Marketing Is Not All Science; Hence, The Need For Gut Checks and Gutsy Calls

Focus groups are a waste of perfectly good M&Ms.

But for clients it’s often a different story, since it is their money on the line. And when a client plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying up media space on TV, the risk, and therefore the extreme caution, is even greater.

Enter, Lisa Cochrane, SVP-Marketing at Allstate. She didn’t let data from creative testing get in her way, or the brand’s way. According to Ad Age, she fought for the “Mayhem” campaign, and fought to protect it from being focus grouped to death.

“There was a lot of internal pressure to kill it,” SVP-Marketing Lisa Cochrane recalled Friday in a presentation at the Association of National Advertisers annual meeting in Florida.

“I knew that ‘Mayhem’ was the right idea at the right time. I could feel it. We didn’t do any market testing or focus groups. I just asked myself, ‘Would I want to watch those ads?’ ”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.