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How SKII Used Unruly’s Editing Solution To Increase Attention Rates By 140% And Boost Brand Recall 158%

New eye-tracking research from Lumen shows impact to In-Article creative

What can seem like small tweaks to a brand’s creative can have a big impact. Just ask SK-II.

We recently made changes to a mobile campaign the Japanese cosmetics brand was running based on data we collected using UnrulyEQ, our content testing solution.

We then partnered with marketing and advertising research company Lumen, who used its recently-unveiled mobile eye-tracking technology to see the impact the changes had on people’s attention levels while viewing the live In-Article campaign on a website.

As part of the study, we also used UnrulyEQ to analyse the impact the changes had on SK-II’s brand and business metrics.

The results were highly compelling. Here are our three key takeaways:

1. The optimised version was more effective at holding people’s attention

survival curve

Using Lumen’s mobile eye-tracking technology, we discovered that people who saw the version optimised by UnrulyEQ Edit Suite were far more likely to stay engaged by the content.

As you can see from the chart above, the edited ad was more than effective at holding people’s interest over time than the unedited version, with viewers more than twice as likely (140%) to continue watching the ad.

2. Viewers were more than twice as likely to remember the brand

Part of the tweaks we made was to make the branding of the creative more prominent. And this clearly had an impact, with viewers of the optimised version 158% more likely to remember the brand.

3. And have a more positive perception of SK-II after watching

SKII perceptions

But what about brand perception? Well, as you can see from the chart above, the edited version left viewers with a much better impression of the brand overall, with all of the five key values — ‘different’, ‘good quality’, ‘current’, ‘trustworthy’ and ‘good value’ – significantly higher.

So what changes did we make?

OK, so you are probably wondering what changes we made to have such a dramatic impact on the success of the ad.

Well, first, let’s look at the two versions of the SK-II creative:

Original version:


Edited version:

As you can see, the changes we made were a lot less dramatic than the impact they had on the campaign.

According to a recent study we did with Lumen, the optimum length for In-Article ads is 20 seconds. So we used our Short Fix feature to chop the 60-second creative down to help it engage mobile audiences more effectively.

The original cut was 60 seconds long, and we managed to create a 15-second cut that was more engaging while maintaining the overarching narrative of the video.

We did this by using our content testing solution, UnrulyEQ, and facial coding to hone in on the most emotive elements of the ad to create a short-form, mobile-optimised ad that still maintained viewers’ attention levels.

To make it more natural and authentic to the mobile viewing experience, the next thing we did was convert the content into a vertical video format.

This is really important when optimising your content for mobile, with 53% of consumers and 57% of millennials finding it annoying when they have to turn their phone horizontally to watch their video in full screen (source: Unruly Mobile Study).

We then used our In-Article Fix — a service that optimises clients’ TVCs or pre-roll ads for In-Article formats — to update the branding within the video. To ensure viewers were in no doubt about which brand was behind the creative, we increased the branding at the beginning and end of the video to make it more prominent.

More details on the study

OK, so as we mentioned, the study was conducted in partnership with Lumen, who used its eye-tracking software to track the eye movements and attention levels of an audience panel of 300 women as they viewed the two creatives on the Reader’s Digest website. You can read more about Lumen’s recently-launched mobile eye-tracking solution here.

Using our UnrulyEQ content testing solution, we also surveyed participants to measure the impact the two creatives had on their perceptions of the brand.

To find out more about UnrulyEQ Edit Suite, click here.