel really valuable. This is
not a lock; it’s a fishing rod. It’s dinner with your family. It’s kicking a
ball with your son. It’s laughing with good friends. It’s a commitment to coming
home. This is not a lock; it’s a big blue promise. So just a slight emotional layer
on a rational procedure and delivered with the beauty of card. People
don’t email wedding invitations do they? They send something of stock
because it means something. So printing this out and delivering it to
the workers had some really lovely impacts. So that’s a bit of a story of
the brain and some cases. In closing I wanted to arm us with a framework that
certainly has changed how I navigate the world and hopefully it arms us with a few
different ways of thinking ourselves. The framework is called
mind space. It’s a framework that was actually developed by a number of
academics, with the UK government, at around 2010. Mind space is an acronym
for nine of the most robust drivers of behaviour. It’s not an exhaustive list
of why we do what we do, but it’s a really good start. It started to uncover
these drivers. I’ll go through each of the elements relatively quickly.
The M is about the messenger effect. We know that who delivers
information is sometimes more important than the information itself. So from
Milgram’s experiments in the 1960s we know that simply asking someone to put
on a white jacket was such an authority cue that people would
put through a potentially fatal voltage to an unwilling participant.
Authority cues can be really subtl.e We’re more likely to jaywalk across the road illegally following someone in a suit, than someone dressed
in tracksuit pants. So who is the messenger that’s going to be delivering
our communications? How can we make it authoritative? How can we make it most
relevant to our audience? the I of Mind Space is about incentives. Sometimes when we think
incentives, we think reward and lottery, but when we look at it through the lens
of behavioural science we can have a few different ingredients. One ingredient is
a concept called loss aversion. We’re twice as motivated to avoid a loss than
we are to receive a gain. So Patrick if I give you ten euros and then take 10
euros away from you the pain that you feel when I take it away from you is
twice as powerful as the pleasure you felt when I gave it to you. It’s no
surprise that we see “until offer ends” because we don’t want to miss out
on that. It means If we have a team of salespeople
and we have $100 for every printer we sell or we start with $1,000 and take
away $100 for every printer we don’t sell, it’s financially the same incentive,
but psychologically very different. So how can we think of concepts like loss,
of scarcity, if something becomes scarce we fear we might miss out on it and so
we value it more. I’m sure we’ve all seen two seats left at this price. We see it
all the time but it still works something in our gut that just makes
that work N is for norms and we’re herd creatures.
I’ve been watching a lot of blue planet and it’s typically the fish that swims
away from the school that’s the one that’s bitten off by the tuna first
right. If we were a crowd of gazelles going by ourselves; if we were out
from the pack, we might find that we have amazing grass because no one’s
eating our grass but we’re needing to watch for predators 90% of the time so
it’s better to be with lots of people lots of other gazelles and have less
good grass but have 10% predator watching time. So referencing norms
is really powerful. In one study looking at towel reuse in hotels – the study was
encouraging people to reuse their towels and they had three different
conditions. The first condition asked people to reuse their towels to help
save the environment. So “please reuse your towels to
help save the environment.” 38% of people reuse their towels. So not bad,
but then they tried two conditions using social norms. The first condition said
“Most people who stay in this hotel reuse their towels.” so you’re referencing
the social norm and see how that impacts so from 38% from an environmental, to
most people who stay in this hotel, bumped results up to 44%. Simply referencing the
social norm. What’s really important about norms as we go away and start to
print in a more bespoke manner – what’s really important about norms is where
we’re capturing the right norm. If we’re looking to sell to a team of accountants
there’s no point in referencing lawyers; it’s the wrong norm. In this
experiment, and the third condition – so we had environmental, we had most people who
stay in this hotel – the third condition said “Most
people who stayed in this very room reuse their towel.” That figure jumped up
to 49%. So what’s the social norm, and how can we communicate in the most effective
manner. I’ll race through D is for default. As I
mentioned it’s very expensive for humans to think. It costs us a lot of calories, a
lot of glucose, so we tend to operate on autopilot. You might have
heard some of the famous statistics in Austria – organ donation is up to 99%. In neighbouring Germany it’s down to 12%. Is it because of cultural
differences? religious differences? The most significant difference is that in
Germany you need to opt in; in Austria you need to opt out. Just the nature
of the choice to become a donor has hugely significant impacts. If we
think of language, and again if we go from today to start to write
different copy and use these tools, it’s the difference between saying this is a
parental questionnaire for a school versus an annual feedback form. Parental
questionnaire is opt-in – maybe I’ll write it. An annual feedback form is an opt-out;
you’re doing it. Language can be hugely powerful in creating new defaults.
S is for salience – it shouldn’t be news to many of us that colour, personalisation,
the ability to have a receivers name on a document has huge impact. Contrast has
great impact. Salient feedback; our inner chimpanzee. You know when you’re on an
Amazon checkout button and the luminance changes just that little bit when you
hover your mouse over it. It gives you a sense of urgency. A chimpanzee really
loves that. So salient feedback is hugely important. Colour, Personalisation. P is for
priming – we’ve talked about this study today. That our behaviours can be shaped
by subtle sounds and sense and words and cues. We did some work from the sublime
to the ridiculous in adult incontinence. Our challenge was how
we use language to make women feel more comfortable about accepting
incontinence and if we look at the category, the category talks about
bladder weakness. It’s a negative. It’s prime’s the whole category very
negatively. We explored this more positively, we talked about having a
relaxed bladder. It’s okay to be relaxed. We found simply by changing the
frame we made women more accepting of the issue and by changing the prime. A is
for affect. Our emotions heavily shape our actions but for us in behavioural
science, it’s not just the emotion that we’re looking to elicit, but it’s also an
emotional state that people might be in when they’re in touch with us. We know
we’re more likely to buy high-calorie foods if we go shopping when we’re hungry.
We know that men in a cold state of arousal will say yes. I will always use a
condom but in a hot state of arousal that behaviour might be very different. So
we need to think about creating a default in advance of this. We can
predict this. C is for commitment. We seek to be consistent with public pledges, so
the pledge that we made with our big blue promise was the subtle commitment
device. We find it very painful if we break our promises, so sometimes small
subtle shifts can make big impacts. In one study looking at fraudulent tax
claims, they looked at the layout of a text of a mileage form. If you
imagine – I’ve never given witness testimony but I suspect if I was going
to court to give witness testimony they would ask me to swear on the Bible first
and then give my testimony; not give my testimony then swear on the Bible – but if
you look at text forms, they ask you to fill in the mileage, and then sign.
What this study did was turn the signature to the top of the page and
found a significant reduction in fraudulent claims. That’s a
million-dollar solution with a 10cm shift to the page Thinking about the psychology of commitments and promises and really significant small tweaks. Finally, E is for ego. We do things that make us feel better about ourselves so if we can
signal to others, if we could show our status – one of the suspicions of the
success of the Prius was that it’s such an ugly car – everyone knows you must be doing something for the environment. You know that that person
driving a Prius, they’re really great. So how can you give people
an opportunity to share their status? to signal to the world, to make them feel
better about ourselves with every piece of contact and communication? So
that’s a whistle-stop tour through hopefully through why behavioural science, why it’s exciting us, and experiencing it for ourselves as well as seeing some
creative ways that we can look at a context, that we can look at a printing
solution, and a subtle shift to have quite dramatic impacts. I’m around for
the rest of the day and we’ll be up on level 1 for some of the sessions so if
anyone has any questions off the back of this I’d love to talk in more depth. If you’d like any more information about ourselves and our team
there’s some information on the board. We have a blog called ‘Oh behave’ and
every year we run a festival called ‘nudge stock’ it’s like Woodstock for
behavioral science so you’re always you’re always welcome there it’s been an
absolute pleasure. Thanks so much for having me today. I’ll hand over, thank you

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