'But How Do You Know?'
Now do the opposite. Let’s say the new creative does far better than the most successful thing you ever tested. Are you ready, willing and able to roll out with it? How immediately? There’s nothing more pointless than discovering you have an amazing new supernova performer but you can’t do anything with it.
Have you done the pirouette check?
A lot can happen between the concept pitch and final execution, and not all of it good. The creative gets junked up, and the “more” that’s piled on weighs on it like an anchor and can sink the test.
As a last checkpoint with new creative, my choice when in doubt is to err on the side of less is more, especially with teasers and inserts. Like Marilu Henner’s character in “L.A. Story” when she advised, “One of the first things I always teach my clients is about the point system. You should never have more than seven things on. You know, like your earrings count for two points, those daisies count for three points. But the best thing to do is, right before you go out, look in the mirror and turn around real fast, and the first thing that catches your eye, get rid of it. I mean, I had this thing in my hair before I left, remember? And I pulled it right out, ’cause as soon as I turned, gone! Marilyn Monroe did that.”
I’m guessing your package is probably better off without that thing in its hair, too.
How will you execute it?
Creative by committee usually means a slow and painful death for what began as a promising idea, not to mention it leaches the will to live from all involved. A compromise here, a compromise there, and next thing you know the creative is unrecognizable, not something anyone wants to champion anymore. When that happens, do the strategic and financially prudent thing. Pull the plug on the package before you spend a penny on production.